Know Your Artist: Little Things

When you first hear the term ‘Little Things’, what comes to your mind? Small, cute, tiny, little things, right? This is why it is a great name for the Lalitpur based startup who creates the cutest and the most adorable designs and products. Abha Dhital, who started Little Things back in 2015 as an experimental project, is a proud entrepreneur and the think tank behind the ideas and designs that the people around Kathmandu are getting madly in love with. Little Things was chosen as the artist of the month of April at Butta, for which we did an email-interview despite seeing her everyday because she is always running around for work. Here is her story, as responded to Jenish Maharjan.

Abha Dhital, Little Things — Artist in Focus

1) How do you define Little Things?
Little things is all things happy, quirky, and perhaps corny too. We are primarily a cards business — we produce funny, punny and happy cards for all occasions— but we have expanded ourselves as a design-based brand where we sell printed mugs, apparel, tote bags, and posters among other things.

2) How did you get into this field? How did Little Things start?
A random idea (and a secret wish) of making cards turned into an experiment, and the experiment turned into a business. We’ve always been scribblers with a corny side to us, and these both elements are what the business thrives on.

3) How has the journey been so far?
Mostly happy and experimental. We experiment a LOT: if we come up with an idea we try to give it some shape instead of just letting it fly off. But, then of course experiments come with their own set of highs and lows. We have had our share of anxious days when we are worried too much about not being able to deliver. We have had our share of failures and disappointments too. However, looking back, the journey has been mostly happy: we have made so many people smile, we have saved a couple of relationships too *wink*, and we have witnessed people going gaga over the stuff. As cliché as it gets, it has been a roller-coaster ride!

4) What about your inspirations?
We find inspiration everywhere and in everyone: in beautiful classical songs, in bad songs that stick to your head, in how we feel about somebody, in how someone feels about somebody else, in the dhulo-dhuwa of Kathmandu, in truck sahitya, in puns that arise from conversations with best friends and awkward moments with strangers!

5) Do you want to share any tips on being creative?

6) How much free time do you get? What do you do during that free time?
Besides the red letter days such as Valentine’s, Friendship Day, Mother’s day or around the monthly Art Market at yellow house and the like — when we are crammed with the ideation, production and delivery process — work at little things is pretty relaxed. Work doesn’t feel like work. It’s almost always fun and spontaneous: an idea pops up, we come up with a design, we publish it, and then bask in the happy glory of our customer’s funny reactions. When we are tired though, we just sleep because we are lazy pandas!

7) How does your family feel about Little Things? How supportive have they been?
Our production started with cards for Mother’s day in 2015; and the only reason we took this experiment (back-in-the-time) forward is because our families loved what we were doing! They have always been supportive and they have always been our secret brand ambassadors. You know how there are designs that really suck, and you try to bury it, but your parents overlook how horrible they are, protect those designs and somehow manage to share it with their friends (and the whole world).

8) Share with us a list of work that you like the most ­ both yours and/or those of others.
Loryn Brantz Illustrations (which is very basic) and Zen Pencils (which is very cool) : Love everything they make like EVERYYYYTHING!

9) Some people say that Creative Block is a myth. What do you think about it and if you think it exists, how do you deal with it?
It is not a myth. When we enter that phase we go into sloth-bear mode and just hide under our blankets. Deal with it? Well the only way we can come out of it is deadlines that we have promised to meet. Once the deadline starts glaring at us we get off our lazy asses and start working!

10) How have you honed your skills as a designer? Any secret formula?
It is a secret. Sorry.

11) Any tips for young designers out there?
Stay young, stay wild. *wink* On a serious note, when you design something, make sure it calms the storm in your heart.

12) People find most of your work adorable. But how do YOU want people to perceive your work?
 Adorable! Duh!