By Hand From The Heart: One Show, Many Stories!

By Hand From The Heart is a curated makers market event in Chennai, South India. UPCOMING EVENT: 24th – 25th, AUGUST, CROWNE PLAZA, CHENNAI

Meet The Maker: Rachna Raghuram, Illustrator

doodle doo- rachna

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Rachna Raghuram, a self-taught illustrator and I work out of my home studio in Mysore, Karnataka. When I am not working on commissioned artwork, I am busy designing and selling illustrated products under the label ‘Doodle Doo’. I began my tryst with art over 5 years ago when I started illustrating children’s books, while also juggling a regular 9-to-5 job. It was only two years ago that I felt like I needed to express my creativity more and decided to quit my corporate job – best decision ever!

How would you describe what you do; and how long have you been making and creating?

Doodle Doo is a small range of cutesy illustrated products. The idea for Doodle Doo came to me in 2014 when I found myself frantically looking for an illustrated pocket mirror that I could buy. Not finding anything that I liked, I decided that I’d just design my own. Or even better – design a whole bunch of them and sell them!

After three months of scribbling, coloring, discarding artwork and scribbling again, I finally ended up with a set of illustrations that were ready to go on pocket mirrors and also few other products that you’d want to either buy for yourself or as a gift. That’s how Doodle Doo took root.

Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.

Currently, Doodle Doo products include – illustrated pocket mirrors, fridge magnets, recipe book with an illustrated cover and funky ‘Beware of the Dog’ signs. All these products are available on my online store and will be available at the upcoming BHFTH event. For the August edition of By Hand From the Heart Artisan Market, I will also be selling laptop sleeves.

Can you describe your work place / space?

doodle doo studio

My workspace is very basic but has bangs of colour and loud music blaring in the background at all times.

What is a typical day at Doodle Doo like?

A typical day begins with me checking my email, taking care of orders (since I am a one-woman army at Doodle Doo), doing a warm-up doodle and working on commissioned illustrations or new artwork for products. The problem with working out of a home studio is there is no real way of knowing when to wrap up work. So I do end up working way longer than I need to everyday! Not that I’m complaining!

What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in everything around me. Anything I look at becomes a doodle in my head. And if I think it might look good on a product, then that is exactly what happens! But I also find other illustrators’ work very inspiring because there are so many talented people out there and thanks to the Internet, help is at hand when you need to work through a creative block.

Can you describe your creative process and what is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?

I like to constantly come up with ideas for fun, playful artwork that will make people smile. It begins with a basic idea in my head and I quickly draw out a few versions of it. Once I’m happy with a particular squiggle, I work on the digital art, decide what product it might look good on and take it from there. The most rewarding part of the entire process would have to be when customers love your products or artwork and compliment you for it. That makes all the effort worthwhile.

What’s the best thing about being a crafter / designer?

The best part is being your own boss. You set your own schedule and make all the decisions, right from the artwork to the finished products. I also love how no two days are ever the same in my area of work. Therefore, there is never a dull day in the studio.

What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work? 

I’d say go for it. The more you procrastinate, the more discouraged you will get. If you have a good idea, with a small investment create a set of products that you can test the market with. Based on the response you get, make your decision about the types of products you will sell and the scale of your business.

Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months?

Over the coming months I plan on introducing a new range of products and designs that will be available on my online store.

Rachna Raghuram will showcase her illustrations based products, at the By Hand, From The Heart Artisan & Farmers Market | 7- 8 August 2015 | 10 a.m – 8 p.m | Hanu Reddy Residences, 41/19, Poes Garden, Teynampet, Chennai.

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