Tispr Stories: Jon Hanlan is Illustrating His Travels

Every Friday we check in with a freelancer or small business person who is following their dreams and doing what they love. This week we’re chatting with Jon Hanlan, a Canadian freelance illustrator & artist who travels the world creating pictures and designs with vibrant colors and whimsical characters.

Here’s what Jon had to say about having a clear vision, finding inspiration, and how freelancing has allowed him to travel the world.

Who you are as a person or what makes you...you?

I’m a person seeking truth and beauty, trying to see the most I can in the time we’re granted!

How did you get into illustration?

I began in elementary school when my Dad bought me a digital tablet for my 11th birthday. I dabbled and then picked it back up after high school.

“I love noticing small details on the streets that I repurpose and assemble in my mind into inspiring images.”

What made you decide to pursue a freelance career?

I decided to pursue a freelance career because it allows me to give the most to the world. I am happiest creating artwork and working independently!

Why do you do what you do?

I aspire to help the world be inspired, to do more good and spread happiness.

Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?

All around me, usually on my walks. I love noticing small details on the streets that I repurpose and assemble in my mind into inspiring images. Sort of like hearing a symphony from down the hall and then remixing it on the fly into your own piece.

“I’m a person seeking truth and beauty, trying to see the most I can in the time we’re granted!”

How do you feel when you’re working, doing what you love?

I feel inspired and grateful to do what I love.

What’s it like being in your line of work?

It feels like freedom, doing what inspires me and showing that to the greater world.

What have you learned/gained from illustrating and freelancing?

From illustrating, I’ve learned patience and appreciation for failure. Freelancing has given me the ability to work effectively with people of all kinds, all with our own motivations and visions.

How has freelancing changed your life?

It has granted me opportunities to travel and work with wonderful teams.

If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would you say?

Don’t stress - try your best and have a clear vision. There are many routes, just pick one and enjoy the stroll.

What does being a freelancer/entrepreneur mean to you?

Being on top of your game at any given moment.

To learn more about Jon and see more of his colorful design work, check out his website or follow him on Instagram.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

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