Last month's box featured a hand drawn image of the Sacred Heart drawn by the fantastically fabulous Ali Hoffman. We interviewed her for our monthly devotional included in the box, and learned more about Oodles of Doodles and the time she danced on national television.
Ali Hoffman, from where do you hail?
I was born in California but raised in Carrollton, Texas!
What’s the story behind theoodlesofdoodles?
I started TheOodlesOfDoodles as a New Year’s Resolution by just committing to posting on Instagram some doodle every day for a year. I LOVE doodling/drawing/making the space around me beautiful and I figured if I didn’t have at least 30 minutes a day to stop and do something that truly brings me a lot of joy, then I was WAY too busy with life!
How long have you been drawing?
I remember doodling notes to my friends in 7th grade and we HAD to make them cute because, duh, we’re girls and we just had to; but I’ve only taken a couple of formal art classes where I was taught how to draw. I’ve been doodling in my prayer journal for about 10 years because I like to make scripture beautiful; I just finished my 17th journal!
Can you comment on the influence dance has had on your life both real and spiritual?
Hah! Besides landing a spot on a reality television show, (Editor: This is a true statement. Google it.) I honestly believe if you give yourself permission to be silly, have fun, and not take yourself so seriously, that can directly correlate into your spiritual life. I’m a perfectionist and when I don’t achieve what I think is the height of perfection, I am very strict with myself. What my silly dancing does, in my mind, is remind me that life is so short and if I can’t even enjoy a 30 second dance break in the car, in the kitchen, or in front of my mirror, then I’m taking life too seriously. So breathe, relax, you’re doing fine, and heck, dance like a fool to your favorite song in the car – you deserve it.
What do you hope your art brings to people?
I really hope that the beauty I put into my art draws people to the beauty of the Lord. It’s as simple as that. I design prayer cards and one of my favorites is the Litany of Humility. I hate praying that prayer (hah, because Pride is my worst enemy), but I designed a card that is aesthetically beautiful with florals surrounding the prayer. It reminds me that even with though the words I’m praying ARE hard for me, the Lord is so gentle in the pursuit of my heart and is the ultimate beauty. He is so good!
Like I said before, I like to make scripture look as beautiful as the words that I’m praying are. I was listening to an album by Shane & Shane where they put music to different Psalms in the Bible. The music was AMAZING and it made me want to read the Psalms again and again in the Bible. I hope my art ultimately does the same thing where people will want to go back and re-read these prayers over and over again.
What has been the biggest surprise making art has brought?
The biggest surprise has been that people actually like my art. Seriously. I took 2 drawing classes in college, but everything else is self-taught. Being a perfectionist, I’m hyper critical of my work and to see such a warm embrace of my art is something that totally took me by surprise. The enthusiasm and encouragement I’ve received from people all over the world really has taught me that God can use ANYTHING to glorify Him, even if I think I’m broken, or messed up, or I doodled something I thought looked ugly - He can transform it and use it for His glory. THAT IS AMAZING TO ME!!!
Hands down, St. Teresa of Calcutta. How she viewed, interacted with, and related to other human beings with such compassion and respect and LOVE really has changed the way I look at the world. I was moved by her constant pursuit of the Good in simple, humble ways, even when she didn’t “feel” God and I relate a lot to her spirituality. She really did see Jesus in every person she met and that is my hope with whoever is in front of me.
Anything else you want people to know? Where can we follow you and find your stuff?
I love donuts. Like, really love donuts. I love donuts so much that I had to give them up for Lent.
Also, I have an etsy shop where I have different prayer cards for sale! www.etsy.com/shop/theoodlesofdoodles.
You can also find me on Instagram: @TheOodlesOfDoodles.
I do some commissioned pieces/wedding invites/save the dates/name cards. Just email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested! I’m also starting to do calligraphy workshops in the Dallas area, so be on the lookout to see where I’ll be hosting one!
This written interview was originally published in our March 2017 devotional: Daylights. Each month's LumiBox includes 31 days of devotions and interviews with the people behind the products in the box. You can check out March's devotional below!