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See all stories by Chitra Ratnaker
Meet Neha Sharma, aka Neha Doodles, who is breaking stereotypes by making a career out of doodling and illustrations. From being a CA aspirant to a full-time doodler/illustrator and a social media star, Neha has made a career out of the most unusual of hobbies, ‘doodling’.
A full-time art doodler, who quit her chartered accountancy to become what she is today! Neha reaches a minimum of 15 Lakh unique accounts every week on her Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page. But let’s just not go on the numbers. Comics, Doodles, and graphics are her life and forte.
Neha is popularly known for her rants on social issues and issues that concern the common class, slapstick humor on dank TV serials, hilarious punchlines on Sarojini Nagar, the good old Janpath, and her so-called ‘sanskari’ dog Minty.
Doodling was never on Neha’s wishlist. The whims and fancies of a child’s mind, her plan A and plan B included a vet and a detective. That didn’t work either. Ask her about her childhood and she says, “I never believed and I was never told that I was good at art. Rather I believed I sucked at it. Though I always enjoyed doodling at the back of my notebooks, I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that those doodles were really good”
Her journey started from casually posting her doodles on social media. People started loving it. One of her works got picked up by The Telegraph – Kolkata. Fan following grew from 15 to 150 and reached a whopping 15 lakh. After that, there was no looking back. Feature brands started contacting her for projects and she realized she could make it big. Her profession now not only earns her bread and butter but also extra cheese and oregano!!
When not doodling, she is found playing with her pet, ‘Minty’. Her biggest inspiration has been her love for doodling. She works for hours at a stretch and enjoys every bit of it. “The entire work process and the hard work is rewarding and rejuvenating”, shares Neha.
Neha is currently working on a huge series of comics for GOFRO – a travel curation service, a chatbot mascot for StyleDotMe – a fashion app, a mascot for The Darzi Bar & Kitchen, Connaught Place, a branding assignment for Beartsy and numerous other projects under her hand.
Her biggest inspiration has been her mother and Lilly Singh aka Superwoman. They are the lady bosses, proud, successful and inspiring. Ask her about all the people who disparages her work saying, “Beta koi dhang ki naukri kar lo(dear, do some proper job)” and she quips, “if I had a dollar for everytime someone told me that, I’d be Bill Gates“.
Neha reaches a minimum of 15 lakh unique accounts every week through her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. Her business model is based on illustration projects and social media influencing.
But the house has not two but three strong ladies including ‘Minty’, her pet dog. Neha is very fond of Minty and you can see her featuring often in her posts, doodles, and illustrations. Neha shares, “Minty is the sunshine of my life. Even though she gives me no attention and it is usually me running after her begging for some love she has totally changed my life for the better”
Neha shrugs off the questions and looks of derision from uncles and aunties, when she mentions that she draws for a living. She is proudly breaking the stereotypical, “Meri beti Doctor/Engineer/CA banegi”.
Lastly, Neha believes every woman should be financially independent. She sends out a loud and clear message to all the women out there, “Learn to see your beauty and talent without a mirror and compliments”.