Name Dorcas Magbadelo
Random question: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why I would be an orangey pink colour – I’ve been using it a lot in my work recently. It’s bright and stands out in a fun way; it’s not too in your face which I think describes me well.
Are you a bold introvert? Have you always been one? I would consider myself a bold introvert – In terms of social situations I can be quiet and take a while to warm up to people; but if I look at my life decisions – e.g. starting a business by myself; I’ve never felt like my introversion held me back in any way. I don’t make decisions lightly; I go over multiple scenarios in my head and weigh up best options before making a decision. Whilst this doesn’t help at all when choosing somewhere to eat(!), it’s a skill and personality trait that’s really helped me make decisions for DorcasCreates. If anything my over-thinking tendencies mean I analyse situations better and take more time to listen to people and ensure I have deeper connections. When starting DorcasCreates I knew I wanted my brand to be aspirational but not exclusive. Although I’m not typically outgoing, I do aim to be as genuine and honest as possible in terms of my branding, which I think people have responded positively to. I want DorcasCreates to feel like a brand your best friend could’ve started, to feel as personable and relatable as possible. Initially it was difficult when I first started as I’m terrible at asking for help; but because I tend to overthink and overanalyse, it means I explore all possible options and usually find creative solutions to problems. The book Quiet by Susan Cain really changed my perspective on being an introvert and what we can achieve.
What do you do? I’m an illustrator and product designer. My illustrations are primarily of Black women. I sell my illustrations and products on Etsy and also via my website DorcasCreates.com. I have always been creative – when I was little I used to draw a lot; and knit and sew. I was always making something and I was very much into fashion. Initially I wanted to study fashion and did a year at London College of Fashion and about 8 months studying a degree at Middlesex, but the course really wasn’t for me and I switched courses to Finance at City Uni. I wasn’t really creating anything up until 3-4 years ago. When I first started drawing again, I was heavily inspired by the Black women I was seeing on Tumblr and on fashion blogs. I really wanted to find a way to create work that honoured them and uplifted them and showcased how beautiful they were. I initially started with illustration and selling art prints and looked at what other illustrators were producing in terms of products and thought of ways to apply my illustrations into commercially viable products. Now I’m obsessed with putting Black women everything! Pins, wrapping paper, greeting cards, bags, fabric, earrings, everything! Because I’m self taught; I don’t want my skills to stagnate so make sure to check in with myself every few months, to make sure my drawing and Photoshop skills are improving. I tend to give myself drawing challenges every few months, like draw 10 new hairstyles in a week; or challenge myself to pick up something new like animated videos (which I’ve just started with!)
What are you most proud of? I’m proud of lot’s of things! My pieces have ended up in the hands of people I admire like Ryan Coogler, Danielle Brooks, Thandie Newton, Amma Asante, Yvonne Orji, Laura Mvula and Issa Rae! I’ve been featured on Buzzfeed, Spell Magazine, Essence Magazine, Black Ballad and ThandieKay. It’s also really surreal to see the effect my illustrations have on people; especially when they see themselves or someone they know represented. That’s what I’m most proud of – that my work is having a positive effect on people. I remember once at a market a young girl about 7 years old, looked at some of my prints, and called out to her mum “Mummy this looks like me when I’m older” and it was the cutest thing ever; I just couldn’t stop smiling! It’s what keeps me going, knowing that my illustrations are having this kind of impact. Sound’s sappy but I’m also proud of myself everyday I put myself and my work out there.
Do you feel that your personality trait has helped you achieve your goals? I’m quite stubborn and quietly determined. I wouldn’t say I’m argumentative, if I disagree with anything negative that someone has to say about me or my work, I’d rather prove them wrong with my actions rather than with words. I definitely think being able to drown out noise has helped me develop my own voice and way of speaking out through my work. I remember talking to a friend of mine early on in my journey and I was explaining that I didn’t know whether to focus more on commercial art or fine art; and my insecurities regarding being self taught. She advised that I had to pick a lane and stick to it and I remember having a strong reaction against her advice – From that reaction I knew that it would be important for me to carve my own lane and not let my insecurities hold me back. I think being introverted; our intuition is so strong and it’s important for us to trust our gut and trust our reactions to push forward. From that conversation I decided to pursue both commercial art i.e. products like my greeting cards, pins etc and also create pieces that had deeper meanings through larger scale drawings.
What advice do you have for introverts who are worried about chasing their dreams? Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. Find a communication style that works for you and get help when you need it. It really helps to reach out and build a tribe of like minded people around you. More often that not you’ll find that people are going through the exact same concerns and issues that you are; and you speaking out and being honest and genuine can help someone else and in turn help you.