We live in a wonderful time don’t you think? A time where we have the exposure to incredible people and their works on a daily basis. What’s more, we stand a chance to approach them personally, celebrate their works online and much more. Way back when I was a kid, to me, artists who drew the cartoons in Tinkle or Chandamama were all but an enigma. Yes, I knew their names, awaited their works to be delivered to me every fortnight, but that was about it. We never had the opportunity to get to know these artists, as intimately and as lovingly as it is possible today. Today, we are in a position, both reader wise and platform wise, where we can blatantly approach these artists, illustrators and painters, and talk to them. That opportunity actually makes me jump out of the bed every day. Now then, we are talking to one such wonderful artist, who runs the super adorable page, Neha Doodles. Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting to you, Neha Sharma of Neha Doodles…
So Neha, what’s the story behind the super cute stick comic styles doodles that you put up on Neha Doodles? What were the factors that made you take up this, and make not only just the comic branding but also a comprehensive cultural propagation?
I have always been a doodler ever since I can remember. But doodling has never been considered an art form in the past. Especially in India. People stick to portraits and landscapes when teaching or describing art. I cannot do that. I cannot draw realistic art. Hence, I never considered myself an artist. So I used to upload my doodles on my social media accounts just for fun. But then people started liking and relating to the characters I’d draw and I realised that this style is something I’d like to continue making.
With some idea of where Neha Doodles started, we’d like to know your story too. Who is Neha, beyond her doodles, and her witty cartoons? And how do you perhaps find the inspiration to draw up stories which are highly relatable?
I am a 25-year-old CA dropout who did not know what her passion was until she was 22 years of age. I’d see other people knowing what they wanted to do in life ever since they were kids. I didn’t know that. So I pursued Chartered Accountancy because I was smart in academics. Apart from this backstory, I am a dog-obsessor, a stationery hoarder and a daydreamer. The inspiration for my stories comes from my vivid, hyperactive imagination. I cook up scenarios in my head which are inspired by real-life events mostly and illustrate them into a comic.
Most illustrators give names to their creations. So, do you do that? If yes, what are they called?
Yes, I do. My characters are usually very Desi-ly named. I have a cow in my comics named Champa, a pandit ji named Paapdilal, a lizard named Kalawati and a baby lizard (who wants to avenge her mother’s death) named Somwati.
Now, you’ve been getting fame and recognition all over, recently Neha Doodles crossed 50K followers on Instagram as well. The reason I’m mentioning these is that with more popularity comes more pressure to do work. How do you manage that? Do you plan a team under Neha Doodles someday?
Haha. Actually, I do have a small team with me. But yes with greater things on the horizon we do plan on expanding. I will of course always take care of the drawing and conceptualising part. But for everything else I intend to hire help.
In an interview, you spoke about getting curation works from different brands. Now, how easy or difficult is it for you and Neha Doodles to work for a thought which is not yours? Most creative people have a certain problem accepting an alien thought and work on it. Do you face the same? Also, how has the experience been working with these brands?
This depends on a brand to brand. I recently worked with Dunkin Donuts for their Rakshabandhan campaign and it was one of the best clients I have worked with. I say this because I was given the entire creative freedom for this project. And I was of course given a brief but creatively this was a very enriching experience. With brands like these, who trust my creative instinct, working is a breeze. And in most cases, the output comes out really great. However, I have also worked with some brands who were very rigid about the slightest of details. There have also been creative conflicts but I have always tried my best to learn something from every experience. I don’t have a problem in accepting an alien thought. But sometimes I don’t like the final output as much but the brand loves it and it’s hard to make them understand my point of view.
Now then, who do you look to for inspiration? Say, is there a comic strip, a doodle figure, anything which always peps you up and gives you great ideas? Also, name one artist who in your regard, makes the best comics and illustrations out there?
I take my inspiration from everything that’s happening around me or with me. Adam Ellis is one artist who makes the absolute best comics. I love him!
To wrap it up, what would you advise anyone looking to make their career out of artwork? Are there any courses you think are required to really pass the edge? Also, in today’s world where creativity is being touted as the biggest asset of mankind, how do you Neha, constantly inspire yourself?
The only advice I have for new artists is to KEEP AT IT. Do not draw for a while and forget about it for 3 lifetimes. Be regular. Draw every day. I strongly believe in the “Practice makes man perfect” theory because I have seen it come alive in my own work. Not perfect but my art has bettered over the years. I am a self-taught artist so I do not believe one needs to do a course to be good at this. My constant inspiration is the love & feedback of my audience. When people DM you how your comic brought a smile to their face and made their bad day insanely better you just CANNOT stop.
So, that was Neha Sharma, being clear and crisp as to how she goes about delivering adorable doodles consistently. Of course, we’re sure that we’ll keep hearing her name more often than ever in time to come and Neha Doodles is going to really flourish all over the web. The sheer talent oozing out on paper is bound toworldwide wide recognition shortly. Go check out her FaceBook Page and Instagram pages here. And Be In Love with Life.
Loved the insightful thought process of an artist? Then we’re sure that you’d love to follow our interviews with other renowned doodlers and illustrators as well. Feel free to check these out as well as a suggested read as well. Our interviews with DoodleODrama’s Mounica Tata and TheTap’s Ramya Sriram.
Doodles Make The World A Happier Place To Live In.