Artist – Dane Cozens

Dane: I feel like I’m constantly setting new standards for what counts as success to me, so this is kind of a tricky question to answer. There’s success at techniques, business success, recognition from others, and personal fulfillment in making art that represents something unique about yourself. I’m constantly working on every one of these in different ways, but I feel like one of my first moments of success was when I dedicated myself to making art as a job. At the time, I was studying to become a K-12 art teacher and working as a long term substitute because I thought it would be safer than pursuing art. After one of my long term sub gigs ended, I decided to take a semester off from earning a teaching degree. Instead, I dedicated all my hours to building a portfolio to get a job as a graphic designer. Looking back on that portfolio, I knew very little about graphic design. It was really an illustration portfolio. I applied to several graphic design jobs and eventually was hired by an advertising firm to do both graphic design and illustration work for their clients. Although I make very different art than I did then, the act of taking my art career seriously really shifted something in me. It gave me the confidence to do something I felt less safe doing, and I try to remember that feeling whenever I’m trying to make new strides in my current art work.



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