In case you didn’t know, I love Instagram, not only because I get to share who I am through pictures, but also because I get to meet creative and talented people. One of those people is Paulina Taylor; a writer, cartoonist, musician, and on top of that an inspiring soul. That’s why she is this Tuesday’s GIRL BOSS.
When I first saw her Instagram feed, I thought her cards were very clever and cute and I decided to check out her website.That’s when I realised she is not only a cartoonist but also writer and a musician. I mean, how cool is that?? So I said to myself “I have to know more about this girl!! She is very talented.” And I’m not saying this just cause I know she will read this post, I really mean it and I was more sure of it after getting to know her a little better.
Paulina was kind enough to share her story with me and I’m so so excited to share it with you guys! So here it is…
Q: Tell us your story, a little bit about you, how and when did you start your brand?
I started cartooning about a year and a half ago. I was in my 3rd year of a very competitive music program, studying piano performance at The Glenn Gould School – and I just felt like something was missing. Yes, I love music, and yes, I love to play the piano – but I hated playing somebody else’s music. I hated how serious and strict the industry was. I hated the stifling of creative expression, which seemed to hit me at every turn.
I knew I had this creativity inside me, but I had never given it a chance to come out. Despite being quiet and introverted, I knew how to make people laugh and I was fascinated with humour and comedy in all forms.
Also, the only kind of movie I ever watch are animated movies (especially Pixar). I LOVE cartoons. I love animals. I know this may sound weird, but I truly believe that everything has life – from the chair I am sitting on to the computer I am typing on – and of course my dog and other animals and insects. Everything has an intelligence – which is why I love to bring out their inherent “aliveness” through cartoons and writing. Making them into characters. Giving them facial expressions. Giving them thoughts and feelings.
So, a couple summers ago, I started making cartoons. They started out very rough, just pencil sketches in an old notebook, and gradually they progressed into the digital designs you see today.
Q: What has been the biggest struggle that you had to overcome in your journey?
I think the hardest part for me has been learning how to become something of a business woman (not that I’m there yet). But the world of business and marketing and putting myself and my stuff out there was a completely foreign one to me. When I first started cartooning, I had books and books of cartoons and finally someone said to me, “These are doing no one any good by just sitting in a book in your room! You have to find a way to sell these.” I started out putting them up on Instagram. I started out with 100 followers and have grown to 4,500 since then. I came up with the idea of selling them on greeting cards about a year ago – and started driving from city to city, going from store to store to ask if they’d be interested in stocking my cards. I received more rejection than I can count!
“BUT I KNEW IT HAD TO BE DONE, BECAUSE NO ONE WAS GOING TO DO IT FOR ME”
One of the hardest things about doing that was how against my nature it felt. Going into a store, meeting a stranger, trying to sell them my stuff…..and usually getting rejected? And being a naturally quiet girl? Sounded like a nightmare. But I knew it had to be done, because no one was going to do it for me. But because I am driven by passion and love of my work, it has become easier and easier.
Q: What’s the best thing about having a personal project and being an entrepreneur?
Expressing myself and my inherent talents. Nobody telling me what to do. To be able to have full creative expression, and to express what I want and how I want is the best feeling in the world. To not feel like I am in the “wrong” profession or having to force myself to work or be something that I am not. Being a cartoonist (I’m also a writer) is so natural and fun for me, it truly feels like the hugest blessing in the world that I get to do it and make money from it. I feel like a little kid again, spending my days drawing and creating funny things, and getting to share them with others. There are definitely times when it is hard and I struggle to find motivation and drive, but I think that is the case with anything in life. Even if you find a job that is a great fit for you, there are always going to be hard times. For me, there are times when no ideas come to me – and there are times when I have so many that I have to get up in the middle of the night to get them all down. But it’s always changing, it’s never something I can pin down.
“As long as you’re doing something that you enjoy, you have plenty to be grateful for.”
I also think that this type of flexibility isn’t for everyone. While I get to do my own projects and work my own hours, I also don’t receive a steady paycheck. Sometimes I have no idea if anyone will buy what I produce. It is a constant journey of trial and error, success and failure. I think people who have steady jobs are incredibly lucky too. As long as you’re doing something that you enjoy, you have plenty to be grateful for.
Q: Any advice you can give to anyone who has started this journey or who want to start a personal project?
The biggest thing, I think, is to stay true to yourself and do things because you love them, not because you are trying to get recognition, popularity or even money. Yes, money is important – but if you go for these things exclusively, you will lose sight of the reasons you started, your creativity will be squashed and the joy will be gone.
“Follow your passion and trust yourself.”
Don’t let anyone tell you that what you want to do is not “practical” or that you shouldn’t be doing it. Follow your passion and trust yourself. If someone else doesn’t approve of the path you are on, that is their problem, not yours. Nobody but you knows what is best for you, or what will make you happy.
Also, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this path will be totally easy, and that once you find your “passion”, there will be no more obstacles, or wanting to quit or failures. Like I said earlier, even if you are doing what you love, there will always be hard times. Because life is about facing obstacles and overcoming them – challenges are there to make you and your business better and stronger, not to tear you down.
“Do what makes you happy, surround yourself with people who support you, and don’t look back.”
If you wanna know more about Paulina Taylor, you can find her on Instagram as @TaylorPaulina and also you can check out her website http://paulinataylor.ca/ where you can buy the cards you see on the post and many others! Oh and yes, SHE SHIPS WORLDWIDE!!!