Designer Kate Tapley has always been a doodler. From an early age, her father (an artist) encouraged her to draw and be creative. One day, she was perusing some greeting cards in the store when she decided that they were just…”a little too saccharine.” She started making her own cards for her friends with her signature doodles, and they were a hit. Kate took some time to talk about her epic doodles, Ninja Princess and the popularity behind Vladamir.
All of my friends love my doodles, so much so that they encouraged me to put them on products. I’m so glad I found Zazzle – it’s so user-friendly and I love all my options.
I started with just a couple of simple things on cards — just to see if anyone was interested. My humor is a little random and a bit irreverent. One of my first hits was my “Pregnant at Christmas” ornament, which has sold very well during the holidays (including this past season). A baby’s first Christmas is great, but what about all of the pregnant moms? I’ve been pregnant at Christmas and no one ever gives you ornaments for it. Being able to eat anything you want without guilt deserves some commemoration.
When I’m dreaming up designs, usually the captions and art come into my head at the same time. For Vladamir, the design came first. I was over saccharine birthday cards and a friend requested something a little different. Vladamir is a dog smoking a Russian cigar, wearing a hat. It’s very popular — a lot of people love random weirdness and it makes them happy.
There’s a bit of a story behind this next card. One of my good friends was diagnosed with cancer right after she turned 30. While most of us were stammering, another girlfriend just said flatly: “Well, this sucks.” And it was exactly the right thing to say. Because it did suck and sometimes people don’t need to hear words of encouragement — they just need to know that they’re not alone in hating their situation.