I came across a pretty awesome table that was set up with hand drawn illustrations and comics by Donya Todd and her boyfriend Jack Teagle. I instantly fell in love with both of their art work. I really wanted to find out some more about what inspired Donya to draw and what her inspirations are so I emailed her some questions to answer as I know a few of my followers love drawing and want to take it further, maybe her answers will be of some help to you!
What inspires you when it comes to drawing?
Donya: Cute stories, wild landscapes, Old magic and other artists work.
Do you ever have days where you feel your art isn't good enough (even though it's awesome!!)Donya : Thank- you, all the time! The joy of being an artist is that you feel free when things are going great,
and you're being recognised for your efforts, and doing exactly what you want to do and it's
magically working out. The downside is that when things aren't going well, all those feelings of
insecurity and self-esteem get tied up in how work is going. If work is going terrible it
can be hard to pick yourself up out of a slump. How do you separate yourself emotionally from
something that is so integral to your ego?
Mostly when I have a low point it's because I'm not making much money. I get this feeling like
art is the only thing I can do and I'm not succeeding at it fast enough. Sometimes it's so
easy to get caught up in my own pity party but it's such a toxic way of thinking. I have so much
support from friends, family and fans that it drives me to believe in myself, and in turn try to
support other people who are feeling the same way.
How would you describe your style of drawings/art?Donya : Surreal, Creepy cute, occasionally bonkers.
(Donya Todd artwork)
(Donya Todd Artwork)
How old were you when you realised that drawing was something you enjoyed?
Donya: I used to copy my older brothers sketchbooks. And later, in school
I wanted to be the best! I spent a lot of my free time drawing, watching cartoons and making
my own comics. I realised I wanted to be an artist when I was chosen to help paint a
mural of Noahs ark in our primary school canteen. There were only a few of us - including somehow my
nemesis, a girl I had fought with and had to be separated from, as she copied my
drawing of an apple (something she denies to this day.) Later I was torn between wanting
to write or to draw. I came to the conclusion that I should do both and make my own books!
You and jack both run chubby together, how did you end up with the idea for this and the name?Donya: The Teeshirt idea was Jacks, The name Chubby was mine. We both worked on the Logo,
Jack did the text and I made the wiener dog. We had both had a bit of clothing design work
and were realising the potential for profit rather than the pittance we were paid per
Percentage of sale. Jack had some savings so we went for it. People seem to really enjoy
our style, and we keep seeing Chub-club gangs wearing the same tees which is amazing.
You and jack are very creative do you get inspiration from each other?
Donya: We live together, but we don't work together. Jack has a Studio up the roadin an old shipping container and I work in our bedroom.
We tried working in the same room but it turns out living and working together
is just too much... It's healthier for us just to meet up every now and then and
show off what we've been working on individually. If one of us needs help we will sit down
and work it out together - but mostly we are very solitary.
Lastly what advice can you give to people who want to show sell their art work but are afraid people won't like/buy it?Donya : Firstly, Make sure you have a professional website. A smart looking tumblr will do (but not
deviantart...) Get your work out there, make friends with people online who do work like you.
Set up an online shop - Etsy, BigCartel, Storenvy, Folksy, Shopify. I have not one but three shops,
all with different advantages and audiences. Even if you don't sell much at
first, all the traffic from your networking online can be driven to your products, and set you
up for a steady (or nicely erratic) income.
Next take your work to sell at places. As comic artists there are several conventions we
can do every year, and we do rather well at them selling face to face. Apply this to your
Art style, find a gallery/store that sells similar work and get in touch about exhibiting, Try
and get your products into shops where people will see them, go to places and
socialise/network. We live in the stix and do most of our work through the internet
but you can't beat going for a pint with like-minded, passionate people who will initiate
new opportunities, ideas, and adventures. These people will be your friends and allies and
should be clung to as long as you impact positively in each other lives.
The only way your going to find out if people like your work is by getting it out there,
building a small fan base, and trusting that everything will be okay if you keep making
the work you are passionate about.
Finally, just keep making work. It will evolve dramatically over time and it's only by doing
this that you'll find out what people like. Good luck!
If any of you would like to check out Donya and Jacks work i have included the links below: