Winner Interview: Eh, Such is Life! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Love it or hate it,  “¯\_(ツ)_/¯” might just be the best emoji (that isn’t an actual emoji) of all time. Whether you use it to say “I’m not sure,” “eh, it’s whatever” or “sorry not sorry,” a million different emotions and reactions can be expressed with the little combination of lines and dashes that is “the shrug.”

But the winner of our foreign phrases challenge, Ross “rhinosserossy” Bruggink, has paired the shrugmoji with the phrase it goes most perfectly with: “C’est La Vie,” French for “such is life,” a.k.a basically the spoken version of  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

We talked to Ross about his combination of text language with the French language, about his Artist Shop, and about his changing style. Check out what he had to say!

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What have you been up to lately! Any exciting projects?

In my spare time I’ve been working on developing a more own-able illustrative style. From my perspective, it’s felt quite varied up to this point and I’m working on refining it.

Rhinosserossy’s “O Beautiful”

I love the mix of a classic French phrase with a modern emoji-phrase that pretty much sums up “C’est La Vie.” How did you come up with this design!

The foreign phrase challenge winner, “C’est La Vie”

The concept quickly arrived. I use the phrase often and I just had a conversation with my friends about smiley faces and emoticons as design elements. Seeing the contest theme was serendipitous.

What was the process for actually making this design? 

Usually my work incorporates a lot more complexity, so the challenge of this design was simplicity. I spent a little time refining the letters and characters that make up  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ then added the variation of color to make it more whimsical. I think the slight sentiment of futility in ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is contrasted by the colorful type.cest_la_vie_products

Big fan of the ¯\_()_/¯?

Aside from this shirt, I don’t think I’ve ever used ‘shruggie.’ So I can’t say I’m a fan. More of a late adopter.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ can mean a few different things/tones to different text-readers. What does it mean to you?

Indifference and acceptance of our hopelessly silly world.


Love it. Is C’est La Vie your favorite foreign phrase? If not, do you have one?

I think it sounds beautiful, but what doesn’t in French?

A few of Ross Bruggink’s Artist Shop designs. Top left: “Gemini” | Top right: “Aquarius” | Bottom left: “Cancer” | Bottom right: “Capricorn

Very true! This too is kind of a branch out from your usual style – what made you decide to submit something a little different?


Perfect answer. Finally, your Artist Shop has a focus on horoscope designs. Are you a big believer in horoscopes and astrology? What’s YOUR sign?

Actually, I know very little about the fortune-telling aspects behind horoscopes. I was most interested in the stories behind each one and the creatures that inspired them. For instance, Scorpio was created by Apollo to kill Hercules, who may have accidentally shot Sagittarius with a poison arrow. Pretty neat, huh?


Shop the winning design!

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Carlyn Hill

Dad joke aficionado, cartoonist, & contributor for sites like HelloGiggles and The Mary Sue by night. When I'm not writing or drawing, you can find me in my cave of a room hanging out with my boyfriend, Netflix.