We interviewed Alicia Souza, Chumbak’s illustrator on the social media strategies that she puts to use, in order to build her popularity across platforms. We also discovered more about her aspirations and inspirations.
1. How was it to break away from Banking to drawing illustrations for Chumbak and then Tinkle?
My main reason for coming to India in the first place was to start Chumbak, so that was pretty much life changing. It’s always been a bit scary but in a nice way, like going on a roller coaster. Moving from Melbourne was a lesson in self and starting on my own was a lesson in life.
2. How important is social media to you and what do you use it for?
Superbly important! I get most of my jobs from clients who’ve seen my work on Facebook! It’s also become part of my daily routine. I use it mainly for posting illustrations but now I’ve also become shameless and post photos of my dogs. That’s just proud-dog-mummy souvenirs.
3. Your online fan following is quite note worthy. How have you managed to earn this via your active presence on social media platforms & your website?
I’ve just been really diligent with my posting and really post with all my love, if that doesn’t sound too corny. I think that has managed to earn me a few lovely friends who follow my work, which I am super grateful for.
4. Any tips for the young & budding entrepreneurs who want to achieve a breakthrough in their career via social media?
Just be really really diligent about it. That’s about it! And try to genuinely love sharing and people will appreciate it!
5. Do you gauge your fan’s comments and conversations to see what their expectations are? Have you come up with doodles, especially to delight them?
Yes, for sure! I feel like it’s a conversation and not just a post anymore. I sometimes draw my responses and used to have many series where people sent in their lines/ views/ stories. That was as delightful for me as it was for them!
6. Indian elements form a major part of your illustrations. Why do you think your work has connected so well with the audience online?
I feel like I post about my daily life, which is rather..well..normal, in a way. I think that’s what people relate to. The normalness of it all. The cravings for food, the annoyance of traffic and the worry that one will fart at yoga class.
7. If you were given a million dollars to discontinue doodling & try your hand at something else you’ve always wanted to try, what would that be?
If I was given a million dollars, I would just be living in a fancier place but do the exact same thing I do now. Probably wearing fancier footwear while someone gives me a head massage. But if I had to discontinue drawing, I don’t think I’d take the million dollars.
8. Apart from pets & the Indian culture, where else do you draw your inspiration from?
Everything and everyone. That’s the hardest question to answer because there’s nothing that’s uninspiring. Everything’s got some sort of story to tell.
9. How you deal with a situation when all your imagination has dried up and you’re left staring at a blank canvas? Share an experience with us.
To be honest, I’ve been doing this for so long that I’ve not had the experience since I moved to India..it also may be that India is a fantastically inspiring funny place. But I remember when I was in university, there were months where I would go through a number of notebooks and then there were just months that flew by with me not drawing a single thing. I remember not doing anything besides just waiting for a ‘feeling’. So in the meantime, I used to write or make things. I believe the key is to not stop using your hands and to quench your inner thirst to create, regardless of what form it’s outcome. Be it a cake or a clay model or curtains.
10. If Charlie and Lola could rant about you, what do you think they’d say?
‘Mummy needs to get over our adorableness already’. ‘Mummy needs to give us more biscuits and stop with the kisses’. ‘Mummy needs to stop smiling and staring at us creepily when we sleep.’