Jess Rotter's New Book Will Relieve Your Boredom

The creatures in artist Jess Rotter's new book are just taking it day by day.

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In artist Jess Rotter's new book of illustrations, an ostrich in pink boots hitchhikes, a wizard calls his mom to ask if he's still relevant, a bear draws obscene pictures on a tree trunk, and a little gray-purple monster sits silently (sadly?) in a waiting room. I'm Bored brings to life those thoughts and questions, both good and bad, we muddle over in moments of pure boredom: What does it mean to be cool? Am I making the most out of life? Are we there yet?

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"I think life is a true balance of the gutting and the beautiful," Rotter explains. "It's this crazy trip of trying to constantly feel OK, and that's quite the world to explore. I like pairing bizarre situations, like a wizard calling his mom for help, or an ostrich seeking therapy. It's a childlike approach to really heavy situations."

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We asked the artist to walk us through the absurd world she's created and introduce us to the strange beasts who populate it.

"I've spent a lot of time reflecting on life while on road trips, seeing gorgeous landscapes all around. This series was kind of a whimsical comment on our attention spans, bringing us back to being kids and yelling 'Are we there yet?' when the most gorgeous environments are right under our nose."

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"I first drew this little monster when I was 19 and recently revisited him as the vibe still held up. It's an attack on laziness but also a call to waking up and not letting time pass you by. I never gave him a name, because his energy was enough. He's always in a waiting room trying to figure something out, get some answers. Definitely inspired by the monsters of The Muppet Show."

"This is one of my favorite characters in the book. It's a dog who is desperate to be cool. When he says, 'Who will be the next person I hope will like me?' it kind of stands for: Who will inspire me? Who will be my next hero? Who will make me feel intimidated and challenge my current train of thought?"

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"I originally drew this on an airplane, feeling tired of trying to please others. Pass me a glass of wine and a bag of peanuts."

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"Another image I drew many years ago. I actually saw these kids waiting for their luggage and had to capture the moment. She was so in love with this guy, but I saw what was truly on his mind, and it involved a quick delivery."

"Poor ostrich. She's a bit depressed and lonely, and on a trip to find bliss and salvation. As an only child and struggling to make it in New York, hers was a mantra I told myself at times for strength."

"My take on a 1970s Successories motivational poster. Kind of takes on a new relevance in these weird post-election times."

"This is part of a series about the outgoing message on my parents' answering machine from when I grew up in the 1980s, with actual wallpaper prints from our house."

I'm Bored (Hat & Beard Press), $25, hatandbeard.com. To see more of Jess Rotter's illustrations, visit jessrotter.com.

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