Katarzyna Witerscheim

Webcomic artist finds a new storytelling platform in Instagram

'I thought the project would be great to be interactive.'

Feb 29, 2020, 4:54 pm*

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Sherry Tucci 

Sherry Tucci

Meet Regina, an outgoing Polish girl who loves the color pink. Instagram tells the story of her life, from romance to parties to family time, like any young adult. 

But there is a catch—Regina isn’t real.

While many webcomic artists publish on platforms like Tumblr and deviantART, this particular Poland-based artist tells the fictional story of Regina via Instagram.

Illustrator Katarzyna Witerscheim, aka PannaN, started a webcomic series by creating an Instagram account for her original character Regina, or Regi for short. Through Regina’s handle, @1995regi, Witerscheim draws the photos that Regina posts, illustrating both the drama and day-to-day happenings of Regina’s life through her entries. Other than the fact that Regina’s life is illustrated rather than captured, her account feels less like a story and more like a friend you’d follow IRL.

Regina’s origins began in the concept of a roleplaying game Witerscheim was planning with her friends. While she was one among a few new characters, it was Regina who caught Witerscheim’s attention the most. 

“I made those first selfies of her and I really liked it very much,” Witerscheim said. “I was like, ‘Maybe I should put them on Instagram because they look like Instagram selfies.’” From there, the idea to create a life and history through the platform took shape.

After consulting some fellow comic artist friends, Witerscheim didn’t receive much encouragement: “They said, ‘No, it’s not going to be a good idea. People won’t like it!'”  

Save for two friends and her boyfriend, Witerscheim received many suggestions to do more work like the Disney princess artwork that was featured on DesignTAXI. “No, I’m not gonna do a fan art again,” she told them. “I want to do something that’s mine—completely mine. I’m going to take a risk.”

With more than 1,200 followers of Regina’s Instagram, it looks like that gamble paid off. And while she’s got an audience, she’s got a message to spread, too—written all in pink.

Much like in America, the color pink carries a certain stigma in Poland. If you ask the average Polish person, they’ll associate the color with “babies and stupid girls,” according to Witerscheim. “In Poland, pink is a stereotype of a stupid blonde girl [wearing] white boots and pink outfit, and that’s a problem,” she said.

https://www.instagram.com/p/9b3XA6yxT3/

For the Halloween party, Witerscheim said Regina is going as Sailor Moon, as per her followers’ suggestions. She also teased that Regina might be attending with Corey, and that we can expect to see some drama with his “douche-bag style, but is actually a nice guy” persona. 

“There’s a really big twist in the story,” Witerscheim teased. “[Corey]’s gonna be really important.”

Illustration via Katarzyna Witerscheim/Instagram

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*First Published: Oct 31, 2015, 10:17 am