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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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Sunkissedstudio Design

Some time ago I wrote a blog about Samantha’s business, Sunkissed Handmade. I am a huge fan of her beautiful headgear, flower crowns, mermaid crowns and every single design she presents.  This past week I saw another post on her page where she showed the fact that she can now turn you/a loved one into a MERMAID, as well as creating digital art of your pets.  Now I don’t know about you, but I have always dreamt about being a magical being and this honestly excites me so much.  Plus I know that my animals are royalty at heart so her creations are right at the top of my birthday wishlist!

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Your name: Samantha Hanlon

Business name: Sunkissedstudio Design

Social media handles: Design – Facebook; Handmade – Facebook and Instagram; Photography – Facebook and Instagram

Tell me a bit more about how this business came about:  I have been running my own business as a freelance photographer and designer for almost 12 years now. Before I decided to work for myself, I worked as a fashion designer for suppliers to top retail stores and international brands.
I have been focusing on my photography and crown-making mostly, but when this lockdown started, I realised that it would need to change my focus.
My clients have come to expect a certain level of pretty, light and happy imagery from my photography and a delight for princesses, young and old, in my crowns. I wanted to offer the same feeling but in something digital.
I decided to promote my design page and particularly the fantasy portraits, as a whimsical escape from the harsh reality of life. They make the perfect gift in a time when we can’t leave our homes to actually give loved ones presents, and there are no courier costs involved. The A4 digital image can be sent to anyone with an email address anywhere in the world!

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Have you always been so creative:  Yes, absolutely.
I studied Textile design and then fashion design and worked in the fashion industry for many years as a graphic artist and designer, which is where I honed my photoshop skills, which came in handy when I started doing photography. I always have a creative project on the go.

Please can you tell me a bit more about the specials you are running at the moment:
I am currently offering A4 digital portraits for just R250 each during lockdown.
I have a variety of themes to choose from but an happy to make custom orders too.

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Where did these ideas come from:
I have always photoshopped fantasy images for fun, usually for birthday cards or making memes.  It always makes people so happy to get something personalised and meaningful as a gift.

Which have been your favourite mermaid & pet portraits:
I have to say, one of my favourites is the mermaid – purrmaid portrait I did of my cat Lilly.
I enjoy doing each artwork and love hearing how much my clients love them.

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Can people still order from you during lockdown & how will they receive their images:  Yes! I email your digital file to you, so it’s easy.

Who do you think your ideal clients would be:  My ideal clients are the same amazing people who love my photography and crowns.

“They are day dreamers and night thinkers, they love music, books, movies , art, sunsets, forests and oceans and all things that make this world a more beautiful place. They are people with imagination.”

What do you need from people to create these images:
I need 3-5 photographs emailed to me. I do offer some guidelines as to which sort of images work best.  You can email these through to me.

How has lockdown affected your business:
I have been unable to run my small business, I am a single mother and also support my parents and handicapped brother. So quitting is not an option.
Thankfully creativity is my super-power and I can draw on my experience and talent to keep providing for my family.

Mermaid_maternity

Quote you live by:
“A person who is a master in the art of living makes little distinction between their work and their play, their labour and their leisure, their mind and their body, their education and their recreation, their love and their religion.
They hardly know which is which and simply pursue their vision of excellence and grace, whatever they do.
Leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing. To them they are always doing both”
― James A. Michener

Anything else you want to add:
Please support small businesses at this time. There is no such thing as an “essential” or” non-essential” business.
Every business is essential to the person who earns a living from it.

“Have courage and be kind….and keep day dreaming”

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Please follow all of Sam’s beautiful pages and support her artistic talent.  These would make great birthday gifts, lockdown happiness, anniversary gifts, or even simply just-because.  If you have always dreamed of magic, or if your daughter/niece/friend has a vivid imagination; why not make it a reality.  Or if your pets personality makes you picture them as a dame from the 1920s, or a court jester, or even a student at Hogwarts – make this happen by contacting Sam.  Her talent truly knows no bounds and she is one of the kindest people I have ever dealt with.

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Oodles of Doodles Creations

As I am sure you know by now (if you have been following me for any time), I love to find artists in South Africa.  I have found some really talented men & women, & have some super special artwork displayed in our house because of that.

I have had an idea for a new blog image for Flowercrowns & Treatment for some time, but have been looking for a style that really spoke to me & reflected who I really am in 2020.  I wanted something fun, colourful & happy!  And it was time for an update as I am no longer that sick little girl that I was just over a year ago…

I spent hours googling artists in South Africa.  I looked at their images, I spoke to friends & I asked for advice.  And then, finally, I discovered Oodles of Doodles.  I knew I had found something really special, & instantly wanted to have a picture done.  And you will see why this is my new feature image now!


Your names: Mish Roodman and Shaun Roodman

Business name: Oodles of Doodles Creations

Social media handles:  Facebook, Instagram & Website

Tell me a bit more about what you do:  Oodles of Doodles Creations is a small yet powerful graphic design company that is ready to take on all your design needs and boost your brand. As they say ‘dynamite comes in small packages’ and that’s exactly what we are. A dynamic duo ready to tackle all your artistic needs. With many years of experience in the industry, our team is able to translate your ideas into reality and make your design dreams come true. But what makes us very special is our Caricatures.
Shaun is a very Talented caricaturist and towards the end of last year he decided to follow his dream and add it as a service with our company. It really took off from there. People were falling in love with his fun unique style on them.
All you have to do is send him some photos of yourself and he will draw you and your loved ones, even your furbabies.

What is your pricing for these orders:
We offer 2 options.
Black and white line art or full colour.
Black and white R250
Full-colour R400.

This is for one person. But you can add other people in for an additional cost.

Add more people in your drawings, Limited to 2 adults and 2 children per drawing.
R50 pp – Line art
R100 pp – Full colour
We can also add your fur babies.
R50 – Line art
R80 – Full colour
All prices are per person and per fur baby.

How long does it usually take you to complete an order:  It depends on the season. About a week. But over the festive season we were swamped so it was 3 weeks.

How can people place an order:  Via Facebook or email.

Have you always been artistic:  We have both always been very artistic for many years. We both met at Animation college and have been dating ever since.
It has been 10 years now.

Why are you so passionate about what you do:  Shaun is passionate about his drawing as it takes him to a different world. It lets him escape his usual hustle and bustle of work that is more corporate. It allows him to express his artistic flair in a fun manner that brings joy to others as well. So many people enjoy his work and seeing the fun they have with the caricatures brings him joy too.

What has been your personal favourite piece:

I would say, Christian and James. They both just captured the people’s personalities so well.

Quote you live by:  It would have to be “Excelsior” by Stan Lee a huge role model to Shaun since he was a child (even to me)
“You know, my motto is ‘Excelsior.’ That’s an old word that means ‘upward and onward to greater glory’. – Stan Lee

Anything else you want to add:
Shaun hopes to keep drawing his amazing caricatures for people and we also hope that you look at the rest of our company for other amazing branding solutions.


I’m sure you can see why I was so attracted to the work that they do, & now, I cannot wait to show you my new official image for Flowercrowns & Treatment…  Drumroll please!

Oodles Line Drawing

The first pencil drawing draft

Oodles Line Art

Line art complete

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Finished product with colour!

I couldn’t be happier with how this has turned out, & really love the idea of using a unique image to portray your personality on your website, email signatures & social media channels.

What do you guys think of my new pic?


 

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Waddles & Radley

Whilst looking for beautiful stationery for my letter writing to my pen pal & just general scrapbooking & journalling, I was thrilled to come across Waddles & Radley.  I placed my order for their Unicorn Waddle Box & waited for this to arrive with great anticipation!  It arrived in a lovely box with my name on it & ribbon tied around it.  From the first impression you could immediately see the level of care & love that goes into putting these together & that the owners truly care about what they are doing.

I opened the box & saw a whole pile of gorgeous goodies lying there just waiting to be admired!  I immediately contacted Waddles & Radley, & asked them if it would be possible to do a blog about them.  It would just be selfish if I kept this gem to myself & knew I had to tell more people about this beautiful discovery.27858916_630842930443544_1841479461248065678_n

The Unicorn Edition included:
5x bright coloured C6 envelopes
5x A6 folded greeting cards
1x A5 weekly planner notepad
1x sticker sheet (assorted designs)10x gift tags with ribbon
1x A5 art print
4x adhesive backed inspiration labels
5x assorted paper straws (various patterns)
1x 2m dot satin ribbon
1x 2m petersham ribbon1x mini glitter bottle (unicorn farts)
1x battery operated wire twinkle lights
10x mini wooden pegs
3x mini foldback clips (assorted colours)
1x fridge magnet.


Your name:  Katya and Sean

Business name:  Waddles & Radley Stationery Co.

Social media handles:  Facebook & Instagram

Tell me more about what you do:  We’re a bespoke stationery design studio for weddings and special events. In addition to our design work we have also introduced our lovely Waddle Boxes which allow us to tap into another level of creativity and spread our love for stationery.

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Why stationery:  Why not stationery? We’re the people who look at a digital image and immediately start thinking about how lush it might look printed on a textured board. Or how the colours might pop on a velvet-like backing. We’ve developed a real love and appreciation for paper.

What makes your products so special:  We really do try and make each item special; and we do this through our attention to detail and precision. Every item, no matter how small, is printed, cut and assembled by hand. If you ever happened to be in our studio as we’re packaging Waddle Boxes; you will hear a loud “bye friends” as each item is prepared and locked away in its box for delivery to its new home.

Why do you love what you do:  There’s a saying that when you buy from a small business, an actual person does a happy dance. There could be no truer saying for us than that. It’s unparalleled happiness to know that something you’ve designed, printed, cut and assembled is appreciated by others. Our hearts and souls are poured into our products.

Tell me more about the Waddle Box:  The Waddle Box is a special monthly series of boxes. Each month is a limited edition theme and includes an array of stationery products from notepads to cards and other stationery tools. We try and keep the themes quite fresh and unique; but always try and add a little quirk as well. We’re usually inspired by a ribbon we might find or a funny image and go from there. It’s always an interesting process to see the initial idea transform into the full box.

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What is your favourite product:  The Unicorn Farts (glitter bottle) from our September Unicorn Edition was probably the highlight for us. But it changes from month to month. If it’s quirky, we’re bound to love it.

How can people order from you:  Orders can be placed on our website through our secure online shop powered by Payfast. Alternatively send us an email or a Facebook or Instagram message and we’ll help you through the order process. We’re super friendly!

Quote you live by:  “What if I fall? Oh but darling, what if you fly?”

Anything else you want to add:  We’re always on the lookout for popular themes, so we’d welcome any suggestions!


I just LOVE this idea, & who doesn’t enjoy getting a whole box of happiness & goodies?  Next month they are having a MEOW! Waddle Box, & I am so very tempted to subscribe to this as well – perhaps for a whole year to build up my collection of lovely things so I can write letters to those that are so very special to me & help them see their true worth.  I have included some sneak peaks of their box below – I have framed some of the cards & images from my Unicorn Box as decor & I know that these new creations could be used in this way too.


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Christine Bernard

Family…  Forever.  For Always.  No Matter What.

When its your birthday, you start getting all these requests of “what would you like?”, “what do you want for your birthday?” etc etc.  I had no cooking clue what I really wanted, so began to search for something that would be special & that I would keep forever.

As I was looking around our house, I realised that we didn’t have any recent pictures of husband & myself.  Our last “proper” pictures together were at our wedding – back in October 2012!  Then, I came across a very talented lady called Christine Bernard.  She used to work under Flat White Concepts, but is now in the process of streamlining all her business to her own website & FB page.

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I told husband what I would like, & left the rest up to him…  On my birthday I woke up to not only ONE family pic, but also an image he had had especially designed of how he viewed me.  He had these printed onto canvas for me & they honestly brought tears to my eyes.

Warren Hunter 1

Our whole family together – including the fur-kids

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Husband gave her the following brief:
Warrior
Princess Unicorn
Snowflake

Aren’t these just amazing?  Since then I have contacted her to commission more special pieces for friends & family; & each & every time I am completely blown away by what I get back.  You simply send her photos & descriptions of what you are looking for, any special requests you may have & hobbies of the individuals – then she sends back your one-of-a-kind image within 1-4 days.  #amazeballs

Megan Toni Hunter


I knew I had to get to know Christine a little better so asked her to answer a few questions:

Your name: Christine Bernard
Some interesting/fun facts about you: Other than my love of books, coffee, wine and art, I am OBSESSED with guinea pigs. We have two, and we treat them like our children.
Your business name: I am a novelist and Illustrator, and I also run an online magazine.
When did you start: I started my own business five years ago, when I first moved to Cape Town. I started off just doing the magazine and graphic design, but I have recently added novels and illustrations to the mix.
What did you do before this: I worked as a graphic designer for Mum’s Mail Magazine in Durban.
How/why did you start: I have always wanted to work for myself, so when I moved to Cape Town I decided to take the plunge.
What do you love most about having your own business: The flexibility is the best part. Also, cuddles with my guinea pigs throughout the day.
What have been some of your biggest battles with running your own business: Learning how to switch off is still the hardest part, and I often find myself working in the evenings or on weekends. When I first started out it was also hard to figure out pricing structures, and I said yes to every job that came my way whether it paid well or not. Five years in and I finally know my worth! I also know when to say no!
What is your main objective for your business: My business is a multi-layered – I write novels, I am a freelance writer, I doodle, I do layout design, and I run an online magazine. I like the diversity! It also means I’m never bored.
Links:
Illustration Rates

Thank you Christine for your time spent on all the different projects for me, for creating something I will treasure forever, & for just being you!

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Nib and Bristle

Put on your crown; let us conquer the world.”

For my birthday, I decided I wanted something a little bit special as my “guest book”, & not something that would simply be put away at the bottom of the drawer & forgotten about.  I started googling ideas for this along with ideas for decor, & came across this stunning image.

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I loved the fact that there was still an air of mystery to it, but it captured something that is most important to me – the person’s eyes.

People say that the eyes are a “window to the soul” – that they can tell us much about a person just by gazing into them. Given that we cannot, for example, control the size of our pupils, body language experts can deduce much of a person’s state by factors relating to the eyes.

Now I had to try find someone that would be able to work with this, but still make me something special just for my birthday.  Where would I even start?  Who could I ask?

I had been following an amazing artist at Nib and Bristle for some time & decided I would contact her to get her opinion, as well as see what she could come up with to commemorate such a big event in my life,  Tarran was so helpful from the very moment I contacted her & came back to me with some ideas, as well as asking for photos of me so she could personalise the image to look more like me.  The week before my birthday she came to drop off my canvas with her drawing, & this is what it looked like…

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I immediately teared up when I saw it & was blown away by what she had done.  This really was amazing & something that nobody else owned.  I couldn’t have described it better myself if I had tried!  She captured everything perfectly, & you could tell straight away that this pic was of me.  She is so so talented!

I decided I wanted to get to know her a little better & show off her abilities to more people.  She is such a wonderful person & she truly deserves to do well.

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Tarran’s Self-Portrait


Your name: Tarran Samantha Sanders
Some interesting/fun facts about you: I have a prosthetic bone in my ear haha, I learnt to roller skate when I was about 3 and still love roller blading, I sold my first drawing when I was 10. I love comic books shhhhhh!
Your business name: Nib and Bristle
When did you start: March 2016
What did you do before this: I was a graphic designs and manager of a small signage and branding company
How/why did you start: I decided to go on my own after getting a really awful bacteria in my stomach which has led to many other complications.  This also made me realise I wasn’t doing what I loved doing (being creative and creating artwork)
What do you love most about having your own business: I can be in control of my time and quality of my work.
What have been some of your biggest battles with running your own business: Same old story money, trying to make things work on a shoe string budget.
What is your main objective for your businesses: To combine commercial and fine arts worlds and supply visual works for across the board whether it be a family portraits or a company branding on a vehicle.
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Another example of her work


Please contact her on tarran@nibandbristle.co.za if you would like your own special artwork commissioned, or any company branding done.  Tarran is based in JHB & has such a wide range of skills that truly deserves to be appreciated.  You can visit her FB page or website to get an example!
Thank you Tarran for spoiling me with the most gorgeous picture that I will treasure forever, & for your beautiful heart.  You are one in a million!
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