Art, Drawing, illustration, Influences, Josephine, marker and ink illustration, wisdom

Jo’s Journey (A Somewhat Irreverent Guide to Doing Anything Better) – Life Lessons

Josephine, my muse, is a girl about town.  She’s carefree, whimsical, and always up for an adventure.  No matter her mood, she presents herself to the world with her own unique flair and style.

Josephine is also a figment of my imagination.  Even though I’ve been talking about her for the past 2 years, she doesn’t exist beyond paper, and the various media I use to create and publicize her.  So, you might wonder what an imaginary character such as Josephine could possibly teach me about life.  The answer?


Marker and ink illustration "Josephine in Glasses" by Joana Miranda

Here is a list of 10 things I’ve learned from Josephine…

1. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.

An old adage, but oh so true! It’s much easier to affect a change in your circumstances when you behave proactively.  Paying attention to the way you present yourself to the world is a great first step.

2. Focus on the positive – and there is always a positive.

Often the difficulties we encounter are the “tuition” we pay for progressing forward.  Viewed in that light, tackling difficulties can almost be seen as a game.

3. Do what you are passionate about. 

Josephine has undergone a lot of face-lifts in the 2 years since she “hatched.”  While she might look considerably different now, her spirit and sense of purpose  have remained steadfast.

4. Don’t accept defeat.

If you are truly passionate about something, keep at it.  You might encounter many roadblocks (i.e. self-doubt, outside criticism and rejection), but ultimately, if you are open to learning, you’ll be able to find your way.

5. Be open to learning from others.

Learning shouldn’t stop when you get out of school.  And, by the same token, education shouldn’t require a fancy price tag to be considered worthwhile.  Embrace the idea that you can learn from anyone, and you’ll be surprised at how wise the world can be!

6. Ask questions.  

Afraid that you might look stupid?  Remember, we all started out life as innocent babes.  Our backgrounds and journeys take us in different directions and influence our knowledge and life experience.

7. Judge less. Listen more.

When you’re busy judging, you’re occupied with your own thoughts.  And, as much as the concept of “multi-tasking” is popular in our society, doing two things at once is not possible.

8. Hold your beliefs lightly.

Beliefs are not facts.  Beliefs are formed according to the color lens through which we see the world.  Recognize that not everyone sees the world through your eyes and you’ll be more open to other viewpoints.

9.  Do your own thing.

Inspiration can be found all around us, but when it comes time to create, do your own thing.  Why?  Because passion is a uniquely individual thing and to get really good at doing something you need loads of passion.

10. Be the change that you want to see in the world.

Tempting as it is to rant and rave about everything that is wrong with the world, you’ll only get yourself (and everyone else around you) depressed.  Decide on one small step you can do each day to get closer to your goal.  Along the way, you might even find that you enjoy the journey!


  1. I agree completely with Josephine about the beliefs part. I think that the fewer beliefs you have, the better! Wait, is that a “belief”?

    • Hi Helen,

      Yes, it’s a belief, but a GOOD one!

      I need to check back in with Sadie…still haven’t figured out a way to get your posts in my email, so I don’t always know when you’ve put up something new.

      Are you looking forward to starting up the season again? How many seasons will this be for you?

      Ciao – Joana

      • This will be my 25th season! I suppose I’m looking forward to it, but really, I’m so busy, I don’t have time for work. Which reminds me, time to file this week’s unemployment claim….

        • Wow! 25 seasons…that’s impressive!

          I hope these last few weeks of summer are filled with fun work and activities for you – and I look forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on your blog.

          Ciao – Joana

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