On Wednesday morning, artist Bhavya Doshi posted a doodle about laws of attraction on Instagram. It showed a beaming earth waving to a dog, wearing an astronaut’s helmet, perched atop the moon. She opened up the post to comments, and was soon flooded with responses. One comment stated that a law of attraction is that what you give to the universe comes right back to you. “Be patient and brave enough to be kind,” it said. Another one mentioned that you only attract the energy you give off. Doshi has been getting such responses to her illustrations since she started The Doodle Desk in 2015. Tagged as the “art of spreading joy”, the self-love platform is aimed at creating an online community of like-minded people as a safe space of people to motivate each other anonymously. “It’s easier to share one’s thoughts and feelings without the fear of being judged,” she says. Today, on an average, every month, more than 20 lakh people get inspired by her doodles, Doshi claims.
She thought of starting a platform like this at a time of great personal loss. “I underwent a massive transformation,” says Doshi. “My father was a doctor. I wondered if I could help others like he used to, but in my own unique way.” As a child, she used to draw, but lost touch with her passion as she grew older due to pressure of higher studies. “During that difficult phase, I realised there were a lot of people like me, who needed motivation,” she adds. The platform started with hand-drawn illustrations. The frequency was low compared to what it is now. “Then I learnt digital illustrations,” says Doshi, who is a self-taught artist. From its very inception, the platform has been getting a lot of feedback. Some wrote to her with gratitude about waking up to a positive thought amidst all the negativity in the world. “Those responses acted as a turning point. I decided to post one illustration a day,” she says.
During the covid-19 pandemic, the challenge lay in finding a balance between “being a human being and being an artist.” She got a lot of messages, some containing some very personal struggles, about giving up on life, coping with loss of family members, and more. “I am not a certified life coach. But whatever life has taught me, I make sure I pass it on to others. Perhaps, that’s why there is a lot of trust in The Doodle Desk. People consider it a friend,” says Doshi. Over time, she has realised that people are so lonely that they are ready to talk to a person they don’t know. However, it is not only messages of loss and grief that she receives, some also approach her regarding vision boards for upcoming job interviews. And when they get that job, she is the first person they come to with the happy news. “I am glad that I am part of people’s everyday lives,” says the 34-year-old artist, who is based in Gurugram.