Sunday, November 1, 2015

Monday Maker - Lana Le from kidcandoodle

Lana Le believes every kidcandoodle ... Let's find out why.

Were you creative as a child?
Creativity wasn't nurtured in my family, but I'm told that my grandfather (who passed before I was born) was an architect, and my aunt is a talented seamstress and cook.

I learnt to draw in primary school watching a video every week called "Let's Draw" by drawing things such as bunnies and buildings. Art came easily to me and I have a penchant for making things look good.

How would you describe your work?
"Whimsical" and "pretty" are adjectives that describe my design work. 

I design and sometimes illustrate lifestyle books for Potter (Random House), Storey Publishing, and Harper Collins under the pseudonym "woolypear."

I enjoy making books so much, but work really slowed down when I moved to Australia 4 years ago, so I devised Kid Can Doodle as a way to create my own books. 

I love seeing kids' drawings, and wanted to encourage kids to contribute to, so I have periodically Gallery Show call-for-entries. I try to inspire them to draw by giving prompts (Weekly Doodle Challenge), fun doodle downloads (most recently “Holy Hairdos!”), sharing work by other great artists.

How has your work evolved since you started?
I only started last October, so I'm still trying to figure it out. Hopefully my website,, is clearer to prospective viewers. I try to make the mini magazine and kids' activities fun and silly, and hopefully creative.  

Are you selling on etsy?
I haven't yet, but with the second issue of Kid Can Doodle mini mag coming out soonish, I plan on listing them on Etsy, in addition to my website.

Who or what inspires you?
I'm inspired by nearly everything I see. I love to see what other people are doing, but often get ideas whilst driving or walking or doing dishes! 

For the “Holy Hairdos!” printable, I had seen a picture of a chicken with a mullet on twitter, and then I kept seeing pictures of Trump in the media. I thought it would be funny to have the kids draw an animal with a famous hairdo, such as a monkey with a mohawk.

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?
I print the mini mag on recycled paper, and most of the work is online.

Describe your workspace?
I have a [very messy] office at home, that gets very hot in summer because we lack air conditioning.

What is your favourite thing to make?
I love making books. And yummy food. I love to eat.

How did your business name come about?

I originally wanted to call it "Noodle Doodle" because of the rhyme and that noodle could mean your brain, but it was already very popular. Then one day, I thought of “Kid Can Doodle“ and like that it describes what its purpose is, and that it sounds like the saying "kit and kaboodle."

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
I hope to collaborate with more talented creators. For The Big Draw worldwide drawing festival, I started an online exquisite corpse with friends, “The Exquisite Story,” and each day someone else contributes another page for the story. 

For the mini mag, we're introducing a recurring comic strip that will feature a different guest artist each time. 

I am also experimenting with doing videos. I'm camera shy, so this is a bit out of my comfort zone. I'm trying Periscope because it's immediate and I don't worry too much about editing but hopefully will introduce some on the website too.

What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?
I would say to find your own voice, find a way to inject your own personality or style into whatever you're doing. 

Describe your typical creative day?
Every morning I wake up and check my email because many of my clients are in the US, so I check to see if there's anything that needs to be answered right away. 

I spend a bit of time checking social media and posting things too. 

I start my work day after having breakfast and taking the kids to school. 

Ideally, I would spend an hour daily sketching, but often I go straight to whatever needs to be done. I try to create a new blog kid can doodle post on Mondays/Tuesdays, and create content for the website or the magazine whenever I can. If I have client work, then those deadlines take priority.

Favourite quote?
"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." - Pablo Picasso

What kind of Music do you like to listen to while creating?
I listen to Pandora, NPR, or watch tele on the computer whist working.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
I love Claire's ( Zillpa ) bowls, and a piece of art that was created using a typewriter that I have next to my bedside.

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?
This is my second year.

How did you find out about BrisStyle?
I went to Kirsten Devitt's talk at the Brisbane Square Library and she recognised that our kids go to the same primary school. I saw the brochures and wanted to meet more creative people in Brisbane, so I joined, even though I'm not selling things through the markets.

Why did you become a member?
Kirsten can be very persuasive.

Why do you craft?
I have always enjoyed making things. Sometimes I make things because I can't afford to buy them, and other times I like making things because it gives me pleasure and a sense of purpose.

Thanks so much Lana, we can’t wait to watch your journey as you continue to inspire our little people to be creative.

Anita x

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