when life is hard and art is the way out with illustrator kaylani juanita

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By Daphne Cohn. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

It’s hard enough to feel worthy and good about oneself just being a human in a big, uncertain world. But for Kaylani, it was even harder. Born to a black father and a Filipino mother, Kaylani never felt like she belonged. She was bullied in school and at home. The messages she received about her worth and inherent goodness were twisted and cruel.

And yet, somehow, Kaylani found her way through art and an incredible inner strength. With the help of mentors, teachers, and her mom, Kaylani is now an illustrator whose clients include Chronicle Books, Cicada Magazine, and DEFY. Her work has been recognized by Society of Illustrators, The Huffington Post, and BBC.

In this conversation Kaylani talks honestly and compassionately about a difficult upbringing, a mental breakdown, and her rising up.

Some things we talk about:

  • how she got her first children’s book manuscript
  • being bullied and having a mental breakdown in college
  • what it means to be honest about who you are and what you make
  • the difference between real inclusivity in art vs. tokenization and
  • how art saved her life

May it inspire you to make your thing and change your world.

78 episodes