I am a Brighton based doodler and I believe that art is for everyone. It doesn't have to be 'worthy' in order to be worth sharing. Creative practices are a core part of the human experience, a vital part of connecting us to each other and the world around us.
Tell us a little bit about your hustle and your happiness journey.
I have always been a doodler. My parents divorced when I was very young and I think drawing was a really practical way of keeping me and my sister sat in one place for more than five minutes when either of my parents were feeling overwhelmed. I grew up reading manga, graphic novels and watching various forms of animation and have always loved how, even when stylized, drawn faces can carry a lot of emotion.
At school I struggled with art classes. I didn't have a great teacher and I lost a lot of enjoyment for expressing myself through drawing. I didn't understand the purpose of copying other people's art when there were all these pictures were in my head trying to get out. I ended up carrying on my studies in drama, but all the while was secretly doodling away in notebooks.
This year I experienced a period of depression and anxiety, during this time I found myself drawing more and more and developed a distinct style of line work. Once I had found my voice and style I found it incredibly easy to access that creative part of me. Encouraged by this newly discovered flow I shared my drawings with friends and family. It was their encouragement that lead me to set up Daily Doodle, and since then I have found a really talented and authentic community through the blog.
What do you do to de-stress after or during a long, stressful day?
Through work I have developed a very steadying mindfulness practice with guidance from Joel and Michelle Levey. It has been pivotal in helping me accept my depression and recognize the changing nature of stress. When I have a really bad day I find a mindful walk with the dog or some sitting practice incredibly centering. It might not change how I feel, but it definitely helps me recognize that my identity isn't defined by stress or anxiety.
More recently I have been incorporating my drawing as a kind of embodiment practice which has been really satisfying. I highly recommend to anyone who meditates to take something they do every day and incorporate it into your practice. It makes even the most normal things seem extraordinary.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I think a common mistake when you're seeking inspiration is that you need to find the perfect place. Somewhere that's peaceful, or full of beauty. If you cultivate the right mindset then inspiration will come to you. For example, another interpretation of the word respect is to look again (re-return, spect-see). How often do you look again at the things you see everyday? That kind of inspiration is right there for you to see it, you just have to know how to change the way you interpret what is there.
What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs, etc.)?
I am a massive sci-fi nerd, so it's fair to say that at any given moment I have a copy of one of Asimov or Ray Bradbury's stories next to my bed. At the moment I am rereading Dune by Frank Herbert. My father gave me a copy of his when I was about 15, and I have had a love affair with the series ever since. Last year the front cover finally gave up the ghost, so for my birthday I got a new copy with amazing deco-style cover art, so I could fall in love all over again.
I also tend to watch a lot of Star Trek on TV and have just finished watching this seasons Ru Paul's Drag Race All Stars. I love the amazing level of artistry and creativity in the Drag community, and unlike a lot of reality TV, Drag Race has managed to honor its competitors without taking itself too seriously. It's a thin line to walk and they do it with such irreverence that I defy anyone who likes to dress up, to watch it and not become an obsessed super fan.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone just starting their happy hustle journey?
Invest time in finding your voice. Without it hustling online can feel a lot like shouting into a void. If you manage to find your voice and your style, then it becomes more like singing. You might be performing a solo, but at least you will be enjoying the sound.
What are some of your favorite quotes or words to live by?
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires, seek discipline and find your liberty." Frank Herbert
In one word, sum up your life as a Happy Hustler.
What are the three core values of your hustle and how do those values relate to your happiness?
1. Find something enjoyable and learn to do it well. See it as a discipline. Set yourself small goals which carry you towards yours ultimate aim in steps rather than leaps. That way creative block is fleeting and often distant and hard work is fulfilling rather than draining.
2. Seek out feedback and listen to it non-judgmentally, it's the only way to grow.
3. Find your people and soak up what they have to teach you. Remember the African proverb - 'If you want to go quickly go alone. If you want to go far go together.' Africa is the largest continent on Earth, I trust whoever came up with that proverb knew how to travel far.