We had the good fortune of connecting with Joseph DiAnna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joseph, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, I feel lucky to have learned the value of taking risks early on. My grandfather on my father’s side, Dominic James DiAnna, taught all of his sons and grandchildren the value of owning your own business. In the 1970s, my Grandpa bought property in Normal Heights San Diego to help my Dad and his brothers start their own restaurant, Dimille’s is the restaurant they established, which is still open today! Since then my father Joe DiAnna Sr. has built 3 companies, the most recent of which, Primate Pool Tools, I had the privilege of branding. My Dad and family have been a tremendous source of inspiration for me to build my own business. For me personally, the idea of building your own company, and creating your own value in the market was a seed planted firmly in me at a young age. I think risk taking is both an adventure and a growing process. It is simultaneously an opportunity to succeed and grow as a person to become a more resilient and confident individual in your personal and professional life. If you are willing to take risks, work through failures, and become comfortable living in a state of uncertainty, I believe the long term rewards of this practice far outweigh any temporary discomfort. Learning from your mistakes and adapting your plans is one of the most valuable skills you can acquire.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I work primarily in vector illustration, focusing on logo design and poster design. I have a background in animation, and have always loved drawing cartoons and designing characters growing up. At a certain point I realized I was more interested in being an illustrator than an animator, and found graphic design offered a comfortable foundation to build on as an artist. I enjoy crafting logos and I always look for an opportunity to bring my love for character design to a project. Most of my personal work is influenced by pop culture art from comics, movies, and video games that I grew up with in the 80s and 90s. I don’t have an underlying message throughout my work, but I like to exercise a minimalist philosophy and try to utilize the power of nostalgia in my illustrations. Working as a freelance artist is certainly difficult, but when considering the spectrum of circumstances some people grow up with, I think my journey has been very easy and privileged. I certainly have to work hard and make sacrifices, but I feel growing up in a positive environment with many support outlets is what got me to where I am today. If I made a list, I have many more failures than accomplishments in life. Beside support from loved ones, I think the reason I was able to get to where I am now was by learning from failures and adjusting my actions, attitude and expectations. I set goals, and I use any opportunity that presents itself as an avenue to reach those goals regardless of how I envisioned it happening. My reason for creating is to first provide a service, but with personal works I hope to fill people with a sense of happiness, nostalgia, and laughter 🙂
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Some of my favorite places to post up and people watch with a sketchbook in hand are Stone Liberty Station, Mikkeller Brewery, and Second Chance Brewery!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have had so much support from many loved ones in my life! First and foremost, both of my parents Joe and Rosalie DiAnna have been nothing short of supportive of my career as an artist, and have been a constant source of encouragement and positive energy when things have been good or difficult through my life. My brother Ben who is also a working artist, has always been there for me when I needed guidance through all of my work. I would also like to thank my buddy Ryan Krason, a friend from college and fellow graphic artist, for helping with critiques and my thought processes through many works and my former art instructor/ legendary cartoonist, Jerry Lee Brice for all inspirational words and teachings.