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I work at a very messy desk: Neha Sharma aka Neha Doodles

Neha Sharma, popularly known on Instagram as Neha Doodles, on how her art reflects her changing self, and why the look of her workspace keeps changing

A portrait of Neha Sharma
A portrait of Neha Sharma (Courtesy Neha Sharma)

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On Instagram, everyone finds a way to hop on the next most popular trend for a Reel. Most find ways to star in it themselves. Neha Sharma gets her illustrated figures to do this instead. To her 304k followers, Sharma is known as โ€œneha.doodlesโ€. Her wobbly looking characters add to the funny, self-aware and slightly self-deprecating shorts that she crafts.

Sample this, for example, taking off on a video-trick trend that was quite the rage on the social media platform:

In this interview with Lounge, the popular digital creator talks about her workspace, and why she gave up a career in chartered accountancy and switched to doing art full time. Edited excerpts.

When did you start illustrating? And when did you start thinking of getting into it full time?

I have been drawing since I was a kid but I started digital art in 2014. Started doing it commercially in 2016.

What made you want to make the full-time switch โ€” especially since chartered accountancy is considered more โ€™stableโ€™ and possibly more โ€˜importantโ€™ and โ€™seriousโ€™?

I loved how the process made me feel. It is therapeutic for me to be invested in an art piece for hours and to see my vision come to life. I am a creative person wasnโ€™t feeling as fulfilled in chartered accountancy.

Describe your current workspace to us.

I usually can't stick to one workplace. Like I'd set my workspace very aesthetically one day but get bored of it the next week. But a few things that are usually constant are posters and motivational sticky notes for myself on the wall in front of me, action figures, my stationery, a few candles, and my working gear.

Has it always been this way? Or has it evolved over the years?

It has always been this way.

How would you define your daily relationship with this workspace?

Chaotic. Because I can't keep it one way for a long period of time and it's just me working at a very messy desk.

If you were to trade in this working area for another, what would it be?

Would have probably made it bigger to accommodate more action figures.

What's the one thing that has always been at your workspace over the years. Why?

A money plant. Adds a green to my space.

The first artist whose work you followed closely/sometimes imitated. What about them appealed to you?

Adam Ellis (@adamtots on Instagram, a maker of comics, who used to be associated with Buzzfeed). I love how expressive and sometimes mildly explicit he is.

Most creators reaching out to an audience online are encouraged to develop a signature tone, giving their audience a sense of what they can expect from the creator. For you, is this more about the visual style or the themes you deal with?

I feel when it comes to social media there is one thing that matters: being genuine to your audience. That unintentionally sets a signature tone based on how a person is. I just make sure I follow the same protocol for my content. The way I change as a person over the years is also reflected in my art.


Creative Corner is a series about writers, artists, musicians, founders and other creative individuals and their relationships with their workspaces

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