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Intentional, whimsy and joyful: a snapshot of a professional doodler


Almost six years ago, Ali Hoffman turned her passion into a full-time gig, becoming a professional doodler. Her business is called Oodles of Doodles.

ALI HOFFMAN
Oodles of Doodles
“I don't want to be just another consumerism machine, where people have to buy things that maybe they don't necessarily need. So I want everything that I do to have a purpose, and one thing that I've been praying about, that I really want the Oodles of Doodles to be, is a place where I teach people how to pray, and so everything that I share, all the art that I do, all the little pieces that I put on Instagram or I send to people, it's all done in my prayer time.”

She doesn't sell everything she makes though. In response to what she sees as an especially difficult moment full of confusion and despair, Ali sometimes asks her followers on Instagram for their mailing addresses so she can send them personalized note cards of encouragement.

ALI HOFFMAN
Oodles of Doodles
“One thing that I really want to bring back into the world and just show the world, of the simple joy, of that it's okay to be joyful and silly and not take yourself too seriously, and so 'Oods of Doods' is something that I always call it—that kind of like, is my brand? So it's not a serious business type of thing in some people's minds, but for me it's very intentional, it's whimsy, it's joyful, and you don't take yourself too seriously, obviously.”

One of her favorite scriptural verses is from Isaiah 43, which says “I have called you by name, and you are mine.” She explains that this reminder of God's love fills her work with meaning.

ALI HOFFMAN
Oodles of Doodles
“I could not have these gifts and talents anymore, but will that change my love for Jesus? If I know this, if I know that He's called me personally and that I live this relationship through the sacraments, through community, through the Church, through the Church's teachings, then I have everything that I need, and so that gives me confidence to move forward and step out and to make mistakes and to fail and to keep coming back.”

It's certainly an art to be able to transmit this enthusiasm and compassion to others, drawing out smiles and similar acts of kindness from those who receive her doodles.

CT

Ali Hoffman