Ava Marie Puckett – otherwise known as Ava Marie Doodles – is the brains behind Aviatepress, a beautiful illustration and design brand that sells handmade prints, cards and pins and the like with a feel-good and well-being twist. In her own words, Ava creates “positive, relatable doodles that garner human connection.” Indeed, her work is bright, witty and is full of messages, often touching on themes such as gratitude, happiness and kindness.
In fact, Ava's positive, witty and uplifting doodles promoting self-care have become a huge hit across the globe – she currently boasts 50K followers on Instagram where she regularly posts her new designs and thoughts. We had a quick chat with Ava about her artwork and approach to mental health to celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Day.
Ava: “Luckily, I was not physically affected, but some of my day-to-day life has been affected and I’ve definitely felt an emotional impact. It’s hard to see the devastation on homes and businesses that I love, just a few miles away from my own home. My studio space was slightly damaged, with power out for a couple weeks and some exterior damage from wind.”
“I've definitely felt the community pull together – we are all trying to help in some way, whether that’s through volunteering, donations, or financial contributions. It’s amazing to see how much everyone was willing to give.”
Ava Puckett in her studio
“I'm trying to take it one day at a time and give myself some grace as I adjust to the current climate. It's tricky, though – some things that I normally do on a daily basis to keep my mental health in check have fallen behind. I think we are all just trying to cope and do the best we can.”
“As far as my creativity – it's gone up and down, just like my mood! Sometimes I find a bit of inspiration and run with it, but other times I feel sad and lonely – unmotivated to do anything at all. I did have a flash of inspiration this morning, though, which is a good way to start the week!”
“It’s definitely become a part of my self-care routine. In fact, I think of it as a journal and artistic outlet. Journaling and doodling are tools that I’ve found to be very helpful in connecting the dots between feelings, experiences, and struggles I’ve had. And to be able to connect with others on what I’m experiencing, or help others feel less alone, is a very powerful thing.”
“I do. It’s amazing when you can get in that flow state, but it definitely requires a lot of work before I can get there. I’m so easily distracted by podcasts, social media, and my to-do list that I feel like I don’t get to the flow state as much as I’d like. It’s always something I’m working on.”
“I’d say my personal illustration work makes me feel creative and less anxious, but since I do it for work as well, I sometimes use other creative or physical outlets to get to the flow state – like music, running, and yoga.”
“Oh man, panic attacks are the worst! I’ve had two or three in my life, which were both brought on my extreme situational stress. The last time I had one, I was much more prepared and in a safe place. I was able to just sit on my floor, breathe through it, and accept that it was happening.
“I closed my eyes and just let my body freak out for a bit – I even made some noises like I was going into labor or something, which my therapist said was actually a healthy way to get through it!”
“I think I’ve been going for two-and-a-half years now and it’s been great! I’ve seen such a difference in my day-to-day life and stress levels. I’ve worked through a lot of family and personal issues I didn’t even realize were causing me anxiety: issues with food and body image, for example.”
“Journaling and doodling are tools that I’ve found to be very helpful in connecting the dots between feelings, experiences, and struggles I’ve had.”
“Therapy has given me validation, ways to identify negative self-talk, and an outlet to work through problems that I had been ignoring. I’ve also gotten a lot better about confrontation and standing up for myself.”
“I’ve received a lot of feedback from people saying my illustrations have made them feel more understood and less alone, which is amazing. It’s made me feel the same way when I hear from others that they can relate to my work and what I’m going through.”
If you love Ava's designs, be sure to follow her Instagram for a daily dose of self-care doodles!
Calvin edits our magazine and is a lover of swimming, yoga, dancing to house/techno, and all things vintage. Find out more.
How is gaming changing the way non-profits fundraise and boost community engagement? Corey Harnish explains this growing
With a saturated market, how do you pick the best book on mindfulness to suit you? You listen to our expert Ann Vrlak, that's how! Here she shares
Mindfulness podcasts are a great new way of discovering more about the practice while you're relaxing or on the go. Dee Marques shares her top seven