The nationwide lockdowns and economic crisis bred helplessness, stemming from the inability to meet and communicate with friends and family. Seeking help had become tough, especially for those in the early stages of depression.
So Bhavya Doshi, with her venture – The Doodle Desk, took to motivating her followers to stay positive during the lockdown. “My doodles are often the starting point for many to share how they are feeling. During the lockdown, people actively shared how they started feeling better after waking up to my positive doodles and strong messages,” says Doshi.
Her Instagram page (@thedoodledesk) has over two lakh followers, of which, 81 per cent are women. The page is full of colourful, minimal, and witty doodles with a strong message, often on self-realisation. An MBA, Doshi says, “The Doodle Desk as a concept is the art of spreading joy. I started in 2015 when both my parents passed away within a year. It was a difficult time for me. I had quit my corporate job and started reading a lot of motivational stuff to uplift myself. One day I sat down and made a list of the things I love to do.”
And she zeroed in on colouring. “My dad was a doctor who helped people, and I thought of helping people in my own way. Things fell into place, and I started doing doodles, combined with motivational messages.”
For the first few years, she doodled on paper, click pictures and upload these online. She moved onto tracing, and now she creates these freely on her laptop. “When I started, I didn’t know how to make digital doodles. So, I got hold of a laptop, downloaded some software, watched videos and learnt to doodle. I am not a certified graphic artist but it is my passion, and I practiced the art diligently,” adds the Gurugram-based artist, who takes inspiration from Kawai doodles by Japanese and Korean artists.
“During the lockdown, I started a 10-day initiative ‘Draw at home with TDD’, where I announced a topic and people would draw, and I would motivate them by posting their work to my story. I got a very good response. After that, I started a ‘Step-by-step with TDD’, where I taught very simple doodles, now up the website.”
Next on the cards is The Doodle Desk merchandise. “I wanted to give strength to people going through difficult phase in their life. I think when you do something with love and a kind heart, it pays you back. I will be producing T-Shirts, posters, coffee mugs, sippers, and all the things that you can use from morning till evening. I want to make these little items a way to cheer people up throughout the day. I think I will be able to launch it in the next six months.”
The self-learned artist has also put up videos on her page to guide people who want doodle. On working single-handedly, she says, “When I started, a lot of things were new to me. Finalising drawings, posting photos, replying to DMs, doing live sessions, but I believe when you love what you are doing, the whole process becomes interesting. After the situation gets better, I will expand and have a proper office. There’s too much to handle because I daily get 50-100 DMs on an average. I have a Happy Club with over 3,000 members on my website, where anyone can register, and leave me a message,” adds Doshi, who has received awards such as the Most Influential Content Marketing Professional in the Content Marketing Summit Awards given by the World Marketing Congress CMO Global Awards; Role Player 2019 by the World Marketing Congress CMO Global Awards, and Social Samosa SuperWoman 2020.