Advice to the Art Graduate: Life after College

CONGRATS! You just graduated from art school (or with a degree in Art or Design)! First of all, give yourself a big pat in the back for pursing something and getting it done! Hopefully your degree was not a waste of your time and you’ve made the most out of it!

So last year around this time I graduated with a degree in Entertainment Design and concentration in Comics and Sequential Art. I was happy, my family was happy, and life was good. I took a few months to reorganize my life and readjust back to the “real world.” I was no longer in school, which meant no more late nights, homework, and classes! Although this meant a ton of stress off my shoulders it didn’t mean everything was set and good. Unfortunately, being out of school meant that you were given “other responsibilities”—some of which you have to learn to manage and maintain over the years.

After graduation I had a mini postgraduate crisis about my next steps in life. What do I do next? Where was I going? Was this really it? Then I remembered some advice that were given to me from professors and peers about what to expect after college. I reminded myself of these and here I am a year later feeling on track! So, here’s a list of advice I’ve come up with to help a postgraduate:

1) Get a job: As much as we would like to stay in our rooms and make art for the rest of our lives, we know this won’t happen unless we pay for rent, food, our student loans, and other expenses. You have to get a job, ANY job really; it doesn’t even have to relate to art (although it might be nice if it does)! What matters is at the end of the day you don’t mind working there and it pays you enough to live!

2) Make work: Yes, making work or having personal projects is WAYYYY harder to manage outside of school. Besides the fact that there isn’t an evil professor overlooking your shoulders and having deadlines for you, YOU have to be the person planning and making these decisions. Plus, you have to work around your job and other daily priorities. Sometimes you just got to sit down, turn off your distractions, and make stuff!

3) Put your work out there: This means posting it online, making a website, opening an online shop, going to conventions, applying for residencies or call for artists, etc! Anything to get your awesome stuff out! In an ideal world, it’ll be nice if a client or employer just found us one day and gave us our dream job, but that won’t even happen unless we have stuff to show!

4) Stay connected: Being an artist can be a lonely occupation, so why not surround ourselves more with like-minded individuals? In college we had our art peers and professors there to support and guide us. If you can, try to stay connected with those who you’ve already made connections with; however, even if you didn’t made much connections in college, there are local and online communities out there to support individuals just like you. Find one that fits. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals will hopefully aid your growth and remind you to keep making art.

5) Be patient: Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a children’s book illustrator, but is stuck flipping burgers 5 days a week. Keep in mind that “success” does not come immediately and that it’ll probably take time (maybe years) to get to where you want to be. What matters is you work at it everyday and remind yourself what your purpose is.

6) Enjoy life: Take this time to enjoy life! Making art is important, but also remember that the stuff we produce comes from our experiences and everyday life. Don’t spend your entire day in a room drawing. Take the time to go for a walk, go to the movies with your partner, catch up with friends, travel, and whatever else you want to do. Give yourself a break once in a while and be ready to go back to the studio refreshed!

That’s all I have for you. Hopefully you guys found this useful as it was for me after I graduated. Pass it on to someone who may be in need of some post-graduate advice, or advice in general. Until next time!

Duachaka Her

A Children’s Book and MSP ComiCon


It’s been a while. I just realized this will be my first post of 2016! These past few months have been quite busy, but I would like to update everyone on what I have been working on.

First and foremost, I am currently illustrating another children’s book! All I can say as of now is that the book will be about the process of pregnancy and childbirth. The author plans on self-publishing the book this year, but we will update everyone on that status as we go.

Secondly, I will have a table at Midwest Comic Book Association’s MSP ComiCon! The convention will be held on Saturday, May 14th to Sunday, May 15th at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minnesota. I will be selling my comic The Collection along with some art prints. Please feel free to stop by this event. I will be updating my social media sites with more information as the day gets closer. Also, be sure to check out other guest creators who will be at the event as well!

guest creator

Aside from those two major points, I have been doing side illustration and planning my next personal project. HINT: It might be something autobiographical.

Well that is all I have for now. Don’t forgot that I do have an online store where you can purchase my comics and art prints. As always, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr for current updates and postings of things I find interesting.

Until next time!

Duachaka Her

Last Post of 2015

Hello there!

It has been a while since my last blog post. Two-thousand-fifteen has been a one heck of a year. From completing my first long-form comic to graduating college, running a Kickstarter, and working on multiple side projects such as a children’s book and calendar.

With that in mind, what are my plans for 2016? Probably make more comics or children’s books and attending comic conventions. I will update like always.

Anyways, thank you for a wonderful year! Happy holidays and see you all next year.

Project Links

The Collection (comic book):

2016 Hmong Folktales Calendar: 


The Greedy Couple (children’s book -available for purchase 2016):

Calendar Project, Children’s Book, and Online Shop

Hello, world!

This summer has been pretty crazy with The Collection Kickstarter fulfillment in June-July and a lot of traveling and moving around during July-August. I am glad to be able to sit down and get back to work on art projects! Currently I am working on two major projects and am excited to be able to share some of it with you guys.


  • Calendar illustration – This project is a collaborative calendar project with fellow members of HmongDeviants from the deviantART online community. A few years ago, members of this group produced a Hmong-themed 13-page illustrated calendar. Each artist had the opportunity to do an illustration reflecting the month they chose. The group is currently working on the second calendar for 2016 with the theme: Hmong folktales. The folktale I chose to illustrate is The Snake Prince and Pumpkin Seed. I will post an update as to when the 2016 calendars will be available for purchase.
Inked portion from the calendar illustration.
  • Children’s book – This is a collaborative children’s book project I am working on with writer and educator See Lor. The story is called The Greedy Couple. It will be published through her book publishing company Reading Karma and will be available for purchase next year.
A rough spread from the book.
A rough spread from the book.

Last but not least, I would like to announce that my shop is open again! Physical books and art prints from The Collection is available online as well as the PDF version of Then and Now, a comic I worked on last summer.


As always, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr for the latest project updates.

Have a good one!

Kickstarter Update & Online Store!

Hello everyone! It’s been quite a busy and fun summer so far. Here are some of my July updates!

1. Kickstarter rewards fulfilled! 

It’s been over two months since the launch of The Collection Kickstarter campaign! I am excited to announce that the Kickstarter rewards have been shipped!

2. I opened an online store!

Yes, that means you can purchase The Collection book / PDF version or any of the art prints if you missed out on the Kickstarter! I also plan on selling other future work on here as well.


The Collection Kickstarter Project – June Update

Hello everyone!

I am excited to announce that The Collection comic books have just recently arrived! The art prints have arrived as well.

In the next month or two I will be signing and doing personal sketches in some of the books and will be fulfilling each reward. Again, thank you to everyone who have been a part of bringing this project to life.

As always, you can follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Tumblr for the most recent updates on this project. If you’ve missed the Kickstarter and would like to purchase a book, please follow me on social media and I will be posting updates as to when they will be available for purchase.

Have an awesome summer!

Duachaka Her


Periodic Table of Elements Illustrations

The final project for my Digital Imagery classes was to create a set of 6 illustrations inspired by some of the elements of the period table. I chose the elements Gold, Silver, Hafnium, Lead, Meitnerium, and Terbium. Three had to be character designs and the other three had to be environment-inspired designs. Some of these illustrations were inspired by chemical characteristics or make-up of the elements rather than their physical attributes.

Entertainment Design Senior Show

It’s been a fast four years at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. I am finally graduating along with fellow classmates. Our Entertainment Design Senior Show is going to be on Friday, May 8th starting at 7pm. There will be animations, comics, and films!

Event page:


Fight, fight, fight!

A short illustration project featuring two figures from history or culture and showing them fight one another. Each student was divided into groups of two and were given a pair of figures. I received the fight between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, and the character I focused on was Steve Jobs. Below is a character model sheet of Jobs and three illustrations showing the pair’s fight.