Meet the artist who will transform your best memories into unique doodles

Hyderabad-based Atul Kabra is a self-taught doodle artist who creates personalised and commissioned artwork for sale on his Instagram page
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Ask any Gen-Z what profession they would like to pursue, and you are likely to receive the answer, “I just want to follow my passion”. Twenty-five-year-old Atul Kabra from Hyderabad is an apt example of this. He is a freelance marketing professional who makes a sizeable income by selling his unique doodle artwork under the brand name DoodleKabra. Since he began in the year 2021, he has amassed a number of happy customers, including famous ones like Rana Dagubatti, Allu Arjun, and the ex-Chief Justice of Telangana, Raghavendra Singh Chauhan, among others.

“I am a city dweller who loves to travel and find new adventures along the way. Though I have experience working in almost all domains of marketing, nothing satisfies me more than pursuing my creative passion, in the form of doodling. I take inspiration for my artworks from other interests of mine, which include trips to the hills, adrenaline-filled outdoor adventures, and connecting with new people. The idea, conception and evolution of DoodleKabra has been quite a journey of passion, of breaking stereotypes, of spreading smiles and most importantly, of love,” smiles Atul as he joins YS Weekender for a chat.

Self taught

Having spent three years as a brand consultant, growth expert, and marketing manager, Atul says his forte is being a people’s person. “I love meeting new people, developing new relationships, solving problems, and contributing to the overall growth of a business. My intellectual curiosity pushes me to be a lifelong learner and I firmly believe that business decisions should be based on data but driven by a creative outlook to achieve growth,” he shares.

Art was important to him right from childhood. He was always inclined towards the artistic sphere and enjoyed exploring his emotional side through the stories he developed on paper as doodles. Atul taught himself the art of doodling, which he describes as, “the sound of my heart”, explaining further, “everything I feel, I put it out there through my doodles.”

Family has always played a large role in his journey, and he credits his mother and grandmother as his biggest inspiration, as they were both creative beings. “We have this creative gene handed down to us by our Nani. I make doodles and my sister Anchal runs her own fashion boutique,” he shares.

In the last four years, shuffling jobs and cities made him lose touch with his passion, however, he found ample time to revisit his favourite hobby during the lockdowns. Coupling his creative outlook with his professional marketing skills, Atul decided to tread a path not many have followed – of creating customised doodle artwork for sale.

His works are aimed at those who appreciate doodle art or enjoy gifting quirky art to others. Atul’s artwork can be framed to adorn walls, made into coasters or used as imagery under glass tabletops to spruce up any space. He even specialises in making gifts for pets and other four-legged friends.

“Our range of customer preference is not limited to humans, and we cater to every species, as long as it fills your heart with love and joy,” he shares with a smile.

Customised artwork

Atul customises and creates artworks for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and any other happy occasion. Since it takes time to make unique pieces that stand out, he prefers to be contacted in advance and does not accept last-minute orders.

Framing, packaging, and even the delivery is taken care of by Atul, who ships pan-India without qualms. Some of his customers are from overseas and he has shipped his artwork as far as US and Oman.

Before taking on the project, Atul gets in touch with the client and understands what exactly they are looking for in the doodle. This key information includes fond memories, dates, occasions, and important places that help Atul create a doodle work which is truly one-of-a-kind. 

The artworks are made in his home, and everything in the doodle is hand drawn. “I only take on one project at a time to give it my 100 percent. Each doodle represents a story and is a trip down memory lane. My doodles focus on capturing not just memories but also the emotions behind them,” he explains.

Each piece usually takes 3-4 days to make. The prices for these artworks begin from Rs 2000 and increase depending on the size and level of intricacy involved in making the piece.

Doodling for a living

A blog published last year on Instamojo.com shares that the Indian art market is valued at Rs 1400 crore, and is seeing steady growth despite a tipping economy. Interestingly, a significant portion of Indian contemporary art is sold online. The success of this market is proven by the immense valuation of home-made art and craft sale platform Etsy, which is billed at $28.91 billion. Hence, Atul’s dream of turning a hobby into a viable career is indeed achievable.

Though it has been challenging so far, he credits his supportive wife and friends for helping him take his business off the ground. “They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and I believe my pen will carve a path for itself!” he says with pride.

He recently launched doodle scrapbooks for family members to keep as memories. Next, he is working on launching his website, as well as a bunch of new products such as merchandise. He also conducts workshops for children who are keen to learn the art of doodling.

“It is the reactions I get from people that make every minute worth it. I really wouldn’t have it any other way. In these trying times, I’m glad that my doodles are the reason for somebody’s smile. We live in a fast-changing world, and somewhere along the way, digital damage has affected us all. We have forgotten what it feels like to put pen to paper. That is why I chose to create a venture that celebrates something that is simple, beautiful, and heart-warming. A venture that believes that the personal touch will always remain special,” Atul says, signing off.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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