Whether you’ve heard of Annie Koyama yet or not, you’re going to want to be her new best friend. She’s the mastermind behind Koyama Press, a small press from Toronto, Canada that produces comics and graphic novels. The awesome women at Lady Collective “pick the brains” of other fantastic women every Friday, and on August 21, 2015, they chatted with Annie Koyama about her life as a 20-something and how she found a career that fuels her passion.
In the interview, Koyama reflected on how her life changed throughout her twenties. She learned to move forward and not look back in the face of disappointment, become more independent, and pursue her passions to find the job that best suited her. Her life has been circuitous in terms of her careers, shifting from social worker to painter among other pursuits until landing a job at the National Film Board of Canada. It was here that she found a passion for film and started to think that she had found her place in the world. In 2007, she created Koyama Press, which works with artists all across the board in terms of experience to produce graphic novels, zines, and comics. While many individuals in their twenties feel anxiety towards finding the perfect job, relationship, etc., Koyama told the Lady Collective that “I’ve stumbled into virtually every job I’ve had in my life. My 20s was the decade where I tried out jobs in different professions allowing me to eliminate the ones that were not for me.” She took the same approach in her personal life, learning from her mistakes and moving forward.
Koyama is approachable and wise- characteristics that shine in the interview. Though there are many inspirational gems in the interview, this sums up her approach to life: “you should surround yourself with people who you believe to be smarter than you in as many disciplines as possible. You can’t help but learn from them.”