Media Kit

BIOGRAPHY

SUPER-SHORT VERSION

Jessica Abel is a graphic novelist, author, business coach for creatives, and the founder of Autonomous Creative. She specializes in supporting midcareer creative professionals to build thriving careers without compromising their artistic integrity.

SOMEWHAT-SHORT VERSION

Jessica Abel is a graphic novelist, author, business coach for creatives, and the founder of Autonomous Creative. She specializes in supporting midcareer creative professionals who are ready to start getting paid like the experts they are. Abel rejects the notion that creative fields are necessarily precarious and instead works to put the tools of making real money in less time—without creative compromise—into the hands of the artists, writers, and entrepreneurs who need them.

Since 1992, Abel has published with indie houses, commercial publishers, magazines, newspapers, and as a self-publisher. Among her works is Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio (Penguin Random House), and the graphic novel La Perdida (Penguin Random House, winner of the 2002 “Best New Series” Harvey Award). She has been teaching at the university level for 25 years, and is currently chair of the Illustration Program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Her work has been reviewed and quoted in The Guardian, Time Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, The New York Times Book Review, and Entertainment Weekly, and, even better, in hundreds of personal blogs and Instagram stories by people who’ve utilized her work to take control of their creative lives.

Once called “terrifying” by an intern, Abel has been trying for years to tone it down, but still claims Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson must have learned the eyebrow thing from her.

LONG VERSION

Jessica Abel is a graphic novelist, author, business coach for creatives, and the founder of Autonomous Creative. She specializes in supporting midcareer creative professionals to build thriving careers without compromising their artistic integrity.

Abel began this work in response to witnessing so many talented and hard-working creatives struggle to make a decent living (including herself!). Achieving financial stability without working 5 jobs and 80-hour weeks has always been a challenge for artists and writers, but it’s getting worse. Authors' earnings declined by 42% between 2010 and 2020 (The Author's Guild). Only 10.1% of art school graduates report “artist” as their primary occupation (the US Census Bureau). Furthermore, despite the buzz about the vibrant new “Creator Economy,” where anyone can stream just about anything, the vast majority of creatives using online platforms are no where close to paying their bills that way. According to Rolling Stone, 90% of musicians on Spotify make an estimated $12-$15 a month from the platform. None of this comes as a surprise when 81% of working artists feel their school underprepared them in financial skills, and 85% feel underprepared in marketing skills (the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project). Abel rejects the notion that creative fields are necessarily precarious and instead works to put the tools of making real money in less time—without creative compromise—into the hands of the artists, writers, and entrepreneurs who need them.

Abel has long and varied experience as a professional creative to draw on in her work with clients at Autonomous Creative. Since 1992, she’s published dozens of books, graphic novels, comic books, stories, and illustrations, with indie houses, commercial publishers, magazines, newspapers, and as a self-publisher. Among her works is Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio (Penguin Random House), the graphic novel La Perdida (Penguin Random House, winner of the 2002 “Best New Series” Harvey Award), and two textbooks about making comics, Drawing Words & Writing Pictures and Mastering Comics (Macmillan), coauthored with her husband, the cartoonist Matt Madden. She’s produced two podcasts, and served (with Madden) as series editor for The Best American Comics (Houghton Mifflin) from 2007 to 2013. She has been teaching comics, narrative, illustration, and professional practice at the university level for 25 years, and is currently chair of the Illustration Program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Her work has been reviewed and quoted in The Guardian, Time Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, The New York Times Book Review, and Entertainment Weekly, and, even better, in hundreds of personal blogs and Instagram stories by people who’ve utilized her work to take control of their creative lives.

Once called “terrifying” by an intern, Abel has been trying for years to tone it down, but still claims Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson must have learned the eyebrow thing from her.

HEADSHOTS

Jessica Abel with her books, photo by Maria Teicher
Jessica Abel by Maria Teicher

All headshots by Maria Teicher

PODCASTS & INTERVIEWS

The Grown-Ass Woman's Guide with Jackie MacDougall
#AmWriting with KJ Dell'Antonia
Entrepreneurship Elevated with Mike Michalowicz
What Works with Tara McMullin
DIY MFA Radio with Gabriela Pereira
CopyBlogger with Sonia Simone
The Broad Experience with Ashley Milne-Tyte
Productive Flourshing with Charlie Gilkey
Help Yourself with Tara McMullin
The Abundant Artist with Cory Huff
The Creative Penn with Joanna Penn

SOCIAL PROFILES

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If you've got any questions for me, or if you need any additional information, fill out my contact form by clicking the button below, or email me at contact@jessicaabel.com.