For Club alum Danielle Coke, her artwork encourages and inspires the next generation.
Club alum Danielle Coke is an illustrator, social justice advocate and entrepreneur who makes art designed to encourage faith, inspire justice and guide others through loving their neighbors well. We caught up with her to talk about her passion for making complex issues more digestible and providing practical ways to help others make a difference through her artwork.
What is your hometown Club?
Lawrenceville Boys & Girls Clubs in Metro Atlanta
Tell us some highlights in your life/career since your time in the Club.
I went to Georgia State University and graduated in 2017 with my BBA! I worked as a Marketing Specialist and Graphic Designer for a small agency before deciding to branch out into entrepreneurship and start my own business in the summer of 2019. I created So Happy Social – a social media agency designed to help positive, mission-based brands use social media for good! While building that business, I also took up digital illustration as a hobby, which has taken on a life of its own within these past few months and allowed me to create a second business – Oh Happy Dani: a shop with art and resources that seek to encourage faith, inspire justice, and guide others through loving their neighbors well.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges girls face today?
I think that comparison and not feeling good enough is a huge challenge for girls today. It seems as though it’s easy for girls to hold themselves to this impossible standard of perfection and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We are all worthy as we are, and we’re capable of incredible things!
What are you doing individually to try to make an impact on/solve these challenges?
I love making art that encourages and inspires people to truly see that they were made worthy. Our value doesn’t lie in what we do, and our failures don’t define us. No matter what we look like or where we’re from, we have what it takes to make a difference in our direct spheres of influence. I hope that my art can remind everyone of that fact.
With so many other organizations to support, why should people choose to support Boys & Girls Clubs?
The Boys & Girls Club is fulfilling a very important mission, and it’s important to invest in organizations that cater to helping young people fully recognize and walk into their full purpose and potential. This next generation is already stepping up as leaders in so many ways, and they need to be equipped to carry out this good work.
How did the Club positively impact your life?
I felt so empowered as a leader during my time at the Club. My Director, Mr. Johnson, really believed in me, and gave me so many opportunities to step up and take action, even though I was so young. I got to help serve meals at the Club, speak in front of the other kids, and participate in events that helped fortify my leadership skills. I even took art classes while I was there, before I ever knew that art was in my future!!
How has that changed you?
I have very fond memories of my time there. Another exciting memory was getting to be part of a small group for girls, and they instilled so much confidence and self-worth into us. I’ll never forget when they framed the poem “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson for us and let us take them home. I hung it on my wall, read it every day, and memorized it. To this day, it’s my favorite quote and it encourages my soul every time I think about it.
What’s next for you?
I’m hoping to keep creating and standing up for justice as often as I can, and I want to one day create a home decor line that focuses on making anti-racism and justice work a daily practice as we seek to love our neighbors as ourselves. I’m so excited for what’s to come!
Give More Girls a Great Future
Every girl deserves the chance to exceed beyond the circumstances that surround them. Your donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America will support programs that level the playing field, so every girl has access to the mentors, experiences and opportunities she needs to have a great future – and be the leaders we all need now.