A Window or Small Box
This illustration accompanies short story ” A Window or Small Box” by Jedediah Berry for Tor.com. This fun, trippy and weird novelette is about a couple about to get married who find themselves on the run from “goons” in a magical alternative United States. I really enjoyed the magical quality, colorful visuals and the layers of riddles in the story, which inspired this particular piece. And if it’s not obvious enough, I was also paying tribute to the one and the only Escher.
( I was re-listening to my favorite book LOTR while inking this piece, so the pattern went a bit crazy! )
You can read the story here.
Big thanks to AD Irene Gallo, always a pleasure. I find my best works are often for clients who trust me and let me go wild.
We didn’t Like Him
This image ran in the June 3 New Yorker magazine for the fiction ” We didn’t like him” by Akhil Sharma. The story takes place in India, surrounding a boy named Manshu, a Brahmin, who grew up becoming the pundit of the local Hindu temple. It’s a really great read and I should say no more to ruin the plot.
Chinese Death Star
I did the cover of the New York Times Sunday Review yesterday. The article is about the aggressive global push of China’s state-capitalism and the fear of China’s world domination. You can read the article here.
AD Aviva gave me the great suggestion of maybe having an image “dominating” the page, instead of being boxed in a rectangle.
After a couple round of sketches, we agreed that having the Great Wall expanding and covering the entire globe was the best solution for this article as it also relates to the Chinese investing in building dams and infrastructure all over the world.
During the inking stage, I thought, why not also make the extending walls look like monstrous tentacles? Then my boyfriend Kyle walked by and said “Your drew a Chinese Death Star!” I am okay with that.
Many thanks again to the wonderful Aviva and the NYTimes!
AMENDMENT: I MEANT MONSTROUS TENTACLES NOT TESTICLES!!! SORRY FOR THE TYPO.
This piece was in yesterday’s NYTimes and International Herald Tribune.. It was for a personal travel journey by Matt Gross. It’s about learning how to eat like a local in Vietnam. You can read the article here.
Working on this piece has been nothing but fighting pho cravings…
Big thanks to AD Corinne, always a pleasure!
Nautilus is a marine organism, Captain Nemo’s submarine, as well as an exciting online magazine launched this week, dedicated to science, philosophy AND committed to illustrations! Check out the cool articles and art on their site: http://nautil.us/
The image above is for an article written by Linda Zeldovich. It’s about the power of a great book. In this case, how the infamous science fiction “20,000 leagues under the sea” has influenced the young minds of its readers and eventually shaped their career choices. So I came up with the idea of a child following the adventure of Captain Nemo in his/her transcendental bedroom.
It was a great honor to be part of the preview issue along side with great artists such as Gerard Dubois, John Hendrix, Andrew Zbihlyj, Matt Stevens and Daniel Hertzberg. Big thanks to AD Len Small!
One of the most often asked question from student is “Now that print is dying, how do you see the future of illustration?” I don’t know if print is actually dying but I think Nautilus provides a perfect (and relieving) example on how there will always be a need for good illustration, despite the change of media. Over the past thousands of years, illustrations have been presented on cave walls, parchment, tapestries, fresco, canvas and paper. I don’t see why it won’t make the transition to digital and interactive platforms.
This illustration is for a very zen Thai fantasy by Thomas Olde Heuvelt on Tor.com AD is the always fabulous Irene Gallo.
You can read the story here: http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/04/the-ink-readers-of-doi-saket
Yesterday I had the honor to give a talk at Syracuse University. (Everyone was so nice, check out the photos, I got treated like a Rock Star/Jesus and am still blushing. Anyways…) After the talk, Professor John Thompson and I striked up a conversation about the first book cover I did for Irene and all the other web story arts we colleberated on. John is a great painter and has illustrated many book covers. He told me, from his experience, covers are tricky because there’s often a fight between illustrators/art directors and editors/marketing team. Art people are always the one who have to give in. John said he remember when Irene entered the scene and how she was assertive at giving the artists as much creative freedom as possible. Once again, I was reminded how lucky I am.
A small piece in the current New Yorker mag. Portrait of musician and fantastic guitarist Marnie Stern, playing in her unusual tapping guitar style. Big Thanks to AD Jordan Awan!
Maybe it’s spring time, or the lack of it in NY, I have been drawing more flowers and women than usual.
“Love Hunter” runs in today’s NYtimes Business section.
The story is about modern day Chinese matchmaker, and how much love cost in today’s materialistic China. It’s a very interesting and depressing article, you can read it here
, I highly recommend it!
Funny I got this assignment, I had dinner with some remote relatives just a couple weeks ago and got schooled about marriage. They told me I should find a lawyer, doctor or a banker as husband, quit my job and concentrate on being a good wife and mother. I was pretty upset but couldn’t speak up against them as they were the elders. I later told my non-lawyer/doctor/banker white illusrtator boyfriend about it and he found the conversation very absurb and hard to believe, so I made him read this NYtimes story.
There were good news and bad news during the creation of this piece. When AD Minh proposed to me the idea of having the hunter looking for the most exotic and beautiful woman-bird, I thought it’s brilliant and perfect because it talks about how women are being objectified and their appearance is the only thing that matters.The editor was skeptical about the concept initially, but we got the green light eventually after pushing hard for it. That was the good news. The bad news - this cover image bumped by a photo and became an interior page last min.
Thank you Minh, always a pleasure!
This limited edition 28X24” 9 colors + Gold Metallic Silkscreen poster (awesome right?) was done for the new Tomb Raider game launching event.
The game is about young Lara Croft being stranded on a cursed Japanese island after a plane crash. The island is the shrine of the Sun Queen, being guarded by her loyal cult followers and the oni (zombie cannabilist samurai army). You can watch the trailer here.
This project was super fun as I was given the freedom to interpret the game in how ever ways I want and go nuts with it. Not to mention being able to create a perfect 10colors Silkscreen print without having to go through the registeration nightmare.
Check out more news about the new Tomb Raider on the official FB page.
Big thanks to AD Marc Scheff and Treehouse Brand Stores!
My first ever book cover, VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab, will be published by Tor Books this fall. “This is a book that plays with comic book culture, with the Ideas of the hero and the villain. It takes superpowers and strips away the spandex and the capes, until what’s left is gritty and violent and bare. “
I really enjoyed the project, there’s nothing better than sitting down and reading a fun story without feeling guilty that I am not drawing or hollering at clients. The long deadline was also a nice change - my style is quite time-consuming and I always find myself finishing a piece on the last min. The adrenaline rush can be exhilarating but has also given me heart burns. With this piece, I was able to finish it, leave it for a few days, come back and do the final tweaks with a pair of fresh eyes.
However, I would be lying if I said there was no pressure. I am definitely one of those who judge a book by its cover. VICIOUS is quite a mesmerizing story and I hope my art has done it justice, or better allure people to pick up a copy! And of course, first time is always intimidating. I have heard many stories about how book covers could be a real pain, especially when marketing team get involved with the creative process. I really appreciate the freedom and power AD Irene Gallo, Editor Miriam Weinberg and Tor books have given me. It’s always been a real pleasure working with this team.
If you are interested in the behind-the-scenes, read more at my Drawger Blog.