Meet Victoria Whitaker aka Doodlher
Drawing has always been part of my life. It’s always been a source of creative happiness for me. I’m pleased to be able to share my creations with the world and pass that happiness on to the next person.
A Lifelong Passion
As much as I knew what I was producing, I never really knew where the journey would take me.
From the moment I could grasp a chunky wax crayon between my fingers I’ve been exploring this endless source of creativity and expression.
I’ve never received or pursued any formal art training. The opportunity arose aged 18, a momentary battle between French and Fine Art. I enjoyed art classes at high school, they were a much needed moment of calm and escape from the intensity of academia and all that growing up stuff. But the fear of art becoming academic frightened me. I’d never experienced a pressure to create and I didn’t want that to ever be the case. Drawing was a lifelong friend and I couldn’t risk putting that relationship on the chopping block, so the French won.
A full time French degree with art on the side turned out to be the perfect formula for me. When things got intense, the drawing was always there like a nice cosy hot water bottle.
Upon later reflection, I now realise that the two pursuits complemented each other perfectly. Art is a visual language after-all, and four years of intense communication and translation practice really does go a long way, especially for illustration.
People and Places are the primary focus and influence to my work. Beyond being interesting and challenging subjects, I also enjoy exploring the social, cultural, and historical connections that exist between the two.
Pen & Ink
Each design begins its life on paper as a pen sketch. I appreciate the permanence of pen so very rarely use pencils. I feel very strongly that the concept of ‘mistakes’ in art is a terrible hindrance to creativity. The lines we draw are the products of our experiences and unique style. I find that working in pen removes the temptation to erase lines and allows my creations to come together in their purest form.
Some of my doodles are available to buy as screen prints, all lovingly created by hand in Rochdale by myself and Mr Doodlher. We use a variety of paper types and since each print is pulled by hand, they all inherit their own unique characteristics.
Sketchbook to Street Art
My doodles are very intricate in design and always begin their life on paper. I often work from my own photo references but also enjoy live sketching in the street. Following my first mural commission, I’ve come to learn that an artwork’s finished size is really all relative to the size of the pen nib! I enjoy scaling my designs up into huge mural-sized sketches.
Whilst studying for my degree I discovered digital art. Setting up a permanent space to paint in was very difficult, so I fully embraced the digital alternative. I enjoy being able to mix traditional and digital mediums together – scanning my sketchbook doodles into the computer and finishing them digitally. The results are vibrant, eye-catching digital illustrations.
Decades of drawing… but nobody knew.
I began drawing in the public during the summer of 2017. Previously I’d only really done it at home and I’d certainly never show anyone my sketchbook besides my immediate family. The reason? What if people don’t like it…
I can’t remember what the trigger was (if any) to ‘coming out’ as an artist. I just woke up one day and decided it was time, so took my sketchbook with me to the pub one evening. To my amazement, the world didn’t end. In fact, it made the evening more productive and relaxing. What have I been doing all my life?!
In late 2018 I launched my Instagram page. Posting the first designs felt like bearing my soul to the world. I’d scrunch my eyes up and look away as I hit the post button. Ten posts later, it felt easier. Another five posts later, almost painless.