We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacqueline Nkansah and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jacqueline, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I feel like as I’ve gotten older, work/life balance has become a bigger priority for me.

When I was in college, I became very comfortable with the idea of late nights, power naps and heavily caffeinated energy drinks. I did what I felt was necessary to succeed in that environment since it was such a fixed amount of time. I was fine with opening shifts at the bakery I worked at, followed by supplemental community college classes, club meetings and my regular university classes, because they were all essential to my success. Unfortunately, I often neglected things like self-care and wellness because I felt the work aspect of my life was the most important thing.

Although college was only a year or so ago for me, I can easily notice the drastic change in my overall wellness due to a better work/life balance. I prioritize sleep, exercise and relaxation because those things work in tandem with the career aspects of my life. I’ve come to realize life is so much more fulfilling when you focus on more than just working as hard as possible. Taking time to go on walks, take a vacation or spend time with loved ones is so beneficial to maintaining a good work ethic for myself.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Right now, most of my artistic energy is spent co-creating my webcomic, “One & Only”. The story is a rom-com, coming of age story with a lot of love put into it! I work on this project in my free time since I work full-time as an Executive Assistant at Disney Television Animation (a cool job and story for another time!).

One and Only is an important project to me because it is the first large project that I have started outside of college. Me and my roommate Rowan (co-creator/color artist for the comic) created the concept, style and pipeline for the comic, and continue share the story as we finish pages. Since it’s a webcomic, the work that gets done is solely based on our bandwidth, so there’s no pressure to meet any strict deadlines. The ideas and themes are entirely decided by us, and there’s a lot of freedom to go in any direction we want. My favorite things about the project are it’s potential to become so much more, but how regardless of if we’re sharing the story with 10 people or 10,000, it will always be fun to work on.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since I grew up in LA, but spent all of college in Orange County, a trip to my favorite spots would honestly span over a few cities!

One day would have to be dedicated to going to Disneyland in Anaheim! I had not been to the park in ages, but ever since getting hired for Disney TV, I’ve been able to visit the theme park again. It’s a wonderfully fun experience, and it’s a very classic “SoCal” trip to take. There’s also something for everyone: some fun rides for the rollercoaster lovers, some aesthetic places for the photogenic types, and some good eats for the foodies.

In terms of food and drink, a must have would be boba. I would take my best friend to some of my favorite boba spots in LA and OC county: Junbi in Rowland Heights, Omomo Tea in Irvine, Sunright Tea Studio in Fullerton to name a few! Boba is one of my favorite desserts and is very nostalgic to growing up in SoCal for me. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t take a friend visiting the area to get some!

I would be remiss if I did not take a friend to some of my favorite museums while visiting as well! A place that’s fun, beautiful and near to my heart is the Getty Villa in La. A beautiful museum modeled after the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, the Getty Villa is a great place to visit and just roam around for hours on end with some good company. If you’re in the market for more paintings, the Getty Center Museum is the second of the two Getty campuses, and it is filled with amazing pre-20th century European drawings, paintings and so much more!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My list of people who deserve recognition is a long one spanning over the course of two decades! I sincerely believe that every teacher who motivated me to draw, and write, all my friends who supported my art and even strangers who cheered me on through social media are all to thank for my success. If we’re getting into specifics, my roommates are some of the best influences in my life. I depend on them for anything from support, to guidance, to collaboration. They’re a huge inspiration for me as an artist, and I have them to thank for so many things. One of my big projects today is a shared collaboration between me and one of my roommates!

Another person who was a key player in my success journey was my mom. I would not have been able to go to a university that helped nurture my skills and education as an artist had it not been for her. She always trusted in the path I chose for myself, and made sure I had all the tools necessary to succeed.

If I had to name the biggest community that helped me achieve my goals, it would be the Pencil Mileage Club at Cal State Fullerton and it’s club advisors. There are some experiences that really shape you as a person and help you define your goals, and the PMC did that for me. From social events, to professional workshops and speaker events, the PMC and the professors affiliated with the club were the sole reason that I found so many of the resources that I did in college. Even when I became an officer of the club, I felt the effort I was putting into the organization was helping me become a more competent and well-rounded professional. Anything I did for the club just came back around to help me on my journey and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

Website: https://www.instagram.com/jay_nkansah/?hl=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oneandonlycomic/?hl=en

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacqueline-nkansah-45b797172/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/oneandonlycomic

Other: Webtoon for One & Only: https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/one-and-only/list?title_no=598425

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.