Learning to doodle


I’ve never been much of a doodler – I think that’s where my sketchbook perfectionism comes into play. Even at school I always wanted my exercise books to look ordered and ‘perfect’. Being organised is great, but not so great for creativity – being too systematic takes away an element of the freedom.

Armed with a Tombow ABT dual brush pen, I set myself a challenge to loosen up and basically learn to doodle.

Snapfish Personalised GiftsIllustration Doodles

Keeping it simple with monochrome, I was able to concentrate on the variation of strokes. This marker/ink/calligraphy style is really popular at the moment with heavy contrasts of thick and thin lines. I’m a fan of calligraphy, although I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon so that’s why I opted for patterns instead.

Illustration Doodles

So now I had the patterns, what was I going to do with them? I decided that I wanted to make a few things to jazz up my desk at work so I turned to Snapfish. I’ve always used Snapfish to print photos (I printed 100s for my Uni room) but they offer such a wide range of products now; from personalised coasters and notebooks, to postcards and mugs (and more).

I scanned all of my patterns to make them digital and then applied them to several products from the home and gifts range. The process was really easy and helpful, showing things like printing area guidelines so that none of your designs will be cut off etc. As a Graphic Designer I’m used to this kind of preparation, but for someone that knows nothing about print this is great.

When they arrived, it was just like Christmas (sorry for the C word in October!) – I was so excited to open the packages and see my patterns on products!

Snapfish Personalised CoastersSnapfish Personalised GiftsSnapfish Personalised Gifts

I chose to put patterns on a range of items; cards, postcards, notebooks, coasters and a magic colour changing mug (which is black when cold & white with my pattern when hot with tea inside):

Snapfish Personalised MugSnapfish Personalised GiftsSnapfish Personalised GiftsSnapfish Personalised Gifts

I’ve always been curious about how illustrators create ranges of cool stationery and home ware. Doing all of this, although obviously not quite the same, has given me a little taste for it and I’ve really enjoyed it all coming together. They’re going to look great on my desk at work and I’ll be pretty smiley to say I designed them if anyone asks where they’re from 🙂

Overall my Snapfish experience has been very good and I’m impressed with the quality. I think it’s a great way to make unique gifts for friends and family, whether you’re using photos or your own drawings/art.

I’m pretty happy with how all of the products turned out – what do you think? Which products would you like to personalise?


This post is in collaboration with Snapfish to share their great personalised gifts. Doodles and opinions, as always, are 100% my own.


  • Katy

    16/10/2015 at 2:43 pm

    THIS IS SO COOL. SO SO COOL. FYI, I would totes buy your designs!!!

  • Corina

    08/11/2015 at 11:18 am

    Black and white is one of my fav combinations and I think you did a great job here. I also like your (new to me) header! 🙂

    • Natasha Nuttall

      22/11/2015 at 6:13 pm

      Welcome back Corina – it must have been a while since your last visit in that case!? Yes, I do love a bit of Monochrome 🙂

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© Natasha Nuttall | January 2022

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