The artist behind viral sensation People of New Zealand

Christchurch artist Sam Moore is shining a light on the People of New Zealand - and the people are loving it.

His series of hand-drawn characters has gone viral in just a few weeks, turning his instantly recognisable people into a social media phenomenon.

"I knew that people would relate to it, but I had no idea this many people would find it funny," he told Newshub.

At the end of July he launched the series, and since then people have been tagging away on Facebook and Instagram, as they spot someone they 'know'.

"I think it's almost people walking around, they know these people, but they might not have categorised them as certain types of people," he says.

The Christchurch artist has been uploading pieces to his Instagram page Ugly Ink since January 2016 - but until now, found he was getting more success outside New Zealand.

"Most of my audience is US-based, so I thought why don't I actually do something that'll appeal to New Zealanders and they can have a laugh about

Whether it's Hilux Surf Drew with his hungover Maccas, fleece and stubbies.

"I work near Merivale McDonald's and you see Drew come out of there in his Hilux pretty much every day," explains Moore.

Or there's Wedding Kane, complete with 10-year-old suit, Dirty Dogs and durry - Moore's managed to shine a light in 2D on people we all recognise in 3D.

"Anyone that's gone to a Kiwi wedding, there's always that guy. You might hate his style but he's always good for a laugh."

Moore says people are connecting with his characters as there's a bit of everyone in all of them.

"They're genuine, honest people. They're people that you see every day - I don't necessarily think people would think 'oh that's a type of person, that's a stereotype'."

Each drawing takes two to three hours but sometimes coming up with a character can take longer - luckily, he's not short of inspiration.

"All I need to do is go out and about, go for a drive, or just hang out with different people at a pub or something, and usually something will pop into my mind."

Moore says people have even asked him to turn the series into a book - but there'll have to be a few more trips to the pub first.


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