Every month, we feature a member of the yes supply collective. The yes supply collective helps ambitious creatives find a way to monetize what they’re already good at, so they can build a business doing what they love. We provide morning motivation, lessons on how to grow your business and social media following, mentorship and opportunities to be featured and promote your brand on a bigger scale.
The collective member of the month is our opportunity to showcase our amazing, creative members who are growing their own creative businesses and help make our community a place where women can come to and be inspired, get advice, support and direction in creating a life they love.
Zie from Zie Darling + Zie Darling Doodles AND It’s Paper Dear (hah)
I’m Zie Campbell, the face behind Zie Darling + Zie Darling Doodles and the co-owner of It’s Paper Dear stationery! I’m an illustrator & blogger living in Nashville, Tennessee, with Napoleon, the cat, and Boyfriend, the boyfriend. We eat too much sushi, drink too much wine and can never get enough cheese fries.
How to be an Illustrator with Zie Darling- Collective Member of The Month
What Can People Find On Zie Darling + It’s Paper Dear?
My “day job” is working as a freelance illustrator for lots of really rad clients. I’ve been published in magazines and blogs, won National awards & generally having way too much fun sitting in my studio doodling the days away.
I’m also the co-owner of an online stationery shop, It’s Paper Dear, which again, means a LOT of illustrating and designing.
And lastly, I have a lifestyle blog and Instagram that are aimed at babes in business who are looking for a more mindful and intentional approach to living. See? Lotta hats.
What are the steps it took you to get to where you are now?
When I was still in college, I started blogging and doing some side freelance design and illustration work in between my homework and my retail jobs. At once, I took it too seriously and not seriously enough. So I felt like I was constantly fumbling through everything. I knew there was *something* there but I wasn’t prepared to figure out what it was. I was winning awards for my illustrations and getting the kinds of clients most would DIE for. But I think I was too jittery to understand that I could actually do that kind of stuff for a living.
So a week after I graduated college (with a BFA in Graphic Design, Minor in Illustration), I lined up this super professional, high paying graphic design position for a company who’s clients list included Target, Walmart, etc. And it was SO much money. Like I had gone from being an extremely broke college student to having access to an *expendable* income. I thought I had it made.
I lasted six days at that job. Six.
It ended up being a horrible, horrible place to work and to the short of it, I couldn’t morally, emotionally or mentally handle that job anymore. So I walked out during lunch and didn’t go back.
From there, it was kind of a whirlwind of “what the hell am I doing?”. I had a new degree but no job and I felt like a failure. I applied to desk job after desk job and I was either “too qualified” or “not enough” for EVERY position. So after about a month of that, I was getting desperate.
How To Be An Illustrator
So I took the plunge and started freelancing and making my blog into something profitable. I taught classes, I wrote ebooks, I blogged. I did branding design and consulting. I did blog portrait illustrations for people. And things worked well enough that I didn’t have to go back to a desk job.
Things were tight, for sure. And to be honest, I’m still not making the kind of money that I would have made at the design job I quit. And when I went through a particularly rough patch money-wise, I got a part time job at a retail shop on the weekends. But I’ve never honestly considered going back to a desk job. I’m in general, having too much fun and loving this life too much to go back.
Fast forward to a little more recently, I was bored and exhausted with branding work and the *specific* type of hustle that’s required to be 100% a business coach. And because I had started doing the illustrations for It’s Paper Dear all the time, I had started to notice how happy I was on days where I was drawing from morning to night.
Then it clicked, kind of. I wanted to essentially switch careers, without any real warning. But I think if nothing else this entire adventure has taught me that risk is the only way to go and even when I’m scared to death to fall on my face, I’ve learned how to get up and do it again.
So that brings us to today. I’m still trying to map out what my new career and life looks like, but for the most part, I work on illustrations for my clients and It’s Paper Dear 85% of the time, and the rest, I spend trying to figure out what the next chapter for Zie Darling (the blog and Instagram) really is.
I’m excited to see where the adventure takes me next.
What is your YES! What kind of life do you want to live?
I have so many YES goals and big life plans. But the ones I’m focusing on right this second are:
1. building up a bigger and broader client base that results in seeing more blogs and magazines turning to illustrators to help tell their story.
2. finishing my children’s book and getting it published!
3. more financial ease so that I can better take care of my family and continue doing this full time without having to fall back on a part time job again.
How can the community help you achieve that?
Well, I’m for hire, so if anyone needs any illustration work for their blog, business, or even personal (like gifts!) I’d LOVE to help each other out with that.
What influenced you to join the yes supply collective?
I honestly just liked how you were approaching the whole community. The good morning beautiful emails were a nice touch, and I was impressed how you managed everything and built this community so quickly.
So I thought, for $7 a month I can probably learn from her to help me figure out my own path better. I think this was also the closest I could get to affording business mentoring, even if it’s not directed solely at me, it’s been helpful. So thank you for everything you do! 🙂
Why do you love Good Morning Beautiful? What impact has it had on your life?
Good Morning Beautiful is a nice reminder for me that I need to focus on creating before I consume and I need to focus on one thing at a time. It’s given me perspective and given me a space to kind of chill out for a second, which is lovely.