🎨 How Positively Present's Inspiring Illustrations and Messages Motivate Internal Communications
A Q&A with Artist and Author Dani DiPirro
☎️ Welcome to the latest edition of The Switchboard – a newsletter featuring Internal Communications leaders, our peers, best practices and articles to inspire our mission.
💌 If you'd like to learn about why I write this publication, visit this page. This post features the creative influence of an artist and author on internal communications.
A few years ago, I discovered Dani’s illustrations on Instagram. Her vivid colors and captions drew me in immediately. Each post shares an important message about life and work. Her book, Grow Through It, sits on my desk as “Inspiration for Weathering Life’s Seasons.” While reading it one day, I recognized parallels between her creative art and motivational messages with internal communications. This interview explores the ways her work inspires the field.
In This Interview
📝 Observe the ways we communicate
☀️ Remember the importance of wellbeing
🎨 Experience the joy and impact of art on work and life
I’m Dani, an author and artist living in a suburb of Washington, DC. In 2009, I launched PositivelyPresent.com with the intention of sharing my insights about living a positive and present life (something that doesn’t always come easily to me!).
On Positively Present, you’ll find my books, art, and articles I’ve written about living more positively in the present. Over the years, I’ve shared my personal experiences with love, break-ups, sobriety, relationships, change, mindfulness, stress, and more! Check out the Blog to read them.
In 2012, I took the leap and left my full-time job in Marketing to pursue a career with Positively Present. Since then, I self-published Stay Positive: Daily Reminders from Positively Present, as well as a variety of digital workbooks.
My traditionally published works include: Everyday Optimism: How to Be Positive and Present at Work, at Home, and in Love (formally The Positively Present Guide to Life), the Effortless Inspiration book series, and Grow Through It: Inspiration for Weathering Life’s Seasons.
I also illustrated and wrote the Every Day Matters diaries (2015-2020), the Negativity Is Boring day-to-day calendar, and the Positivity Is A Mindset weekly planner. If you want to keep up with my latest work, follow along on @positivelypresent for daily illustrations and inspiration.
What sparked your path into illustration?
Since starting Positively Present in 2009, I’ve always been looking for ways to add visual interest to what I write. On a whim, I began creating some of own artwork to include in blog posts. I never expected to shift my career focus to illustration, but once I got into it, I loved the way it enhanced my words — and, of course, the way illustrated content worked so well for social media.
Where do you get inspiration for your illustrations and motivational phrases?
Inspiration from my work most often comes from my real life. If I’m feeling anxious, you’re going to see anxiety-focused content on my page. If I’ve recently been inspired by something I saw or read, it’s going to come through in my work. Because my work is very in-the-moment, it’s also very influenced by the seasons as well. The seasons of life — both literal and metaphorical — have a big impact on what I create.
How does the “world of work'' influence your illustrations?
Examples: productive, fresh start, productive, progress, career advice, learning
Because my art is primarily based on my real world experiences (and I spend a great deal of time working!), work-related themes appear frequently in my illustrations. Like many of us, I’m always looking to find ways to stay motivated and find balance when it comes to work, and I often write and illustrate about my efforts to do so.
How do you portray the ways people communicate in your illustrations?
Examples: platinum rule, forgotten words, mistakes, introverts, boundaries
Communication — whether it’s with colleagues, family, friends, or strangers — impacts so much of how we feel about the world around us. For this reason, I’m often inspired to create content around how we can communicate in ways that allow us to be more positive and present.
“Work/Life Balance” is top of mind for many employees and employers right now. How have you incorporated this concept into your art?
Because my life and my work is so intertwined, finding a work/life balance is something I struggle with a lot. I know it’s difficult for others as well, so I focus on ways to inspire people (and myself) to create more balance.
Internal Communicators love calendars. What sparked the launch of your planner?
I’ve always been a planning kind of person, so when I was given an opportunity to create a planner in 2015, it was a dream come true. I worked on the Every Day Matters planners from 2015-2020, and in 2022 I created the Negativity Is Boring calendar and Happiness Is a Mood planner. I love staying organized and having a bit of inspiration on my desk!
How could your workbooks be used to enhance employee wellness?
The mental health of employees should be a top priority at every organization. The better people feel, the more creative, engaged, and productive they’re likely to be. My workbooks encourage people to get in touch with themselves on a deeper level, which might help them feel more inspired and motivated.
In particular, my Opening Your Mind workbook is a great resource for enhancing employee wellness. The digital workbook was initially created to be used in the workplace to increase open-minded thinking so it’s ideal for using with employees.
Thank you to Dani DiPirro for permission to share your inspiring illustrations and messages.
Ive just disappeared down a rabbit hole if your work - wow. Beautiful 🙏