Meet 29-year-old Dira Gana, a graphic designer and creator of some of the most popular LINE sticker sets, like Meow the Tabby Cat and Nudoru the Instant Noodle. Her designs are so well-received that the side income she earns from them is enough to pay for her holidays. Here’s how she did it.
You’re a full-time graphic designer. What made you want to design your own LINE stickers?
Back in 2014, I was chatting with my friend on LINE and wanted to send her a cat sticker. I couldn’t find one that I liked on the LINE Store, so I went on Google and looked up how to create my own LINE stickers. Fortunately, the LINE Creators Market had just launched, so any LINE user could create and sell their own stickers. Ever since then, I have been creating my own stickers and selling them on the LINE Creators Market.
Was it an easy process to get your stickers up on the LINE Creators Market?
As long you follow all the guidelines provided by LINE, the review process will go smoothly. Once you pass the review stage, you can start selling your stickers on the LINE Creators Market.
Where does the inspiration for your characters come from?
It comes from things I love, and simple day-to-day experiences. I love cats, so my first sticker character was Meow the Tabby Cat. I can get inspired by just about anything. I even have a sticker set that’s inspired by my late-night cravings for instant noodles!
How long do you take to design a sticker?
If it’s a static sticker, it will take around three days to finish. Animated stickers, which were introduced in June 2014, take around three weeks.
4 LINE hacks you should know about!
1 You can follow your oppas Korean celebrities who have official LINE accounts include Lee Min Ho, G-Dragon, Lee Kwang Soo, SHINee, EXO and Super Junior.
2 There’s a translate feature Want to send a message to your oppa but don’t speak Korean? Just use the official translator accounts available on LINE! Simply type in what you want to say in English, and the account will reply with the translated version of what you just typed. How convenient!
3 You can also use LINE on your desktop or iPad So now you can keep up to date with your favourite celebs, or chat with your friends even while you’re on your work computer.
4 Show your friends what’s on your computer Want to share a funny meme with your friends? You don’t have to go through the extra step of saving the picture before sending it over. Just use the screenshot function in LINE, which lets you take desktop screenshots and send them over directly.
You design LINE stickers and hold a day job. How do you juggle both?
I have my day job, as well other projects besides designing LINE stickers. I love doing all of it, even though it’s not always easy to juggle everything. Usually, I work on LINE stickers at night and on weekends.
We’ve heard that the earnings from these stickers alone were enough to fund your travels. Where have you been to so far? And which was your favourite holiday and why?
Yes, I’ve taken holidays in Osaka, Tokyo, Taiwan, Bangkok and Hong Kong using the income from my stickers alone. My favourite place for a holiday is Japan, because I get a lot of inspiration from there. Japan’s art and culture is interesting and quite different compared to other Asian countries. So I get to learn something new even while I’m relaxing on my holiday.
After the initial release of your stickers, how long did it take to earn a significant side income from it?
When my first set of LINE stickers was released, I was not expecting much because I simply wanted to create my own stickers for personal use and my portfolio. But after the first week, my Meow the Tabby Cat sticker set got a very good response. I’m glad that other people can express their emotions with my stickers. I know this because some people sent me messages, and one of them even made a clay version of Meow the Tabby Cat because they felt connected to the character!
Images LINE Text Sophie Hong.