Author Interview: Samantha Snyder - Doodle Art Alley Coloring Books - and so much more.

Oh, it's been so much fun coloring with Doodle Art's Alley! They've given me hours of fun, and I've even been able to virtually meet the author for a little tête-à-tête. It was a little surreal, but very awesome at the same time. Remember my review of Doodle Art Alley Book 1? That was a good one! And of course my review of Magical Designs Art Coloring Book where I promised you a fly's view of my conversation with Samantha! Yeah, I can call her that! But before we begin, I wanted to show you my latest Doodle Art Alley coloring book, Saving Grace which is volume 5 of the series. Who knows how many volumes there will be. I colored again, and I wanted to show you off my handiwork. :) I'm proud. 

Now as you can tell, the picture came out beautifully. I had so much fun. But when I lifted the page (even though I had card stock under it) it bled through to the next picture. I was a little sad. I'm not sure how I'm going to work that into the next picture. I still think that there should be a card stock piece attached to the cover, AND that each drawing should be able to be removed by having them attached by perforations. If it were close enough, I'd run my sewing machine needle over it, but alas, I can't.

But why am I talking to you when I could be talking to SAMANTHA?! (Sorry, I still love you, really!)

Today we are going to interview probably the most inspirational, wonderful doodle artist I know.
Everyone, please welcome the very sweet, Samantha Snyder.

Round of Applause

Samantha, I hope it's okay to call you that, Ms. Snyder if you're doodly. Sorry, had to do it. Now
to a semi more serious note:

It's no secret that I'm a fan of your work. I own Imagination Will Take You Everywhere, Amazing
Grace, and Magical Designs Coloring Art Book and I'm rather attached to your website
http://www.doodle-art-alley.com so having you here on Page Turners is an honor.

Thanks. I’m excited to be here.  And nice Janet Jackson reference, by the way.  I totally got it right away and had to explain it to my husband.  He’s not so hip... 
Husband's can be totally clueless, but let's not talk about that, we could be here all day! :)

You've probably been asked 1,000,000 times about how you got into doodling, so I'll save you
from answering that question again. But I do want to know where the first seed got planted for
the first Doodle Art Alley Book you drew.

My very first book was actually drawn up in 2009.  I started my website a year or so earlier and was trying to find a way to sell some of my stuff.  This was only like 2 months before Amazon came out with CreateSpace (self-publishing) - we have a way with timing :)...so we self published and printed 1000 Doodle Art Alley, Hand Drawn Coloring Art Books ourselves.  I put them up on my website for sale and my husband and brother-in-law went up the California coast trying to get them into stores.  Let’s just say the results were less than desired and we had more than a few people laugh in our face. It’s ironic to think about that now, considering how huge this whole adult coloring book thing is.  I did sell a few here and there through my website and a couple at a local farmer’s market.  I took them off my website a few years back and ended up giving most of them away. (I still have a box of 100 or so in my closet).  This book is like my “rookie card” of coloring books and maybe it will be worth something one day ;) Keep dreaming, right?
I'd be more than happy to take 5 or 6 of them off your hands if you don't want them in your closet.

Why didn’t you just turn to painting, or something wonderful like that? You’re so very talented?

You obviously haven't seen any of my paintings.  :)   I never took lessons as a kid/young adult and so my experience with art in general is just really small. Doodling really is all I knew.  After I started my website, I began to realize how much I could benefit with a formal education in art.  I wanted to try new things and bring new dimensions to my coloring pages.  In 2013 I started going to school part time at the nearby University in hopes to one day receive a BFA and later a MFA. I’ve got a ways to go but I’ve really seen a difference in my work and am excited to further my knowledge and experience.  You can see some of my non-coloring page stuff on my personal portfolio page - www.samanthasnyderart.com
For us blondes that Bachelors of Fine Arts and Masters of Fine Arts. (I had to Google it!)

Do you intend for your books to be used in a clinical setting, such as a therapist’s office, or are
they meant to be used in real life? The reason I ask is I’ve shown these to my therapist and she
was so impressed with them, and their message that she immediately went out and bought 4
Volumes for use in her practice so people could color during therapy, or take home the
message knowing that it would be the perfect message for them.

I really didn’t have any specific audience in mind when I started drawing up my pages (and later, my books).  I obviously assumed teachers would benefit, being one at the time.  But it wasn’t long until I started hearing from therapists, counselors, and others in the field, telling me how beneficial my pages were.  So when it came to creating my books, I knew that they would be used in the clinical setting, which I’m super excited about.  Anywhere that they can be of positive influence is awesome.  

Did you ever imagine that your books would be as popular, and as wonderfully and widely
accepted as they are?

No, not at all.  Especially now with how many adult coloring books are out there.  I tend to lose confidence when I realize who I’m “going up against” and how most of these other artist/authors have an art education background.  But I remind myself that I’m happy with who I am and what I have produced.  I recognize that we have different styles and techniques.  Plus, I’m not done.  I’m still learning and growing and even though I may be doing things a bit backwards (again with the timing) I’m moving forward with my dream.  I’m thankful for the support people (like yourself) have shown, it’s definitely inspired me to keep going.

I mentioned earlier about your website http://www.doodle-art-alley.com I know that it’s geared
more towards teachers, but for those of us coloring page addicts, this is still a treasure trove of
wonders. I have to ask, why give away such resources? (And I know you were a teacher, and I’m so thankful for all you’ve done for students, it’s a thankless job!)

When I started my website 7 years ago, I just thought of it as a place to put coloring pages I already drew for my students.  The website slowly grew (until I “retired” from teaching) and I just never thought about charging for my stuff.  I enjoyed that my art had a purpose and others appreciated it.  That really was enough for me and still is.  There is nothing like the random email I get from time to time thanking me for offering my stuff for free.  I make what I need from Ads (and now books) to keep me being able to do this and not have to work outside the home.  And for that I’m thankful.  

Well, what happens if I want to keep in touch with all of the goodies that you have to offer on
your website and all of your new books?

Please keep in touch!  I post most of my new stuff on my Doodle Art Alley Facebook page and I also have a Doodle Art Alley newsletter that I try to send out at least once a month, where I feature my new books and printables available on my website.  You can sign up for free on my website.  

OK, silly questions now, are you ready?

Chocolate or vanilla?

Definitely Chocolate.  Does anyone really say vanilla and if they do, can we trust them?

A question they asked on the TV series Bones I’ve always been tempted to throw in the mix of
questions to throw someone off.  Given the choice, would you rather be run over by one
steamroller or by 1,000 mopeds?

After giving this much thought, I’d probably go with a steam roller.  One quick motion all at once.  Plus it makes me think of Tom and Jerry and being smashed and then floating back and forth like a piece of paper.  Brings a smile to my face.

And last but not least, do you have plans for more books? How many are you working on?
(Oops, that was two in one!)

I do have plans for more books.  I would give you a set number, but it’s constantly changing as my publisher and I are always coming up with new and fun ideas to try out.  Hopefully there will be a couple more in the coming months with several next year.  I just love doodling and am thankful there is a way for me to display my stuff.  

Thank you Samantha for coming by to answer my real questions and my silly questions alike.
You have been such a wonderful inspiration to me, you’ve helped me in my times of stress and
anxiety. When nothing seemed to make sense. If it weren’t for this computer screen, I’d give you
the biggest hug.

Thank you again for stopping by, you’re welcome to come any time. The door is always open to

Thank you so much for this opportunity.  It’s been wonderful and I’m so glad my books can have such a positive effect.