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Monday, January 26, 2015

She Wore Starlight

ann shen fashion illustration
So many ball gowns to illustrate, so little time...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Netflix Recs for your weekend

netflix recommendations

On weekends, I've been diving deep into the Netflix abyss to find new things to watch instead of watching the same favorites over and over (which by the way, is a sign of creativity as a child – not sure if this applies to adults). Here are two documentaries that we've recently seen that I'd highly recommend:

1. Advanced Style – Born from this chic blog, the documentary chronicles the life, spirit, and most importantly fashion, of the over-60 set. These vivacious women are truly inspirations in proving that life can still be fun and chic in your later years.

2. Mind of a Chef – This actually is a PBS series, and we actually binge-watched Season 1 in a weekend. There are sixteen 22-minute episodes, and each season follows one or two chefs. The first was David Chang of Momofuku fame, and it was fascinating to follow him through gastronomical adventures from ramen to rotten food. He eats with his other renowned food-friends & you get inside the renowned kitchens throughout the world, along with giving some cooking lessons along the way.

Check them out this weekend and let me know if you have any recs for me!

Monday, January 19, 2015

A VERY SPECIAL VALENTINE SHOP!


Hi friends! I get a lot of emails asking for commission work, which I often can't do because of timing or have to charge at a premium rate because of my workload, so I wanted to set up something special for all of you who are so kind to want my artwork to be a part of your lives!

Today, I'm launching a special flash sale Valentine Shop that will be offering a limited number of commissions for a special rate! A 5x7" original painting OR ink drawing of your sweetheart (or yourself, or your favorite fictional character!) would be the perfect gift for Valentine's Day, am I right?

And because I'm feeling the love, you'll also get free priority shipping & a hi-res digital file for your personal use (new social media icon, yay!).

Here are a couple examples of an ink sketch and a gouache painting (along with the one above!):



The shop will only be open for a week, or until the spots run out – whichever comes first! And once these spots are sold out, the rates are no longer valid either, so hop to it!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Golden Globes 2015

I love the beginning of award season! It's the best part of the winter – to get us through these sweater slogged days, some glamour every couple weekends. My favorite gown from last night's Golden Globes awards was on Miss Golden Globe herself - a Lorena Sarbu design, worn by Greer Grammer.

My favorite speech last night was by Jane The Virgin star Gina Rodriguez. It's so great to see a wider range of diversity being represented in Hollywood. Once people start seeing it on their screens, maybe they can start seeing it in their own lives.

My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today’s going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, Dad, today’s going to be a great day. I can and I did.” – Gina Rodriguez.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year In Review

I've been doing these Year In Review posts for the past few years because I love taking a moment to connect the dots backwards. It also makes me feel less like, where did this year go? and more, wow look at all the things we did!

January: The year gets off to a great start, setting the scene for lots of baking and memorable meals with good friends. I made a lot of art, and good progress on my 100 Pin-Up project. Ryan and I celebrate our 8 year anniversary, and he gave me this beautiful bouquet from my favorite floral shop, Clementine.

February: I tabled at L.A. Zine Fest for the first time, and the show blew my mind. Highlights were meeting my now dear friend Emi of Pygmy Hippo Shoppe and Matt Groening, who bought my zines and complimented my artwork. February also marked the first time I saw my illustration work (for a ban.do phone case) at Nordstrom!

March: March is always kind of a historically dead month for me; this year it was really nose-to-the-grindstone of working in-house, working freelance, and taking occasional breaks for Disneyland and cake club. This photo of the first inaugural cake club is a lie: it actually happened in February.

April: Ryan and I exhibit at our first ever WonderCon! It's the biggest show we've ever done, and it was a great experience – we can't wait to do it again next year. We also took a trip up to San Francisco to see the Mary Blair exhibit at the Walt Disney Family museum. It was incredible - my eyes were huge as saucers the entire time, soaking in the over 100 original paintings by one of my favorite artists. We celebrate Ryan's birthday by meeting some of his family at San Juan Capistrano to see the mission.

May: Another nose-to-the-grindstone month; we took a hot minute to visit the Mark Ryden exhibit at the Kohn Gallery. It was super inspiring.

June: My first book cover with HarperCollins comes out! We went to go see it in store at Barnes & Noble the day it came out. Definitely a major career highlight so far.

July: We took a road trip down the coast of California, marveling at Big Sur for the first time (at least, that I can remember). Definitely planning a trip back there next year. We also explored the fairytale town of Carmel - and visited the Eyvind Earle gallery, which was magical. I just want to rent a cabin in Carmel for a week and paint. I also visit the Alameda Flea Market for the first time, which was awesome. Wish I had a bigger car to lug back all the great big things I found. (I'm still mourning this beautiful hutch.) We also made our annual trek down to San Diego ComicCon for fun and food!

August: After years of wanting to attend, I finally get to go to the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators conference. It was an inspiring learning experience. We also go to Cabo San Lucas to celebrate our first wedding anniversary! It was delicious, though insanely hot.

September: Another month of nose-to-the-grindstone work with working in-house and freelance work. I develop my city love series after a suggestion from my friend Marlo, which has been great fun.

October: I get my aura photographed. It tells me that I'm passionate, creative, and pragmatic. We also table at Long Beach Comic Con. And most notably: I take the leap to quit my day job and go full time freelance!

November: A lifelong dream achieved! Around 25, I decided to celebrate my 30th birthday in Paris no matter what else was going on in my life. I made it a reality, and it was the most incredible trip I've ever taken. Everything was magic. It was my third time in Paris, but Ryan's first time – so there was something really special about sharing my favorite city with my love. I went all out and even had a photo session with Lindsey of PictoursParis. We got back and went straight to do DesignerCon, which thankfully was an amazing show.

Photo by Lindsey Kent

December: The last month of the year was an insane flurry of freelance work, show prep, and holiday activities. We had the best show ever at Renegade Craft Fair this December - I was so happy to meet so many of you in person! Thank you so much for supporting me at these shows. We also took a road trip to Arizona to spend Christmas with Ryan's mom; while in Arizona, we visited the Time Travel Miniature Museum.

2014 was a great year of growth for me personally and professionally. I worked harder and more hours than I've ever had before, and learned so much - the greatest of which was learning to trust my gut and myself. I took a great leap of faith going full-time freelance this year, and through the grace of all my friends and peers, it has been better than I ever dreamed it could be. We did more shows than we've ever done before (seven!) and I was so happy to meet so many wonderful new people.

I'm so grateful for the new friendships I made this year; people who really inspire and supported me through the challenges I experienced, and who are helping me live the life I dreamed – surrounded by positive, kind people. I welcome a lot more of that in 2015! And finally but definitely not least, I am so thankful for my incredible husband Ryan – for without him, nothing I do would be possible.

Cheers to you, 2014! And cheers especially to you, dear reader!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Art Advent: Day 12


Happy Friday! Today's art advent is a full stocking – one of my favorite parts of Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Art Advent: Day 11


I am up to my ears in work (honestly, I'm starting to understand why the holiday season needs to start around Halloween now) in addition to prepping for Renegade Craft Fair this weekend, so here is a quick and sweet holiday art advent! Now can someone make these gingerbread people for me? Thanks!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Art Advent: Day 8

Monday means back to my holiday art advent. Day 8 is a big mug of cocoa - don’t forget the candy cane. It'll take your cocoa to the next level.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Art Advent: Day 5

Happy Friday! Today's holiday art advent reminds you to hang up the mistletoe (and don't forget the peppermint). Have a great weekend.

Where To Find My Work This Holiday Season!


Things are insane in my studio right now, so I guess that means the holiday season is in full swing! I'm super thankful for all you who choose to support small businesses like myself, for supporting other people instead of mega corporations. It is only through your support that we can continue to evolve our culture and our economies to reflect our hearts. Everything I produce is designed and packaged by my own hands (not withstanding a lot of help from my husband Ryan, but that's what marriage is right? You get to call their hands your own as well?), and manufactured in the U.S.

Here are a few places you can pick up my work for gifts, mailing, or yourself (treat yo' self!) this holiday season:

UNIQUE LA (December 6–7): If you're at Unique LA this weekend, my friend Marlo will be there with her company Perfect Hair Ties at booth 117. She's curating a few of my prints in her shop, including a few special edition framed prints that are ready-to-gift, so you should make sure to stop by and pick up some pretty, pretty hair ties and art prints if you're there!

RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR LA (December 13-14): For the full kit & caboodle, come see me at Renegade Craft Fair the following weekend (booth 138)!


Put it on your calendar, I'll have the whooooole show with me - cards, mini sketchbooks, prints, new deluxe version of Bad Girls Throughout History, mini original paintings, and (hopefully) mermaid sticker sets!

BAN.DO #GIRLSPOPUP: My best gal pals at ban.do are hosting the cutest, coolest pop-up shop all through December! They are carrying my Bad Girls Throughout History postcards and zines, a few quote prints, and a bunch of greeting cards. This Sunday, they're hosting a fun studio event from 10am - 7pm, so be sure to drop by and get your list checked off!

PYGMY HIPPO SHOPPE: If you're in L.A., you owe yourself a trip to the adorable and beautiful Pygmy Hippo Shoppe! The proprietress, Emi, has become a dear friend of mine, and she curates the coolest and cutest gifts you could ever find on this planet. She is having an anniversary event on Saturday, December 13th, which would be the perfect time to check her shop out! She carries my Bad Girls Throughout History zines and postcards, That's Not My Name! zines, and an assortment of single cards to go with em!

ONLINE SHOP: And as always, you can always find my work available for purchase in my 24/7 online shop.

Cheers to a happy holiday season!

Top photo courtesy of ban.do

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Art Advent: Day 4 AKA Happy National Cookie Day!

Happy National Cookie Day! Today's Holiday Art Advent pays tribute to my favorite holiday treat - do you remember the ones that were in the late, beloved Blueprint magazine?
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