1 – Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi! I’m Jen, I live in Cardiff Bay with my border collie Rain. I love walking, running, skiing & doodling! I’m the founder of Danger Doodles, which is all about positive mental health, communicating what can be difficult in a lighthearted & accessible way, & encouraging creativity for wellbeing.
2 – How and when did you get started?
I started Danger Doodles 2 years ago. A little while before starting, I wasn’t enjoying my work, & felt so exhausted from the daily grind. I realised I hadn’t done much drawing since school, so I picked up a pen & started to doodle. I doodled with sharpie, so that I couldn’t rub it out if I thought it wasn’t good enough! A good friend challenged me to doodle what I’d say to someone else going through a tough time. That was a really tough challenge! But people really responded to those doodles & I realised I wanted to share these messages around positive mental health, and that I found doodling energising, so I quit my job & decided to give it my best shot!
3 – What has been your most satisfying moment so far?
So many incredible moments that it’s really hard to pick just one! Right after starting, I was awarded a grant from Unltd which really encouraged me – other people believed in me enough to give me money! I’ve also been invited to Facebook headquarters & worked with some incredible international brands. Winning 2020 Social Entrepreneur of the Year was a big moment for me. The best moments though are when I get messages from people who have been helped or encouraged from my doodles – that’s what keeps me going.
4 – What motivates/drives you?
Knowing/hoping that I’m making a small difference to make the world a better place. I never want anyone to feel alone in their pain. I’m really passionate about opening up conversations about mental health through my language of doodle speak. I want to share messages that resonates with someone or makes them smile.
5 – What advice would you give yourself at the start of your career?
Don’t pick what you think you “should” do or only think of traditional roles. Think about what you’re passionate about, what you love to do, what energises you, as well as where your skills lie. Making money from those things is secondary to choosing a career path that makes you excited to wake up each morning knowing you’re doing what you love. If you’re doing something you care deeply about, that will keep you going even on the tough days that you’ll inevitably have, as well all do. And remember to enjoy the journey!
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