I’m Dani.

I am an Aussie mum, an introvert, and a dreamer.

I am also the artist behind Ebony Ink and Grubby Princess.
But I’ll get back to that shortly….

First I want to give you a glimpse into my journey:

Ever since I was young I knew I wanted to be a artist/illlustrator, I truly have always known what I wanted to be when I grew up.

My heart told me this, but I did not listen.

It told me when

..in grade 2 I took it upon myself to draw a picture of a koala looking down at it’s reflection in a creek below. I then made copies, creating a colouring-in competition for my classmates. (who does that!?)

..in Grade 4 I had to miss a few weeks of school due to developing pneumonia. During my time off I wrote and illustrated a storybook about my illness & time off. (exciting stuff eh?!)

..in grade 6 I insisted on enrolling in an oil painting class after school where I was taught some basic landscape techniques by an amazing local artist, I guess she was 70+ years old. (I was the only child there)

..in High school I started decorating my bedroom walls with artworks and even painted small murals directly onto the walls. Even though I painted directly onto the walls, without permission, my ever supportive mum didn’t get me in to trouble when she saw what I had done, instead my parents actually agreed to swap bedrooms with me so I could have the larger room which happened to have a huge empty wall for me to go crazy with! (approx 7x2.5 metres). I ended up painting a huge jungle mural with orangutans, a tiger, snakes and birds.

..of course there was the usual doodling in my school books instead of taking notes.
As well as when my friends and I were planning a night out whether to the movies or a party, we would have the usual teenage-girl conversations “What are you going to wear?”, “I don’t know what are you going to wear” etc, I would then (usually during productive classtime) illustrate the group of us wearing the clothes we had decided on to see what we’d all look like.

(Hmmmmm... I never really realised just how weird some of this stuff sounds until I started writing this!)

After High school, I was offered a scholarship to attend university where I studied a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communication. I chose as many practical art subjects as I could during my time at uni.

When I finished I figured I needed to get some kind of ‘real job’ and I then proceeded to float and flitter from job to job for YEARS.

I have had many different ‘real’ jobs, all with elements of creativity, though never truly fulfilling my soul. I changed jobs quite regularly, searching for something that seemed to ‘fit.’ Marketing, Retail, Graphic design, Data entry, Photography, Printing, Customer service, Desktop publishing. I would go into each job commited, loyal ready to find contentment - but I could not find it.

The pull towards creativity was constant. I would try feed my soul in my free time - making gifts, designing invitations, sketching portraits, painting murals and large canvases, writing and illustrating stories for my daughters. However it was not enough.

Once again, my spirit would whisper, but I never truly listened.

I listened to my head - I need a practical job that is going to pay the bills. Art is more of a hobby than a career. Plus who’s to say I would even be good enough? Probably no-one would even like my work!

Then I came to a fork in the road.
I was working in Marketing 3 days a week, volunteering 1 day a fortnight, plus juggling family commitments involved with having a 4 year old and a 7 year old. Happily I was able to find moments here and there to feed my creative spirit, though it was not regular and I had no plan.

However, out of desperation for some good steady income (and without thinking too much) emailed off my resume to a local job I had seen advertised.
I was offered an interview a few weeks later. The people seemed lovely, the company seemed pretty cool, the office was local and convenient.
However, the position was fulltime! 9+ hour days!
A customer service job with possibility of a very small amount of graphic design!
I was invited back for a 2nd interview.

And the whispers grew louder.

Did I want this job?
My head said yes, you need the money, the stability. If they offer you the job you should count yourself lucky - it’s so hard to find a job at all nowadays!
But it was fulltime, five days a week and very long hours, add that to family commitments, chores, my volunteer work and there would be little to no time to pursue my art.

I had to wait until Monday to hear if I had been successful or not. That weekend I felt sick, anxious, grumpy, my skin broke out, I bit my nails right down, I was physically drained and exhausted with worry. Most people may be worried they might miss out on the job, but – I WAS WORRIED I WAS GOING TO ACTUALLY GET THIS JOB!

The whisper was gone - My soul was now screaming at me!

This does not feel right. You need to tell them not to consider you for the position.
You need to make art. You have known it all along. Do it! Do it! Do it NOW!
Yes you might fail... but just maybe, maybe you might not!
Be brave. Take the leap. BE FEARLESS.

For once my heart spoke louder than my head.
For now I have kept my part-time job and am making good use of every other second I am not there. My goal is to make art everyday, and I am doing that. I am putting myself out there (which is hard for an introvert like me!)

I haven’t done it yet - haven’t succeeded that is... but I am trying! I have to!

Now you know a little about me, how & why I am here, trying to carve out my place in the world, doing what I love.

I set up this site as a place to sell my art and connect with like-minded people – customers & fellow creatives. Please stay awhile and look around.

And if you do purchase a piece from me, be assured it has been made with much thought and much love. I thank you deeply for supporting me and my dream to pursue my passions and live my true purpose in this life.