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Meet Janet Doan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janet Doan.

Janet, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started drawing when I was a little kid. I would draw everywhere–on the wall, in the car, during class. I also always loved telling stories with my art and made lots of comics. When I was in high school, I really debated on whether I should follow my dreams of becoming an animator/illustrator or if I should choose a stabler and more lucrative career, like dentistry. Ultimately, I decided that I would rather be happy than rich, so I attended Cal State Long Beach studying animation, and I am graduating in Fall 2020. It was at CSULB where I was able to grow as an artist, surrounded by like-minded peers, and I joined the school’s Video Game Development Association where I developed a love for video game art. This club has helped me find a lot of opportunities like a fellowship with Girls Make Games, a company that runs summer camps that teach girls how to develop games and encourage them to break into the male-dominated video game industry.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I definitely did not have the most difficult road, but it was not always easy. My dad disapproved of me studying art and often said my stories and artwork were worth nothing, but he did not try to stop me from studying animation in college. I often did have conflicting feelings on whether or not following my dreams was a foolish idea, and I still worry constantly about finding a steady job after college! I have a lot of self-doubts about my skills and too frequently compare my art to others’. However, I guess this motivates me to try my best and keep striving to create better work.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a full-time senior animation student currently working on a short film. The specifics are still not nailed down, but I would like to incorporate some traditional art elements like stop-motion or painted backgrounds. I really enjoy working with physical art mediums like watercolor and ink. However, since the animation and video game industries primarily rely on digital drawing, that is what I mainly do. I love to draw many different things and have not specialized in any particular subject matter. I can draw environments, character designs, prop designs, and illustrations, and I can make 2D animations and some limited 3D animations. Since I am very interested in the storytelling aspect of art, I enjoy making concept art, storyboards, and comics.

Currently, I am a 2D concept artist at Captilight Studio, an indie video game studio that my friend founded. I met this friend last summer while working as a fellow for Girls Make Games. I also am a concept art intern at Tilted Shed Studio, another indie video game studio. And I learned about all these opportunities through the Video Game Development Association, so I have them to thank!

I’d like to think that I am best known for unique and heartfelt stories and my charming, storybook-style illustrations. I do enjoy making concept art for other studios, but my future dream is to be able to direct or publish a story that mainly I created, whether it is in the form of a game, animated show, or graphic novel! Leading others is stressful, as I found out when I lead some small game development teams for the Video Game Development Association or when I put together a visual development gallery show with friends, but it does feel rewarding to see my unique vision out in the world and share the creation experience with my peers.

What were you like growing up?
When I was in elementary school, I was very shy and self-conscious about everything, especially my art. I struggled to fit in large groups and spent a lot of my free time reading, drawing, or writing stories. I was very obsessed with my pet hamster and wrote adventures about him! I was quite secretive and distrusting, so only a few people got to see my personal art. I would get very angry when the class troublemakers would steal my drawings! Being a very emotional and weird kid, I was an easy target for jokes and light bullying.

I became a lot more confident in high school for some reason. I just realized that if I don’t take everything so seriously, I don’t have to worry about getting pushed down.


  • Simple monochrome character drawings: $15-$30 based on complexity
  • Full-colored characters: $30+
  • Simple monochrome environments: $20-$40
  • Full-colored environments: $40+

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