Cartoonish Denis Ten appears on Instagram

Cartoonish Denis Ten appears on Instagram

Denis Ten

ASTANA. KAZINFORM — A new instagram account features an animated copy of Denis Ten, a known figure skater from Kazakhstan, as reported by MIA Kazinform. “With more work, there is less time for social networks. As the season starts, my instagram is dying. But we have a new one this winter. Ladies and gentlemen, meet @mini.denis! For over a year now, @dinara_butasheva and I have been working on creating this project (and more).” - Denis Ten has introduced the account through his own page. 

Denis Ten and Mini-Denis (Instagram)

Dinara Butasheva, a graphic designer, had previously created illustrations in books like “Kazakh folk tales” and “The tales of grandpa Daut”, and worked on educational board games for the “Balapan” publishing house, and on textbooks for Nazarbayev intellectual schools. Dinara actively shares her art on social networks like Facebook and Instagram. She also has a gallery of her best works on Instagram.

“Mini seemingly looks like a child, but he is in fact older. Like all characters drawn in chibi style, he has the cartoonish proportions that make him rather cute. But at the same time he’s independent, a grown-up. He has a fascinating family history, which he will be excited to share in his future posts. This is a long-term and interactive project with many rigorous details” said Dinara Butasheva in her interview to Kazinform. According to her, the goal of this project is to be liked by people.

The illustrator thinks that it’s hard to impress anyone with special effects these days, so a lot of scrupulous work went behind creating Mini-Denis’ character.

“As a result, our chibi stands out in a sea of others. He’s really alive, which makes him unique. Don’t be surprised if he remembers your date of birth and wishes you a happy birthday. For this, however, you’d have to be his true fan. Speaking of fans, Mini acquired about 1500 followers in less than a week after the launch. Apart from likes, there has been a huge amount of interaction in the comment section — people mention him by name, they want to interact and communicate with him. They not only care about the visuals, but also care about his personality. Today, Mini only started to talk about himself, but he still has a lot to share. He will learn and grow, and it will be obvious not only visually, but will show in his behaviour,” said D. Butasheva.

In the long-term, the project creators have several paths for development.

“It’s still too early to discuss. I can only say that, in future, we can expect not only static pictures. Mini will become animated. And a bit later, he will not only be visual,” shared Dinara.

The designer also shared with us the process of coming up with stories and posts.

Illustrator Dinara Butasheva has been working with Denis Ten for almost two years now. During this time, she helped the athlete carry out a few visual ideas, and also a few independent presentations for other projects not related to Mini.

“The Mini is not the first project we started our cooperation on. Our first work has been done on sets of stickers for fans of figure skating. The first set is free to use on Telegram (, and the second one will be available in another messenger, but it’s officially not launched yet. During our work, we had many more ideas, like exclusive fan arts, designer fantasies, comics and many more, including Mini. I’m a home-based freelancer, so I don’t travel much, but Mini needs good pictures as a background. Mini’s adventures are possible because Denis takes photos during his own travels. Also, the text, the interaction with the followers, and Mini’s personality are all done by Denis,” Dinara shared.

Dinara called the cooperation between her and Denis pure joy.

“I’ve been following the figure skating scene since 2014. Before that, I just saw glimpses of competitions — when you draw, your eyes are only focused on paper, especially with the university and work. But during the Sochi Olympics, I understood that I want to follow this sport. It was a shock: a new world — changing not only my drawing style, but many more things in my life. When you see how figure skaters aspire to achieve their goals and fully apply themselves, you get inspired by it. I think that many fans of this sport will understand me. Obviously, I cheered for Denis. I even took him as a role model for my future years: work and be persistent, no matter what. So imagine my reaction when we started working together — it was pure joy. We now have a co-op project. Even with the responsibility, the creative process is very enjoyable. Keep an eye out for our work, the best things are still ahead”, promised Dinara Butasheva.