Seven Spoon: Meet the cartoon character & her creator
"Seven Spoon" is a cartoon character created by Chicago native Shala Akintunde, but if you call her that you'll get a verbal smack -- either from the bratty 2-D character on the page or quick-witted Shala himself.
See, Shala considers Seven, who is drawn to be 14 years old, a mouthpiece for the jilted generation. If we had to pigeonhole her character (which she prefers over "cartoon"), we'd say she's a merger of Boondocks and Daria.
Her smarty-pants straight talk surpasses her elders in pure logic and sense, simple yet effective commentary painting a picture of a collective America that has clearly lost its damn mind ("Reality TV stars, Congress and the cats running for the Republican nomination", to be more specific).
She's usually right, and to boot, she's got killer swag.
Now here's the part where Seven would call us out for using that word -- we can just hear her now -- "Seriously? Ya'll are still using the word 'swag'?"
Seven's creator, Shala
But we digress.
This week we talked with Shala, who tells us exactly what Seven's about and where she's going, and we found out there's just a little bit of Minneapolis behind this project.
Who is behind the Seven cartoon? We hear there is a guy from Minneapolis on your team?
My production boutique, The Movement, distributes the pieces and limited edition items that are sold with her image on it. I have two partners, Moses and James. They run the business side of things. I make the stuff, Mo tells everybody about it and James makes sure we eat from doing it.
James came to us from Minneapolis, so thanks for giving us one of your sons. His arrival has been a blessing. It's kinda biblical -- "James", "Moses" and "Shala" -- now we just need a Mexican partner named "Jesus" and we'll be set. . . . Amen.
And, as for her being a cartoon character, she can be, but she's really just street art, a refined graffiti character. I want to bring character art to the high brow art world. Being that they now embrace street art, this is my contribution to it's progression. Social commentary from a refined graffiti character.
When did Seven Spoon first originate? Is she modeled after someone in particular?
I created her in 2002 as a sketch for a client. When the client didn't pay, I ended up using her as self-therapy. I'd think about things I would say if I was a 14 year old little girl. Random, I know -- don't judge me. Anyway, it helped me deal with the human race, which I believe to be primarily stupid. It also helped me, surprisingly, deal with women, which I saw as pretending very hard to be stupid. She isn't consciously modeled after anyone in particular, but unconsciously, probably Garfield, Sarah Silverman, Daria, my daughters, Carrie Bradshaw, all the pretty girls who were bitches to me in high school, all the smart-ass pretty women that love me now, and my evil alter-ego.
Do you have a favorite Seven "episode" or piece, and if so what? Where do you get your inspiration for her sassy slogans?
I have a favorite Seven piece every other week. My favorite one right now is "Selfish Insecurity". I love what it is saying, her Mondrian dress, the way its colored, and how agitating what she's saying could be to a person's justified insecurities. Humanity's absurdity inspires me. It's funny, as we evolve and advance we get more and more cartoonish. Look at reality TV, Congress and the cats running for the Republican nomination. Figures a "cartoon" would be the one calling people on it. I think there are two types of people in the world: assholes and the assholes that follow them. I'll be an asshole that leads then, f@#k it.
Seven has quite a unique fashion sense. What are her "do's" and "don'ts" for the season?
Wear clothes that fit. Please.
Wear less make-up. Let your face show.
Experiment with new styles by mixing vintage, basics and classic luxury items.
Wear Uggs in the snow.
Wear Uggs. . . Period.
Dress like Rihanna. Anymore.
Wear someone else's hair.
Wear heavy earrings. They eventually split your earlobes and leave them looking like little vaginas.
Give a single solitary f@#k what people think of your style. Do you.
Where do you hope to take Seven in the future?
Ultimately, I want her among Bart Simpson, Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty. She'd be the first street art character, and the first one that actually changes clothes. We are working on an animated pilot now. I'd love her to be on Adult Swim, she'd fit right in.
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