The Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book was brought to my attention by one of the contributors to my own colouring book, Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion). Sophie Corrigan was also picked to appear in this latest offering from cult website Doodlers Anonymous, run by founder and editor Rony Tako (or OKAT) and coding supremo Hugo Seijas. The book is described as “An Extraordinary Mashup of Doodles and Drawings Begging to be Filled in with Color” and features the work of 90 artists from across the globe. Because it showcases a huge variety of illustrative styles there is something to suit everyone, and the book is highly recommended for anyone who likes the kind of colouring book that I have put together. I spoke with OKAT about colouring, doodling and juggling…
You’ve just released an epic colouring book that features 90 artists that was put together by open brief, what prompted you to do the book, why did you decide on the open brief and how long has it taken to put together?
I’d say just about everything we create at Doodlers Anonymous is by open call through our community. I created Doodlers Anonymous in 2008 because I wanted to bring exposure to people like myself, who love to doodle, draw and scribble. There’s no better way to do that then by letting anyone and everyone (from fresh novices to veteran illustrators) participate and potentially sit side by side on the page.
How did you pick the artists featured in your book? I believe you have Sophie Corrigan who has also done something fab for mine! Good choice
Sophie’s page is great, she’s an awesome talent. Filtering the submissions down to the ones featured in the book was not easy, but it was definitely fun and rewarding to be reminded of how much great talent is out there. The team and I basically printed every submission and for the most part narrowed them down by keeping a few things in mind:
1) Is the drawing style of this artwork different and interesting?
2) Will this be fun to color in?
The other thing we had to keep in mind when filtering the submissions down from such a large open call was making sure to avoid repetition of a specific theme or style. We put a lot of effort into ensuring there’s a balance in the book, which means we sometimes had to reject a drawn submission we personally loved.
Do you colour yourself? If so then can you tell us what kind of images you tend to prefer and what materials you work in?
I definitely love to color, especially other people’s artwork. Mostly because my personal art style is almost always made with just a black-ink pen, so I envy those artworks that are so bold and pop with color. I like using colored pencils or bright and cheap medium-tipped markers.
How do you think the worlds of colouring and doodling intersect, and do you think there’s any snobbery involved between one or the other?
I think there’s a definite correlation between the two. For me (and I expect for many others), doodling is an exercise in doing something that’s not intended to be structured or have any specific agenda, just put your pen to the sketchbook and let your brain and creativity wander around the page. In that sense, the same goes for coloring, the beautiful artwork is laid-out before you so now you can relax, de-stress and just enjoy the process of bringing the artwork to life.
Your website has been going for a long time now, why did you set it up in the first place and has it turned out the way you expected?
It’s crazy. I think in internet years we are considered almost pre-historic. I didn’t have many expectations at all. When our website launched it seemed doodling was such a niche activity that I figured the community would be small and stay relatively small. In fact, in the beginning we’d often get emails from people asking us what it meant to doodle. Fast-forward to 2015 and you can’t walk into a bookstore without being bombarded by doodle books. It’s great and wonderful that it’s become so popular. We love how large the community has grown and they continue to inspire us each and every day with their talents.
What else do you do when you’re not making colouring books or managing the website and how do you split your workload so that everything gets done?
We juggle. Juggle, juggle, juggle. In my day-to-day I actually work as a creative director and designer for my clients. So you’ll typically find me either presenting or concepting a brand, logo or website project. The balance of my time goes to Doodlers Anonymous. I’ve been multitasking like this for years and I still have no clue how to split my workload so it’s anymore efficient or well-scheduled, but I tend to think that’s just how I work. Things would get boring otherwise.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have any other colouring books planned?
It’s really exciting, we have a ton of things planned for 2016. Some of them in collaboration with other brands and partners, and other things will be exclusive stuff from the Doodlers Anonymous community. Stay tuned! In regards to coloring books, well, I think they will always be part of our DNA, we’ve been making them long before they became a trend and we hope to be making long after as well.
Thanks Amelia! xoxo
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