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Ep. 96: Dani Jones – Illustrating her Dreams to Life

Dani Jones is an artist, writer, children’s book illustrator, and comics creator. She is the author and illustrator of the picture books, Monsters VS. Kittens, and the sequel, Dinosaurs VS. Puppies. She also created the webcomic My Sister the Freak. For more than ten years, she’s worked as a freelance artist, drawing for books, magazines, apps, and games. She loves what she does and she’s here to tell us all about it!

Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams!

Dani has heard the question countless times, and you may have wondered the same thing: Can art actually make a living? When Dani graduated from college, she decided to jump right in and MAKE it happen for her. She knew that making a living from her art would take full effort, but it’s all she wanted to do. She shares how she stepped out of her comfort zone to chase her dreams.

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Figuring out the next steps:

Have you felt the confusion of not knowing what the NEXT STEPS are? If you choose to be a doctor, lawyer, or teacher, then the path is set for you and you know what to expect. On the contrary, if you choose ART, like Dani, there is NO set structure to follow. You have to make your own decisions. Dani shares how she called an art director of a magazine, stepped out of her comfort zone, and landed her first job.

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Find your corner:

How do you figure out exactly WHERE you belong? Being a successful artist isn’t about competing with other artists for work. It’s more about carving out a place for yourself. It’s about perseverance, pursuing your own things, and finding out what you like to do most. Dani’s advice is to find your corner, set your goals, step out of your comfort zone, and KEEP GOING!

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Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take: “Make a goal. Make the decision. Give it a try.”

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:

  • [1:10] Dani’s strong female characters in her web series
  • [2:50] Making a living from art: Is it possible?
  • [5:10] Art: Where there is no clear path to take, but endless possibilities
  • [8:05] Stepping out of your comfort zone
  • [9:00] Networking and making contacts
  • [10:03] Dani’s FAQ section on her website, a go-to for artists
  • [11:03] The idea for My Sister the Freak
  • [13:53] Staying out of a rut
  • [15:48] A typical day for Dani
  • [17:50] How long projects take to finish
  • [20:20] How one job leads to another
  • [21:45] Being comfortable where you are
  • [23:15] Ups and downs for artists
  • [25:10] Competing with yourself and carving your own place
  • [26:40] Finding your niche
  • [27:50] Steps for artists to take
  • [32:50] Different avenues for artists to make a living
  • [36:20] Dani’s ONE action for dream chasers to take

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE:

Dani’sWebsite (Aimee’s Note: Check out her FAQ section; it’s a great read!)

Dani’s How to Find an Illustrator Guide

Dani on Twitter

Dani on Instagram

Dani on Tumblr 

Dani on Facebook

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