what is it?
Polandball, commonly known as Countryballs, is an art style occasionally used in online comics, in which countries are typically personified as spherical characters decorated with their country's flag. [Wikipedia]
These patches were designed as possible merch options for a Youtuber called Kraut.
I was exposed to polandball comics back when I was hospitalized back in 2019. I always thought they were memorable and cute.
Left: a commissioned piece for NomadStar (YouTuber)
Despite the heavy rules listed on the subreddit - I don't mind breaking a few that hinder my ability to produce quality work. An artist should be able to explore and innovate rather than maintain the status quo.
My favourite part of creating polandball artwork is the details of history and creative symbolism you can express via small little circular characters.
Left: a map based on the game EU4, featuring the events and historical figures from 1430s - 1450s.
One part of the subculture that isn't very likable is how ambiguously certain groups are depicted.
Kraut made a point to represent Native American tribes with their own polandball designs based on cultural and historical depictions. On the right: my contribution to creating a polandball design to represent the Powhattan Nation.
My art skills have improved over time, and I owe much to the fun little scenes I drew for Kraut.
Left: One of the first few polandball artwork I created back in Oct 2020.