Important Announcement

Hellooo everyone!

I've recently changed my name for good. From now on, my name would be Charllotte (pronounced as 'Sharlet'). Charllotte Ashlie in full. Boy, I LOVE MY NEW NAME! 

I'll also be changing my Chinese name (update coming up in my next post). I'm really excited about the change. It felt as though I was given a new lease of life. :p

More exciting news by Charllotte coming soon, I hope! :D

Stay safe and have a fabulous week ahead~

❤ Blessings, Charllotte

Updates

Recently my Nono was diagnosed with cancer. We took him to the vet after we observed a continuous growth of  lumps on the bottom of his paw and lower lip. Yes, it is the dreaded cancer. BUT no, I'm not going to give any more power to this disease. Not even after losing my dad to lymphoma two months back.

Considering my boy would be turning 12 this year, we have no intention of letting him go through any surgery that would cause him to lose two toes (or more) and his lower lip. After consulting with a TCM vet and doing some research online, we made quite abit of adjustment to his diet which now consist mainly of home-cooked meal, TCM and some supplements. 

I'm glad he is still eating very well at the moment. Just look at how adorable he was in his new booties (sorry my dear, they only had the pink ones left :p).

Please be strong and healthy again, naughty boy! 

On a lighter note, I'd signed up for a basic illustration course at Mages which will commence end of July. Although this is just a 6-weekly course, I'm still very excited about it. Plus, this would be my very first illustration course as I've never done anything like this before. The encouraging part is that, I was also being offered a 90% grant by MDA (Media Development Authority). This means I only have to pay $128+ for the course! I can't wait to be in 'school' again.

Well, I'll be documenting what I've learned on my blog every week and hopefully there'll be something you can learn from. Stay tuned!

❤ Blessings, Rheea

Thank you 2013. Hello 2014.

Dollgift was born some 5 years ago...

I still remember vividly how excited I was when I got my first order on Etsy. I was selling some postcards, bookmarks and notebooks made from scratch all by myself. Less than a year later, I began to sell these handmades in gift/book stores on consignment. I was fortunate to have more than 10 stores across Singapore that sell my works. But less fortunate because I'd so much problem getting my paycheck at the end of each month. I felt like a loanshark chasing for my money month after month. Slowly I was able to shift my focus to freelance projects and withdrew from most consignment stores. 

Even though I'd always introduce myself as an illustrator designer when I meet new people. I didn't tell them that I'm also the admin, sales, marketing, photography, delivery, and everything-else-person. 

Some people would call me an entrepreneur but I've never regarded myself as one. In fact, I don't want to be one. All I wish is to have more time to draw. And somehow I hope that the story in my drawings will inspire you. 

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Well, 2013 is coming to an end soon.

What have you achieved over the year? Have you been nice to yourself and others? How many dreams have you fulfilled? The new year will be arriving soon. Which means, it's a brand new chance for us to do what we didn't get to and continue to do the things that make our hearts sing.

I'm very grateful for all the love, laughters and tears I've shared over the year. At the same time I'm also very excited about the new adventure ahead.

Here's wishing you great health, lots of joy, love and peace for 2014.

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❤ Xoxo, Rheea & Nono 

Past Works And Background

Happy midweek!

Hope you're having a good week so far.

Today I've got three pieces of my past works here to share with you. These treasures were found while decluttering my room some weeks back. And I'd managed to throw/ give away over TWENTY bags of stuffs! It felt soooo good. -u- 

The first piece was a huge A2 size pen drawing I did for a school assignment ten years ago (now I feel old :( ). This wasn't my first attempt with a technical pen since I'd tried pen drawings during art classes in high school, BUT it was my very first attempt on such a huge paper.

 

Next was a charcoal drawing, done in A2 size as well. Yes, it was rather frightening to work with such a big size (for a small girl like me) but I must say I was pretty pleased with the result of these two assignments. Heh.

A little history...

I graduated from an art school (Lasalle-SIA College of The Arts) with a diploma in Fashion Design. I was never good in academics during my school life and since art was the only subject I love, it makes sense that I'd chosen the creative path. You may wonder, why fashion? Honestly, I do not have a clear answer for myself. All I know was when I was young, I dreamed of seeing gorgeous models catwalk down the runway in the clothes that I designed and made. Slowly, my illusion as a fashion designer began to fade away after I set foot into the 'real' fashion world. Though I still enjoy a little sewing now and then, I'd come to terms that fashion is just not my cup of bubble tea. 

The third piece of work is an acrylic painting I did much more earlier.. when I was about twelve? It was done at a private art school I attended in my elementary school years where we learned the basics of various drawing techniques such as pencil sketches, crayon, watercolor, and acrylic painting. Unfortunately, I stopped at the oil painting level as I entered my teen years.  

I know I do not have a strong art background and this lack of knowledge/ skill has a big effect on my confidence in my works. Nonetheless, I'm very thankful to be blessed with fans who love and support my art. 

This said, I'll definitely brush up my skills and work hard to create more beautiful works!^^

Thank you for reading.~

❤ Xoxo, Rheea

Dishonesty

My mood was little affected by something I stumbled upon today; I'd found photo of a piece of wall art with my drawing on Instagram. I know I should be happy with a caption that says, 'I just had to get this! So cute and fun!!', except that this product didn't look familiar to me at all. I don't remember printing my artwork on some wall decors, let alone discovering this lady had actually bought it at some random shop in Seattle. Then it suddenly hit me as I recalled this art publishing company whom I'd given my rights to manufacture my artworks on their wall decor products more than a year back (I wrote a post on this some time back HERE). In agreement, they'd pay me a royalty for every sale. Anyway, long story short. When all attempts to get my payment fell through, I sent a final email informing them about my displeasure and decision to terminate our contract. This mean they no longer have the right to use ANY of my artwork. I know I could have pursue the matter with a lawyer or in small claims court but it wouldn't be worth the time, money and hassle. I'd chosen to let go this matter and moved on. BUT to my great dismay, I found out today (6 months later) that this company is still using my artworks! I don't want to imagine how much money they're earning out of my works without paying me - A SINGLE CENT. They sell wholesale by the way. Seriously, these people just make me want to scream out the four letter word. I did.

 

Now I just hope by bringing this up, I can warn freelancers or small businesses like me out there about 'trusting' someone so easily.. not even when you have a contract signed with company stamp. For all that matters, collect a down-payment BEFORE the start of any project and get all your legal resources on hand. I can't stress that enough now that I've learned the hard way. You can read up more helpful tips by Forbes HERE

Phew.. enough negativity. And thanks for reading. I'd like to end my post with some positivity.

Here are some gorgeous photos I took in Bali! 

  Caught this moments before we touched down at Bali airport. Is it a rainbow? Or the presence of an Angel?!! :D

Caught this moments before we touched down at Bali airport. Is it a rainbow? Or the presence of an Angel?!! :D

  Breathtaking views at the Uluwatu Temple

Breathtaking views at the Uluwatu Temple

❤ Xoxo, Rheea.

Time To Say Goodbye

Happy Sunday!

What have you been up to eh? Well, I've been working on a new website for my label, Dollgift.

I can't help but feel sad to have to bid goodbye to my current one soon.. After all it was the very first website I learnt to build from scratch without a single clue about web building. Getting a new website has been on my mind for quite a while now. There are just too many restrictions to my existing site with some of the bigger problems like; not being smartphones friendly, no shopping cart, a pain to post any updates etc. Of course these problems can be easily solved by incorporating flash or css but  that would also mean extra time, energy and frustrations to figure how to do it (I'm a web building idiot remember?). Hence, I figured switching to a ready-made template website would be a wiser choice in the long run. And I'm actually looking forward to the new one. Heh!

Now will you visit my first love for the last time before it's gone, www.mydollgift.com.

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❤ Xoxo, Rheea.

Which Way To Go?

'“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?""That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.  "I don't much care where..." said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go,” said the Cat.'

- Alice in Wonderland.

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Is this what you want for your life; not caring where you're going, just like Alice?

If not, perhaps it's time to make some planning and changes. ;)

Have fun! And have a great weekend.~

❤ Xoxo, Rheea.

New Love

My dinner for today...

Yummilicious garlic bread from Paris Baguette ^^

You've got to try it!!!

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❤ Xoxo, Rheea.

Letting Go

I'm sure at some point of your life, you meet dishonest people and you're taken advantage of. It makes you angry, and it question your faith not just in humanity, but also.. your self-worth.

As a freelance/ indie designer, this is nothing new to me. Many consignees do not pay up on time, or better still, some would try to avoid paying you at all. These people would come out with tons of excuses. Some impressive ones I came across include, 'Oh, we've already mailed out your cheque. Maybe we've sent it to the wrong address.', 'Oh, I'm so sorry, I thought I've already replied you.'.. And my all time favourite has to be, 'I'm having a depression...' (Right! I'm having a depression because of you too!) This particular woman is darn good at coming out with all the award winning reasons every month and they'd always be one that pulls on your emotional string. Check this out, 'I'm sick.', 'I'm in the hospital.', 'I'm still having my depression.', 'My dad just passed away.' (I swear I'm not lying). Thank God, she didn't tell me she's having menopause.

This went on for a year. Yes, she did pay me after months of pursuing, BUT more often than not, her cheque would be problematic. Finally one day, I came to my senses. I decided to pull out my works from her store and demanded for my outstanding payment. Not surprisingly, she used the tactic she knew best. When I would not take her shit no more, she told me, 'I have no money.' Suddenly everything became even clearer to me. She has been taking my kindness as a weakness all those while when I'd choose to give her the benefit of doubt. Things turned ugly when I threatened to go to the Small Claims Tribunal. Anyway, fast forward that horrible experience, I managed to get back my merchandise and money from that store (and many other stores).

Since those unpleasant experiences, I'd cut down on consignment partnership and direct my attention to copyright licensing. Recently, something similar happened. This art publishing wholesale company from US approached me to give them the right to use my artwork. After everything has been agreed; contract signed, artworks emailed to them, they slowly disappeared. Few weeks ago, this guy told me he was busy at some trade show and promised to get in touch when he returned the following week. But you guessed it, he disappeared when I emailed him again weeks later. Well.. It has been a year since I worked with them AND I HAVE NOT RECEIVED A SINGLE CENT. I can't understand why people would do such a thing. Does it makes them happy to know they'd successfully make another fool believe in them?

I get upset with people who hurt me and violate my trust, but try as I might, I can never bring myself to hate them. You can call me naive or stupid (I guess I'm both. Sigh). I may hate the thing someone did to me but I can never hate them as a person. I always believe everyone has a kind nature and I choose to see the good in them. Sadly, the society may have turned them into someone 'unlikeable', but the soul always remain pure and kind.

Sometimes we just have to let go of the thing doesn't make us happy to make space for the thing that does. Be thankful for the experience and what we've learned from it, then move on.

What have you been holding on to? It's time to let go.

Afterall, we deserve to be happy. :)

❤ Xoxo, Rheea.