Business Mama Interview: Dots by Donna
Donna Taylor is the name behind Dots by Donna, one of the brands that I really love. And I got pretty excited when I got the opportunity to get an interview with this talented artist. I first met her at Life In Style in Sydney and was impressed with her technique and beautiful artworks that she was exhibiting. Each one of Donna's illustrations are hand drawn by layering dots, thousands of tiny dots. A drawing technique known as stippling or pointillism. Each illustration is made from layering thousands of freehand dots and each piece takes from 40-200 hours to complete. There is so many prints to choose from and they are all gorgeous. Donna is a wife, mum, owner of the Dots + store and winner of New York Now, Best new product award. If you intrigued and want to learn more abut Donna keep reding.
1 Why do you do What you do?
- Drawing takes me into my creative zone, clears my mind & keeps me balanced! I's my ZEN.
I pinch myself every day that I have created a business out of my talent. Im so happy and grateful to everyone that believed in me from the very beginning, and to all my followers... you are what makes this possible - THANK -YOU!
- I create unique hand drawn stippled (dot) artwork. Each design is it's own character that comes to life! All names chosen are after my most nearest and dearest. for example, 'Pete the Panda' is named after my husband - Pete.
Although my original artworks are available for purchase, my passion is for my art to be affordable & displayed in the homes & hanging on the walls of my clients. For to to be achieved, my original pieces are converted into print form & available in several sizes, using the highest quality archival paper made to last a lifetime.
2. How do you work? How do you bring out the creativity?
- I run my Business 'Dots By Donna' & 'Dots + store' at million miles an hour! Im a high achiever & I LOVE pressure! Multitasking and fulfilling my personal business goals gives me great satisfaction. A massive thanks to my wonderful team who support me.
- As unique as my art is my creative zone... sitting on my couch in the comfort of my own home. With the T.V plays in the background.
3. What’s your background and how did you start?
- My background is in retail management.
- Several years ago, in the calm space of my lounge room whilst sitting in front of the T.V I sat with my sketch pad and fine liner drawing dots to create. When my husband Pete caught glimpse of what I had created, unbeknown to him at the time did he know I was in my own private way a creative genius :) he snapped a photo and without my approval posted the image of my drawing to Facebook. Now if any artists out there are reading this you can imagine my disdain! However with my husband and social media's positive and encouraging reaction I soon realised that in fact what is a typical artists state of 'being ones own worst critic' had been replaced by a degree of confidence and thrive to make my works of art public and I soon found myself exhibiting at local Mornington Peninsula markets. This quickly grew year by year, and well the rest is history!
4. Have you always been creative type?
Yes, absolutely! Always...!!!
5. When Dots by Donna started did you face any challenges on the way?
Absolutely... and as my business grows so do the challenges. There are those mundane daily requirements of Dots By Donna's 'behind the scenes' although with by background in management I work through these practically and efficiently , just a case of crossing my T's and dotting my I's.
My biggest challenge however would have to be the ability to 'fall' in love with my own original designs & have confidence that each design I release will be worthy of my audience.
You know the age old saying... an artists' biggest critic is oneself.
6. What have been the highlights of Dots by Donna so far? Can you tell me more about winning the NY Best New Product Award?
Highlights start right back at the humble beginnings, simply that anyone would not only fall in love with my art but would begin to build a Dots By Donna collection of my designs. Next would have to be seeing my art styled in magazines such as the ever so gorgeous Minty Magazine.
Of course no doubt the grand opening night of Dots + store on Melbourne's Mornington Peninisula is a moment that will stand in time as a massive turning point in my business. It has allowed me to 'showcase' my art in a gallery like setting & create a place where people can visit from all around the world!
Finally as you guessed right, the icing on the cake would have to be winning the New York Now, Best new product award for 'Carly the Cow' - (named after my older sister). This was like a scene from a movie, I knew I had been nominated but it wasn't until the cameras and hype was building around me (husband Pete was not present at the time, he had left the stall briefly) that I stood completely overwhelmed! A truly unbelievable personal and professional achievement I never dreamed of!
Its funny you know... you can plan and doubt and push ahead whilst second guessing yourself, but that moment when you realise that it was worth every minute you know you would take the chance over and over again. Winning NY now has given me the confidence to take Dots By Donna Internationally and continue to share the love worldwide.
7. Where do you see your business in future? Can you tell me more about Dots + store?
- Wow, I honestly couldn't begin. Had you had told me 4 years following my first design release, I'd have become a well known Australian artist with a home wares store in Mornington, I would have throught you were speaking of someone else.
I'm blown away that my business is flourishing and growing at a rate of knots! I would love to have in each state of Australia my Dots + store, as for my art... I'm truly just honoured that it's so loved, I feel my bucket is overflowing!
- Dots + Store came about as a way for me to move my business into a workable space as I had outgrown my garage.
However... It is so much more! Acting as part 'art gallery' & part 'home ware's store', I am able to showcase my artwork in its many designs & forms alongside my favourite home ware's products from a carefully curated selection of designers and businesses.
This continues to be an very fulfilling aspect of my business.
8. If you could do anything what would it be and why?
To be honest I will continue to feel bucket full and so overjoyed, if I could continue this dream I call life for years to come. Where Dots By Donna prints are forever cherished and adorn the walls of all who have chosen their particular print because the related. The animal of their star sign, an affiliation or love for Africa and its beautiful life form. A particular character that shares the name of a nearest or dearest, or a favourite animal.
I love drawing, I love creating, I will be dreaming this dream for years to come!
9. What is your favourite artwork?
If you had of asked me 1 month ago I would have said my prized 'African Goddess', my newest favourite is my 'Luxe Skull' - She's so perfect! With individual gold foil stamped tooth she has that extra edge. I have her hanging proudly in my home office! - My 6 year old has her in her sights for her next bedroom styling event!
Photos & styling: all is pretty