Hello beautiful humans, how are we all doing? My name is Kimberley Ambrose but I design under the name ‘The Girl Next Draw’, because clearly I think I’m hilariously punny. (Another pun there, you’re welcome.) I’ve been very kindly asked to share with you my Thortful story and honestly I am terrible at writing… which is why I draw, so please ignore any rambling or grammatical errors! Anyway buckle in…
Last year was… well… different! For all of us! After a year of working from home in the lounge of my 2 bed flat I needed an outlet to distract me from the madness that was 2020. So I opened trusty photoshop and created 5 cards, uploaded them to Thortful and crossed my fingers. To my shock all 5 were accepted and I am so grateful I was given a chance because looking back now those cards could of been a lot better then they were. But inspired by a few sales here and there from my friends and family I tweaked a few designs and managed to hit 100 sales in my first month! Now 1 year later, I have 260 cards in the Thortful catalogue and have reached over 30,000 sales. Funnily enough, one of those first 5 cards is still one of my best sellers to date and just had a little ‘glow up’.
In that year I have learnt so much from so many people in the Thortful community, invested in an iPad and taught myself how to use Procreate to better my work. My main way of improving what I create actually comes from the place you are reading this post on… yes the Thortful blog. There are so many posts with helpful hints and tips, a lot of which are inspired by creator questions (so if you ever have an idea for a topic that would help the Thortful community please do reach out to the wonderful talktous team). My favourite posts to read are the Creator Basics series so check them out if you are interested in starting with Thortful.
Inspiration for my cards can come from anywhere. I have so many notes on my phone from where I have come up with an idea when I am no where near my iPad and I need to write it down before I forget. To give you an example, watching Shrek on a Sunday afternoon and hearing Gingy say ‘Oh Snap!’ inspired my Oh Snap Christmas Card. And a pair of Dalmatian print leggings inspired my Polaroid photo cards. It can be as simple as that! The actual designing part for me just comes down to playing around. Sketching rough ideas and then fully perfecting a design I am happy with. I am very proud of how far I have come but it has come from a lot of trial and error. My biggest tip to creators is to not give up when something isn’t successful. Not all my cards are accepted and sometimes cards I think are going to be a bestseller sell 1 card a week. When that happens, go back to the drawing board and see if there is anything you can do to make it better! Can the font be easier to read? Is there already too many similar designs in the catalogue, and how can you make yours different? Is there a spelling error or could you try to improve any of the illustrations? I always ask myself those questions, try again and try not to be disheartened.
My other tip would be to support others in the community. I have met a lot of people through the Thortful Creator Community who share my work and whose achievements and creativity constantly blow my mind! There are so many people doing amazing things out there and who may have a tip on how to do something that you have been trying to for weeks! So share their work if they post something that you think is hilarious or stunning, or reach out and let them know! Reach out to me too on Instagram at The Girl Next Draw or @tgndc94. I love a natter.
One day soon I hope to upgrade to an office but for now cheers to drawing on the sofa and to many more years creating for Thortful! Thank you to to team for asking me to do this! Love to you all, Kim. Xx