Ep. 1: Building an Audience Using Fan Art - Interview with Nina Nguyen aka Mis0happy

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Illustrator and graphic designer of cute Japanese pop culture art, Nina from Misohappy is a master at kawaii art. At the time of recording this episode (October 2018) Nina has been self-employed for the past month. How did she do it? Listen to the interview to learn how she did it along with stories from her childhood, art school days, and more!

Where to find Mis0happy:

Things mentioned in the episode:

Episode lessons:

  1. Not all art schools are as intense as they’re stereotyped to be. Nina found her school to be no more hectic than the average college experience so if you’re worried about that, maybe you shouldn’t be!

  2. Criticism can be taken 2 ways: 1) you can either be angry or 2) you can step into the other person’s shoes to see their point of view and possibly use those perspectives for future art… or you can just not listen to criticism that is not constructive!

  3. Making art friends is akin to networking. Not only do they provide emotional support but they can help you in your career as well. Networking is not always as scary as it sounds!

  4. Drawing fan art can attract people who share your interests. There’s a good chance that if they like your fan art in your style that they will also like your original art.

  5. One way to grow a loyal following is to be genuine and share parts of your life with your community. They will feel more connected to you and become invested not only in your art but you as a person.

  6. Before you quit your job to be self-employed, make sure you have things in order. Make sure you know your profits and losses and that you make enough money to not only survive but to live comfortably.

  7. When you’re self-employed, make sure to have multiple sources of income. This helps when some flows of income inevitably slow down. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

  8. Take inspiration from daily life to continuously produce new ideas. Keep track of those ideas somewhere so you have something to reference when inspiration runs dry.

  9. Amazon is pretty good at handling art theft so don’t hesitate to report it if you see your art being stolen on Amazon. (This does get complicated though if it’s fan art due to copyright issues)

  10. Create continuously. Be patient, when the time is right you will be able to work for yourself. Create a community who will support you and your work.

Aleksandra Agosto