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The Magic Behind Tabby Draws
How did you start in graphic design?"My main skill, or “talent” as a lot of people refer it to, has always been illustration. Graphic design just came in late high school, when my classmates needed someone to make our projects look fancy for different school subjects. I was also part of the school’s publication team as its head artist, but I mostly did illustrations instead of design."
Who taught you drawing or graphic design?"Being an only child, my parents always encouraged me when it came to what I was interested in (I’m very lucky). They’ve sent me to multiple art workshops growing up and got me any tools I needed. On my 12th birthday, they gifted me my very own computer and drawing tablet. Despite the infinite source of knowledge the web provides, I still seek out and attend workshops along with schooling as I believe getting from both makes me learn better and improve faster."
Who inspires you to continue your passion for graphic designs?
"I do not have an inspiration for my “passion”. I am simply doing this as it makes me feel alive, makes me feel busy, makes me feel like my life isn’t a waste. I’m currently diagnosed with clinical depression, and doing productive things such as illustration and graphic design along with therapy and medication is my way to fight it. I mentioned that I’ve done this ever since I was a kid, but I’ve also had long years where I couldn’t do any of these due to my illness."
How did arts help you combat depression?
Tough question, as it’s also one of the reasons why I got in such a bad place. I used to be a perfectionist. I set high standards for everything that I did back then, including arts. As years went by, the more I worked hard to create, the more I get frustrated and extremely dissatisfied. Eventually I just stopped making and doing anything. Over the years this simple feeling has been clouded by extreme expectations and anxieties that I completely forgot why I started, and why I kept going. So I decided to go back to square one: make something just for the heck of it. I told myself that it didn’t need to be perfect, it just needed to be finished so I can make more things. I set myself reasonable standards and I made sure to never, ever punish myself for not meeting them. That was over a year ago. I now seldom see my therapist, I’m on my last term in college, and I’m here as Tabby Draws."
What is the most important achievement you've reached through of sketching?"Being able to share it with people and see them smile while looking at my art is an achievement for me, as I believe I did something right."
What can you say to young ones out there who have talents in sketching and graphic designs?"Your “talent” gives you a head start among the rest, but if you leave it at that, it won’t be worth much. There’s so much to learn so keep your tools sharp BUT remember to take breaks, to not overwork yourself, and to not sacrifice your health. Find a simple stretching exercise for your hand, check your posture, and make sure you don’t work in a cramped space as much as possible."
Why did you choose Merchiful to be a platform for your designs?"I was invited a few months ago! It was also right when I was looking into shirt printing. I initially wanted to do it myself as I know how to but when I was offered I thought the deal was pretty good! It’s also nice to see Merchiful supporting other local artists, so I jumped in."
What can the Merchiful customers expect from your designs?"I’m mostly known as a cat artist so there will always be cats, but I’d also like to explore around other things I like, such as video games and anything fandom-related."
What is your message to other people with the same situation as you?
"For years I didn’t understand that the invisible emotional and sometimes physical pain brought about by my illness is not because of me. When I realized this, I’ve started to treat my depression akin to an omnipresent regular fever. I just needed to do some work outs (therapy), drink vitamins (medication), and watch what I’m doing or what I’m getting myself into (habits) to keep it at bay. I am very lucky to have access to learn all of these the moment I needed it. So, here are a few things I’ve written in my therapy journal countless times (I hope this helps you too!)
Depression is a serious societal issue. But, Tabby proved to us that it is never an issue to stop doing your passion. Whether you are an artist or an ordinary individual, just keep doing your thing; that which makes you feel alive!
To see Tabby's designs, visit tabbydraws.merchiful.com. To see more of her activities, you can also check her social media accounts: