A Day In The Life Of An Illustrator: Doodlegram's Geffen Rafaeli

Courtesy of Geffen Rafaeli
Courtesy of Geffen Rafaeli
Photo of Deborah Moher
9 November 2016

Have you ever wondered how talented creatives spend their day? Take a sneak peak into a day in the life of Geffen Rafaeli, Doodlegram’s talented illustrator. Having first taken the world by storm through her Instagram account, she has most definitely made her mark on the illustration industry worldwide. Her illustrations are made up of delicate strokes, mostly black-and-white sketches, quirky and cute.

Illustration of Cafelix | © Gefen Raffaeli

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

I have some morning routines which I love, but first as soon as I wake up, I immediately grab the iPhone just to check nothing very interesting/wonderful/horrible happened while I was sleeping (never does). Then I go over Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, E-mails and maybe some news. It’s a bad habit but I admit I’m glued to my phone.

Coffee at Cafelix | © Geffen Refaeli

Before getting to the studio, I’ll stop at Cafelix nearby – get my coffee and unnecessary, wonderful pistachio cake! I usually take the time to do the illustration for the Dailydoodlegram project in the morning with my coffee, to clear my head, or at home in the evening. In general, you can usually find me either at the studio or a coffee shop – other cafés I love are Sheleg, Da Da & Da.

Cafelix Cake | © Geffen Rafaeli

What does the rest of the day look like?

After coffee I head to the studio where I share a space with two designer friends, Zohar and Hila, and their dogs Misha and Shansha. As a freelance illustrator, I work on several commissioned projects at a time, like illustrations for a book, for branding projects and musicians, and I also work on my own ideas and art. Our studio is located in Beit Romano, which is a really nice location. The building is an old office complex from the 40s and was famous for its many clothes and textile shops.

Doodlegram Studio | © Geffen Rafaeli

In the past years it’s become a pretty popular spot with bars opening there, studios rented for designers and artists, and the ‘Romano’ restaurant, which is a great place to eat and have a drink after work. There are a lot of nice events happening here also, like concerts, pop up shops, record fairs and lots of good music. There are also many places to grab lunch in the area, like the kaimak or hummus at Garger Hazahav. Just around the corner on the other side of the building, there is the Uganda bar, which is always an easy-going place to have a drink at and meet friends in.

The Studio | © Geffen Rafaeli

How and when do you get inspired with your illustration, especially where in Tel Aviv?

It’s a hard question to answer without using clichés like “inspiration is everywhere,” but that’s kind of true. I really like to walk around and look (if I can force myself to detach from my iPhone), and I take pictures of things I find interesting on the way – people, places, or situations that I can afterwards draw.

Illustrations by Geffen Rafaeli

I absolutely love small things, and if there are lots of them it’s even better – so the Levinsky market area, with all the spices, toy shops and old craftsmen is a pretty charming area for me. Until a few months ago, I lived in Neve Tzedek and I loved to walk around its little streets on Saturday morning all the way down to the sea and Noga neighborhood, and then maybe get another coffee in Casino San Remo.

Levinsky Market | © Gefen Rafaeli

I love nature, animals and plants, and since the city can get pretty noisy and harsh sometimes – and I usually have enough noise going on inside my head – I like to find peaceful spots for myself in the city, where I can look at trees and hear the birds. sitting in Gan Meir near my house in the early morning or afternoon, or in Kikar Bialik, or just getting a coffee and finding an isolated bench somewhere can be really nice from time to time, but really, one of my favorite views is the one from my rooftop.

Shoes | © Geffen Rafaeli

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