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The Doodle Poodle

I am part of groups of inspirational women on Facebook, and I have learnt so much from each of them.  I have learnt business hints and tips, social media hacks, and most of all I have seen a community of women who don’t really know one another band together and show their support throughout lockdown.

Recently there was a positive post on one of these groups from a lady called Sarah, who said that lockdown has reminded her of her true passion – creating and making art.  Isn’t that wonderful?  It’s it great to hear that something so positive could come out of a time that was filled with uncertainty and so much negativity?

I popped over to Sarah’s website and couldn’t believe her talent, as well as everything that she has achieved and been involved in.  Jeepers – if there is ever a #BossBabe that I want to learn from, it’s Sarah.  She has so many accolades under her belt, and is very well-known, yet she was gracious enough to spend time answering questions for my little blog.  SO without further ado, meet Sarah…

Baby Doodle Poodle


Your name: Sarah Gibson

Business name: The Doodle Poodle

Social media handles:  InstagramFacebook and Website

Me and my Poodle

Tell me a bit more about yourself:  I’m a graphic designer and art director based in Cape Town. I spent about 6 years working in various agencies in the advertising industry, after realising that I no longer got up in the mornings excited for work I realised that I needed to make a change. So I resigned from my 9-5, went back to study for a year and in 2019 I decided to take a stab at freelancing full-time. The beginning was tough, filled with some tears, stress and anxiety about how I was going to pay the bills. But I persevered and always tried to be positive. Then everything changed for me when one person picked up the phone and gave me an opportunity that I’d been dreaming of since I started in this industry. 2019 was one of the best years of my life career wise and I have been so fortunate to work on some amazing campaigns that have taken me to Madrid, Nice and more recently Tokyo.

My art and illustration has always been a passion and love of mine and mostly something that I’ve done on the side. My Instagram handle started off as being a collection of little doodles that I doodled here and there documenting my insights into real-life in an honest and light-hearted way. Now seeing as how my business has been affected by the current times I’m looking and hoping to grow this passion of illustration and art into something more tangible.

The name of my business pays homage to my dog Meeka, who I rescued as a puppy from Woodstock in 2008 and shortly after became my creative muse. We aren’t quite sure what she is, but she’s white, fluffy and kinda looks like a poodle although my father is convinced that she’s a Coton de Tulear, which is basically a fancy name for a poodle.

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Why does art and creativity make you so happy: It is the one place that I feel that I can totally be free. It brings me so much joy to create and share with others. Looking back it has always been a form of therapy for me. As a child I was always drawing and creating, I kept detailed visual diaries and in them I would document my world, thoughts and experiences. This has always been my way of dealing and processing things that I sometimes find difficult to verbalise.

How would you describe your style of art:
I struggle to describe the style of my work in words as for me it’s much more about emoting a feeling.

I don’t feel attached to a certain style but I would say that it’s more expressive and emotive. I’m still exploring different mediums and don’t want to be put into a specific category. Sometimes my work is playful, loose and light other times it’s more considered and crafted with layers and textures.
I work mainly digitally but for my hand initiated work I use a mixture of pencil, gouache and watercolour.

Love Yourself First copy

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Has lockdown affected you personally and as a business: Oh gosh yes! I feel like B.C (before COVID) I was on a roll and feeling good about how my career was progressing. I had some amazing work lined up and I was so excited about it. Then BOOM… A lot of it ‘disappeared’ or was ‘put on hold’ in a flash. Some smaller jobs have trickled in here and there which have been keeping me going and distracted. But overall things have been a lot quieter than usual for me. In the beginning I was really down about it but I looked for the positive in the situation and tried to be pro-active with all the ‘down-time’ I now have. I turned back to my first love of creation which has always been drawing and painting. I started doing Illustration tutorials on Domestika and really stretching my imagination and reflecting on things that were happening around me. My work during this time has been helping me reflect, understand and be at peace with what is happening inside and out.
The positive of this crappy situation is that it’s made me realise how much I have missed and have neglected this part of creative heart. I’ve always wanted to be an illustrator (but have always been held back by self-doubt) maybe now is the time to really give it a go.

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Peace Within

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Things to Remeber in a Time of Turmoil_

Do you do custom pieces: Yes! I’m always open to commissions and would love to create more work, specifically for others – whether that be a piece for your own walls, a gift for someone else or an editorial piece for a magazine.

What emotion do you want to evoke through your art:  I guess in my personal work I like to explore themes of femininity, vulnerability, self-acceptance, caring and the inner-peace and tranquillity that comes when we stop and observe things around us. I’ve always been drawn to capturing portraits and the physical body as these are things that we associate with our own identity and something that I’ve personally struggled with.

My aim with my more playful work is to always bring some sort of joy to others, to make someone’s heart do a little jiggle. I hope that my more reflective work resonates with people on a more deeper, emotive level and helps others to process and accept similar experiences. I always want to have a sense of honesty about my work that is relatable to all.

What is one of your favourite pieces you have created:
Oh, that’s a tough one.. it would have to be The Girl & The Whale. I feel this piece really special to me because it was created in a time in my life where I felt so at peace and at ease with myself and the world around me.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

How can people order a piece from you, or contact you to work with you:
Either through e-mail or my social media handles – Instagram/Facebook

What is your favourite part of the day: Jumping into bed at the end of a long day.

Quote you live by:
“One day at a time.”

Anything else you want to add:
If you’d like to see more of my art work, illustration and personal doodles please go check out my website and follow my Instagram. I do have some pieces available as well as prints, so if there’s something that you’d like please don’t hesitate to enquire about it.
Toodles xx

Done&Gone

Drifiting Within a Hazy Infinity

Essence

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Lady of Snow and Ice

Lady with Enormous Earrings

Undress


Isn’t Sarah wonderful?

Please, if you are looking to work with her give her a shout – or let others know about her stunning work by sharing her page or pieces of art that truly speak to you.

Her doodles make me giggle so much, and the “Love Yourself” art is something that I think we could all learn from.  Do you have a favourite? Let me know below.

And Sarah, thank you for this opportunity.  Thank you for your love, passion, excitement and kindness – you are one in a million and I am so glad to have “met” you during one of the most difficult times the world is experiencing.


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Nicci Nathanson Illustration

When these pictures popped up on my Facebook timeline, I was immediately attracted to them.  I loved her style, & thought this was such a beautiful idea for Christmas gifts.  You could sense the emotion behind the illustration & it just immediately made me smile.

I reached out to Nicci straight away & asked if we could have a little chat & I could show all of you her beautiful work.

Christmas is coming soon, & I always think that something personalised is the best kind of gift there is – it is unlike anything else that person will receive & it shows the thought & love that has gone into it.


Your name: Nicci Nathanson (Zunica Joao)

Business name: Nicci Illustration

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Social media handles: Facebook & Instagram

Tell me a bit more about what you do: I am an illustrator specialising in children’s book illustration. I also love doing character illustrations, surface pattern design, educational illustration and I have just started giving illustration workshops.

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Have you always enjoyed art: I grew up in a small mining town and always escaped into my imagination so I started drawing in Primary school and at the age of 12 I started taking art classes and the art grew from there.

How is your style unique to others: I draw everything by hand and then scan my images in and usually colour them in digitally, so I find the hand-drawn element creates it’s own unique feel just as a signature would. I then use my wacom to colour in my images in Illustrator and Photoshop. I think my style is a bit quirky, colourful and hopefully expressive so I try and capture what my content is thinking. I also love adding texture to my drawings.

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Do you do custom orders: All my orders are custom but I also do small orders. It’s always fun to do character portraits which make great gifts from a pet portrait to a family portraits.

How can people place an order with you: They can email me (niccinathanson@gmail.com), it’s always lovely to hear people’s ideas and create something truly special.

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I see you have also done a few books – where can people buy these from:  I am currently busy with two books, the one is a book for Penguin which will be out later this year.
I have illustrated 7 books and have done many other educational books and covers. Some of them are out of print already but you can find these books here:

Mister Snail – here

Die Geheime bestaandeel in Petra Pienk se piesangbrood – here

My first atlas – here

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Why are you so passionate about what you do: I think illustrating is a bit like magic because you are taking an idea in your mind and turning it into something you can see, it’s a conversation and like visual candy. It’s also like creating for your inner child.

Quote you live by: Creativity takes courage – Henri Matisse

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Anything else you want to add: I believe that everyone has creativity in them, it just manifests in different ways and is a language that needs to be spoken.

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Don’t you adore these illustrations?  And don’t they leave you with the biggest smile ever?

Hmmm…  Methinks it’s time for an updated pic of husband & myself to add to our collection!


 

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Olive and Arrow

When it comes to art, there are so many different, unique styles & whenever I seem to think I have discovered that which I love the most I seem to discover another.  Have you ever heard of “one line drawing”?  It is as the name says, & coming across Olive & Arrow introduced me to this gorgeous way of capturing moments & I have fallen head over heels for her work!

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I started following her on Instagram after she was mentioned in a post I saw, & couldn’t believe the emotion & how much detail she could capture through her one line drawings.  Look at the pics above & below, & you can see what I mean!

This was taken from her website, & when I saw this I knew I had to reach out immediately.  “One often comes across somebody with exceptional talent – but lacking professional and interpersonal skills. Or, one finds that likable personality – but without creativity and a sense of business ethics.”


Your name:  Charise Steyn

Business name: Olive & Arrow Design, named after my daughter Olivia and son Hunter.  Based in Hermanus, Overberg.

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Social media handles: Instagram, FacebookWebsite

A bit more about what you do: I do a bit of everything, from logos to restaurant menus. I also do illustrations and my favourite – one line drawings. My one line drawings started out with me playing around and has grown into something I would love to do on a daily basis. I don’t see myself having a unique style of art, it all just comes naturally (from the heart) when it needs to. I also like playing around with different styles, so I never know what’ll be next.

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When did I start: Olive & Arrow started slowly after my daughter was born and grew more and more after my son’s birth. Now its my third baby!

What did I do before this: What did I not do haha. Tried it all, art won!

Have you always been artistic: Yes, it’s in my blood. I’ve only now discovered that I can make a living from it.

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Do you do custom pieces? Price range? My one line drawings are based on a photo you send me, but I’m always up for trying something new and different. One line drawings start from R900.

Favourite pieces to date: I don’t really have favourites, each piece is different. I am mostly proud of myself as I grow and get better and do things I haven’t done before.

Can people still order for Christmas: Yes, there is still a chance to place orders for Christmas.

How to place an order: To place an order just send me an email of your favourite photo(s) and I do the rest. It takes about a week to finish up the drawing, have it printed and then sent to its new home.

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Why do you encourage people to support local: Supporting local really makes the owner do a little happy dance, it helps to build a dream and you really get a piece of the owners heart with each item you buy.

Quotes to live by: I’ve got two favourite quotes from Morgan Harper Nichols:

“Through all that bends and breaks, you are still wrapped in grace”
&
“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents and those moments weren’t in vain. You are not the same, you have grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living. You are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.”

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You’ve made me think why I adore these quotes…

you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. (this is just SO beautiful to me, constant reminder)

I think this sentence should just be my favourite quote, I’m making it a quote on its own.


Charise is currently busy with my pic – I sent her a few of my favourite photos of husband & me, & she is creating a surprise for me.  I can’t wait to own a piece of this magic in my home & will always treasure this talent!

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This is another one of my favourite pieces of her art, & probably the one that got me hooked into following her!  We all know unicorns are my spirit animal & I love the freedom portrayed in this image.

Charise, thank you so much for your time & love.  I am so glad we are in contact now, & thank you for sharing your skills with all of us!  I truly hope that your gorgeous business will continue to thrive, & that I will see more of your art in some of my favourite places.


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