We had the good fortune of connecting with Jon-Michael Frank and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jon-Michael, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Basically because I couldn’t keep a job and don’t have much workplace morale lol. I was lucky enough that people related to my work and were willing to pay for it, so I just simplified my life and kept my means financially as barebones as when I waited tables. I prefer trying out my heart’s dream life than my fears’. Plus, it’s so sad not to pursue art/creative stuff!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I definitely struggle with having “pride” for my work, as I’m pretty wary of the ego’s agenda, but I do feel really good making my work so I guess that’s the closest I feel comfortable in having pride for it. I’m proud of moments where I feel serene or like a part of some flow state that’s greater than me, and I definitely feel like I can access those feelings making my work and in the community of people it creates. I’m really excited to share these longer graphic novels that I’m finishing up, I love making new stuff, and don’t want to just become a factory of my past self. I was really lucky starting out that a local store was interested in selling my work in a really trendy part of town that has a lot of tourist traffic. They told me where to get prints made and that gave me the incentive to send prints to other stores and try and monetize what I had fun making. I guess the thing I’ve struggled with most is being satisfied at any level you’re at and realizing that all external validation, praise, accomplishment can’t be a substitute for the internal. And nothing rivals that feeling of enjoying what you’re making and having whatever you’re devoting your life to generate connections rather than achievements. I’m not sure what I’d want people to know about my story… maybe that while now, my personality, and the way my brain overworks, has been helpful in creating work, it’s been really destructive and disruptive for most of my life lol and well it still is, but I love making stuff and it’s the only way I know how to live now 🙂
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.
I love to bird so bird spots which usually also have water, trees, and other ignored life, more things I love and always want to focus on more. I don’t drink so any spot that serves Topo Chico! Food I like affordable and little fried as possible with veggie options! Indian, Thai and Tex-Mex, preferably!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Austin, TX community, comic community and the community of people who support my work!