Canada. “I used my colleague Alex as a reference. Canada is [a] simple guy with puppy eyes. He is kind and not conflicting. Prefers to be at home and not look for any problems in others’ battles. He only fights in sports- hockey. He finds it honest and cheerful. Because of his success in hockey, he’s called ‘The King of Ice.’ Sometimes a crown appears over his head and he often dreams about future victories. Wants to believe that USA is his best friend and they are equal. USA does not see a threat in him and allows itself a cautious friendship. Of course with benefits. He usually fights Russia in hockey, and USA is also his opponent on the icy field. But he’s still friendly with everyone. Until he hears Britain’s call, that is. Canada usually wears a track suit. His weapons are a metal hockey stick and skates. Good guy.” Image by Anastasia Bulgakova and featured with permission
If your country were a person, what would he or she look like?
Russian artist Anastasia Bulgakova translates the personification of various nations into military and war-like illustrations, complete with grime and blood.
“[It’s] not because of some political persuasion,” explains Bulgakova, “but simply because that [is] what I always draw in any case, and the idea of warrior-countries gives a lot of creative freedom.”
“Every character is going to have some stereotypical attributes that I am going to use in one way or another.” For instance, Canada is depicted as the “simple guy with puppy eyes” who’s “friendly with everyone.” This ‘King of Ice’ comes equipped with “weapons” such as a hockey stick and ice skates.
See Canada, USA, Japan, France, Mexico, and Israel imagined as people below. Russia, England, and Germany, as well as more of Bulgakova’s work can be found on ArtStation and Behance.
USA. “A bit naive and idealistic, but quite vicious on the inside. Very attractive and charismatic, easily turns others to her side. Pursues her goals with no regard to morals or consequence. Her main goal is to survive. She wears leather armor, since she prefers extremely long-range battles. Cybernetic arms and legs give her extreme speed in combat. She is a killer.” Image by Anastasia Bulgakova and featured with permission
Japan. “Japan is a silent guy, with a suspicious smile. Likes technologies and perversions. Has some strange relationships with other countries, especially the neighbours. Ah, that sweet-sweet China… No one ever truly knows his real motives and desires (or how many ‘true’ superforms he has), and he never answers anyway. But one thing is certain—even if he kills you, he will be extremely polite about it. Even though he likes technology, he has a real body, and the hi-tech armor is mere augmentation to his abilities and skills. He can be classified as a close-quarters fighter, but prefers speed and agility [to] heavy armor. He uses a spear and a tail (or tentacle?) to hold his opponents at some distance (but really, I am just sick of seeing katanas everywhere). For long range, he uses exploding spheres.” Image by Anastasia Bulgakova and featured with permission
France. “An alternate reality France. Here the monarchy has won, and the revolution failed. He is an ancient country now, more that 1,500 years old. An aristocrat and a vampire. Blood and wine is totally his style, and art, of course. The monarch’s reign is supreme, and the vampire nobility is stronger than ever. He absolutely hates revolutions, uprisings, equality and ‘power of the people.’ Believes that democracy is just a big lie, that other countries use to fool their citizens and make them more obedient. He prefers the old-fashioned way, and there will be no ‘freedom and equality’ under his rule, until people will grow enough to deserve it. First, they need to understand how low they have fallen, and how destructive it would be to give them any power in their current state. And when that happens, well, we shall see… This is his great compassion, as an old and wizened ruler.” Image by Anastasia Bulgakova and featured with permission
Mexico. “‘Coatlicue’—the mother serpent, the beginning and the end, a goddess from Aztec mythology. Living in Russia, I know very little about Mexico, besides a few stereotypes. So my Mexico is a drug lord—dangerous, beautiful and vicious. Slim and tall, she likes to wear classical men’s clothes, like any proper high-class crime lord. The upper body is covered in Aztec-Mayan themed tattoos. She likes being elegant, and doesn’t like to soil her hands and clothes in dirty jobs—that’s what the underlings are for, but if she must, then it will be bloody, showy and painful. And that’s what the axes are for. She is also a poison expert—for both healing and killing. The snake is real and poisonous. Has territorial disputes with USA, but must acknowledge her power. You could say they are cooperating (in building walls, etc.), but will probably kill each other the first chance they get.” Image by Anastasia Bulgakova and featured with permission
Israel. “First of all, I know that women don’t wear Tzitzit, or use Tefillin, but Israel is female and there aren’t any well known feminine religious symbols. Israel is a soldier girl, in her current incarnation. She is, actually, quite ancient, but due to her always being small, she gets trampled, exiled, or destroyed, only to reborn again a few generations later. Since she always tries to remember all her wrongdoers, most of which no longer exist, she ends up being salty and angry with the world. Nevertheless, she is quite positive by nature. Building, researching and eating, is her favorite. Of course, there is always the question of her neighbors, which are actually her numerous cousins. Family is a battlefield, and Israel is forced to protect the little she has.” Image by Anastasia Bulgakova and featured with permission
[images by Anastasia Bulgakova and featured with permission]