Balancing Act - How online fashion student Danny Roberts manages to do it all
Online fashion student Danny Roberts doesn’t need virtual life to live out his dreams – he’s doing
it in his real life - via the Internet. This hyper-creative student has hyperlinked himself to a
full-fledged Fashion education through Academy of Art University’s online program. Residing in
Fresno, the dedicated cyber student has managed to continue his life as a wrestling coach while
strengthening his talent in fashion - all from the comfort of his own home.
Why did you choose to do your degree online?
I am highly motivated, and when I am working on line I am able to spend a lot more time
working, as many hours as I want. For example, I remember my first semester of school, I would draw
14 hours every day just practicing, and doing my assignments over and over again, trying to get
everything down. One time, I had to stop drawing because my drawing hand was swollen. Location is
also a factor. It was convenient to take online without having to move and leave my job.
What is your major/concentration?
I started out as a Fashion Design major with
plans of launching my own line eventually. My first class was Fashion Illustration, and from there,
my interest shifted from fashion design to Fashion Illustration.
What inspired you to pursue a degree in this field?
When I was in fifth grade, I started making and selling shirts with iron on designs. By the
time I got to high school, the little shirt company grew into a small clothing label. At that
point, I decided that I couldn't get by on my own "Dummies Guide to Fashion Design" and maybe I
should get some real training.
Can you describe specifically what type of work you are involved
Freelance Illustration: Fashion, Storybook, and Portrait. I use an assortment of materials
including gouache, ink, spray paint, pens, pastel, and acrylics on anything from paper, cardboard,
Where do you currently work?
I am a wrestling coach at Clovis West High School in Fresno, CA, and I do freelance
illustration and photography, but I am currently shopping for the right agency for my work.
What has your experience been like at AAU?
My freshman year, I was an Art and Design major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with an emphasis
in photography. Within my first quarter, I was told by the head of the department that it was not
fair for me to compete with 4.0 students. I realized that they placed a much higher priority on
being a good academic student at the expense of my artistic development. At that point, I decided
to transfer to AAU, and my experience has been a breath of fresh air. Here, creativity is rewarded.