Creative Women & ProjectsInterviews

Tara Roskell: Making Cartoons Out of Post-It Notes

Some time last week while doing our usual work of stalking creative and arty things on social media, it suddenly dawned on us that Elle Luna’s annual 100 Day Project was almost two weeks in. So, we thought it would be great to keep an eye out for some intriguing works that we think people would love to see and we would of course, want to share.
The 100 Day Project is a project that gently coaxes artists, creatives and makers to give 100 days to creating consistently. It is intended to awaken, nurture and sustain your creative spirit through the cultivation of small daily acts for 100 days. It is motivating!

Following and seeing the awesome work has brought great joy to our heart, and that’s how we met Tara Roskell.

Tara Roskell

Tara Roskell has been working in the Creative Industry for over 20 years. She has a passion for creativity and ideas, creating characters and cartoons. She also comes up with product ideas and has a video logo design course on Udemy with 9,500 students enrolled. We caught up with Tara to get a better understanding of her art.

For Creative Girls: When and how did you start with your art?  
Tara Roskell: Since I was a small child I always wanted to do something to do with art and was constantly drawing. I think back then, I wanted to be a famous artist. When I finished school, I went to art college and then specialized in Graphic Design. My first job was working in the college marketing department as a graphic designer where I designed leaflets and adverts for the college. After that, I worked for various local design agencies, then had a share in a design company before finally going freelance about 13 or so years ago.


Cartoons for a lot of people are therapeutic, and your cartoons are even more so. Why did you start making cartoons? 
I have been creating characters for quite a while, but until about a year or so ago, I had never really tried adding words to them to (hopefully) make them funny. I have always imagined it would be really interesting to be on a team that writes comedy, so I guess it was trying to bring a bit of comedy into my art. My goal is to license some of my cartoons or create products using them.

Tara Roskell Cartoon

How do you create characters? What’s your creating process like?  

I always have a sketchbook nearby that I keep purely for ideas. If I even have half an idea I write it down. I’ve found in the past that some of those “half ideas” come in useful later, or you eventually work out how you can use them. My sketchbooks are never very pretty to look at but act purely as a place to retain and develop ideas.


Can your give us a little snippet of your daily routine? What do you do every day and how do you accomplish your goals?  
I keep a To-do list using the app “Things” which will contain a list of the freelance design work I have and also some of the personal projects I want to work on. I try and maintain a balance between the two. One of my biggest problems with personal projects is deciding which creative project I want to work on first. I think it’s a problem many creatives have.

We are absolutely in love with your interpretation of #the100dayproject. What inspired your choice of post-it-notes as a medium?
Thank you. A few years ago I created a couple of cartoons about Start-ups with a friend using the post-it-note style. I was initially struggling to find a simple style I liked and so I used the Free-writing Creative Technique to come up with ideas. This involves setting a timer and writing uninterrupted on a topic for a set amount of time. The idea is that you don’t stop writing and if you can’t think of anything just repeat yourself or write the first thing that comes into your head. The technique is supposed to stop the conscious part of your brain censoring your ideas.

Tara Roskell Cartoon

Tara Roskell Cartoon

Tara Roskell Cartoon

How do you define creativity?
To me, creativity is coming up with fresh new ideas or adding a twist to old ideas. I believe anyone can become more creative. When I was at school I would only draw things I could see, then I went to art college and they started teaching me new ways to think. From there I have developed my creative thinking with different Creative Techniques. By simply learning a few simple creative techniques you can vastly improve your creative ability.

What websites and resources are your favourites, for inspiration and getting things done?
For getting things done I like the App “Things”. A simple notebook or sketchbook is great for remembering ideas. My favourite books on creativity are by Michael Michalko. I also love James Altucher’s newsletter because it’s so quirky. Altucher also constantly encourages people to become Idea Machines by developing an idea habit of coming up with 10 ideas a day.

Tara Roskell Cartoon

What’s your advice for anyone trying to market their art or make money from it?
So far I have made my living from graphic design. One of the ways I used to get freelance work prior to having regular clients was by consistent blogging on a design blog I owned. I think if you blog along with using social media it helps people (potential clients) get to know you more.

Teaching is also a way to make money from your creative skills. A few years ago I created a video course about Logo Design which sells very well on Udemy. So if you have a skill other people want to learn, you could try teaching it on Udemy, Skillshare or your own site.

I am currently working on trying to license my cartoons and characters or potential creating products with them, so I might be able to tell you more about that in the future.

Where can we find you and your works? if you sign up for my newsletter, you will get exclusive cartoons and content which won’t appear on the blog.

Twitter and Instagram @tararoskell.

Facebook – TaraRoskellArt.

Tara Roskell Startup Cartoon

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