This will be my first post of 2021! Woohoo! I have some AWESOME news for you! Recently I created a 16-page mini comic published by Uncivilized Books called Tradition.
Tradition is story about trying to maintain tradition in an ever-changing world. It touches on some Shamanistic customs in the Hmong culture, but ultimately reflects the reality of keeping up with traditions.
Hi everyone! With the holidays coming up, here is a list of Hmong Artist shops! If you would like to get some Hmong-inspired prints, stationary, personalized portraits, and more, please go through the list and check out from these artists!
Mina Lor I also take commissions of all sorts. I can do art nouveau style (digital), realistic (digital or watercolor), or more cartoon-like (digital or watercolor). You can look at my Instagram for examples: @mungbeanmina If you are interested, send me an email: email@example.com Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Mungbeanmina
Sean Vang (Drawn by Sean) Digital Portraits | Anime-style Portraits | Caricatures Direct FB message me at https://www.facebook.com/drawnbysean or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for commissions
It’s finally here! I wanted to let you all know about a small project that I was working on!
A while ago I was asked by Craig Thompson, cartoonist and the author of the award-winning books Blankets; Good-bye, Chunky Rice; and Habibi, to do a short 2-page feature for issue #7 of his Ginseng Roots serialized comic book series!
“Ginseng Roots explores class divide, agriculture, holistic healing, the 300 year long trade relationship between China and North America, childhood labor, and the bond between two brothers.”
I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity! Below is a peak.
If you would like to learn more about the Ginseng Roots series or read my short comic, please check them out at Uncivilized Books here!
Hello! I hope you’re doing well. I just wanted to share that recently I made a two-page comic for Autoptic’s 2020 Catalog!
“Autoptic is an arts festival that celebrates independent print culture, with an emphasis on comics and print-based multiples as well as alternative & small press labels of varying media (autoptic.org).” The festival is based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
Since the festival wasn’t able to host an in-person event this year, they opted to create a catalog showcasing various artists and conducted some podcasts and interviews as part of their virtual event.
For my submission, I thought about how this year we all had to kind of revert back to the basics. Hard times like these really make us appreciate the small and simple things in life –at least for me it did. This comic was inspired by the “simple times,” childhood, and the ability to keep on dreaming.
Exciting news! I am happy to be a host for the launch of V.T. Bidania‘s Astrid & Apollo book series illustrated by Dara Lashia Lee! The book series officially releases Saturday, August 1st, 2020; therefore, the writer, artist, and I are hosting a Facebook LIVE virtual book launch to celebrate the release!
BOOK LAUNCH DATE: Saturday, August 1st, 2020 TIME: 1 p.m. CST WHERE: On the day of the event, the LIVE stream will be viewable on the Facebook event page HERE
There will be a BOOK GIVEAWAY! Two winners will receive: a set of the four books in the series, special bookmarks and stickers, and an Astrid and Apollo tote bag!
TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: **ENDED 7/30/2020**
During the launch there will be a live reading, Q&A, a writing/drawing challenge between the writer and artist, and the giveaway winners announcement!
It’s 2020…and my first post of the year. Yup. It’s been a while since I posted anything really. With everything going on, it’s been hard to focus on anything really –except maybe that roll of toilet paper.
With this post I kind of wanted to do a recap of what’s been happening in my world these past few months amidst the virus. As an artist, I believe it is my job to shed some light into the world to make people feel good about themselves or show them the good stuff in life despite everything.
There were several projects that I participated in that have been about bringing several artists together and making art. I was part of a Hmong Artist Facebook group where we illustrated our own Tarot cards. This deck focused on the Major Arcana and was illustrated by 23 artists.With the same group, we also decided to create a series of coloring pages to share with our community. Since people weren’t allowed to go anywhere really, so we thought creating a coloring sheet project would be a great way to get away from reality and just have fun. The group voted on doing fantasy-themed illustrations. The coloring sheets can be downloaded for FREE here.
My design was inspired by Hmong motifs found on our traditional fabrics. I feel those symbols serve as a universal language and art form in the Hmong culture. The design consists of two rings encircling a circle The outermost ring with the triangles represent the grandparents/older generation. The triangles symbolize mountains and serve as a form of protection and guidance to the younger generations. The ring with the snail symbols represent the parents/middle-aged generation. The snail symbolizes “family,” which is an important aspect in the Hmong culture. Parents are essential to the family and is the glue that binds the young and old generation. The innermost circle represents the children/younger generation. As the youngest generation we take everything that has been bestowed upon us and plant the seeds for the future. My hope is that the future of the Hmong will continue to blossom into something beautiful.
Other than that, I have some VERY EXCITING news coming up later this year! So stay tuned! Thank you for reading and take care!
On the weekend of May 3-5th, 2019, I had the opportunity to attend the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators’ Marvelous Midwest Conference in Naperville, Illinois. This was my first time attending any SCBWI conference, since I recently just joined the organization last fall. I wanted to share with you my experiences going to the conference for the first time! As a quick background, SCBWI is a non-profit professional organization for children’s book writers, illustrators, editors, agents, art directors and anybody who is interested in or wants to be part of the world of children’s book publishing. The conferences usually consist of guest professional speakers from the industry, breakout panels, critiques, and workshops/intensives. People from all over get together to present, network, and learn from each other.
First of all, I wouldn’t have been able to attend this conference without help from SCBWI-Wisconsin’s Diversity Committee. The committee offered a generous scholarship for diverse attendees and I was selected to receive it.
Going into this conference, I had high expectations because I’ve heard so many great things about them from other authors and illustrators. I was also a little bit nervous! I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to connect with anybody. I had this idea in my head that most of the people who attended this conference knew what they were doing and had it all together.
But I was wrong.
Little did I know, I wasn’t alone. In fact, a good number of the people I met at the conference were new to this just like me. I met people from all over the United States including: Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and of course Wisconsin. There were even some attendees from outside the U.S. including Thailand, Turkey, and Canada.
At the conference, some of the sessions I attended were about crafting voice, optimizing your portfolio, doing author visits, and how to promote your self-published book. There were so many good sessions going on at the same time that I wished I had the time to attend them. One tip that was suggested was to make friends with someone at the conference and if they went to a workshop you weren’t able to go to, tell them to take notes for you and vice versa.
Furthermore, I also participated in the conference’s Art Show. The show had two art categories. One was a prompt category. The prompt was, “Unfair at the Fair.” The other category had no-prompt, so illustrators can submit any unpublished illustration of their choice. I entered my piece Celebration into the non-prompt category. There were so many amazing artists who entered the show. It was amazing to see how much talent there were.
Awards were presented to those who entered the show. One was from a panel of judges and the other was from the people who attended. On the last day of the conference, my artwork was announced as an Honorable Mention for the Non-Prompt category. I was so happy!
Of course, being at this conference was also about networking and getting to know other people! Below are some postcards I picked up and received at the conference.
Like I said before, there were a ton of talented people here, and I’m glad I was able to meet and connect with a few of them.
Some of the people I met were John Parra (illustrator), Cheryl Klein (Editorial Director of Lee & Low Books), Christine Mapondera-Talley (COO/Co-founder of Kidlit Nation), and Debbie Ridpath Ohi (author/illustrator). I never thought I would have the opportunity to meet these people. Some of these individuals were people I follow on social media, so getting the chance to meet them in person was even better!
I also had the privilege of getting my illustration portfolio critiqued at the conference. Even though the critiques were only 15 minutes long, I felt it was much needed. A few things I took away from the critique was to keep making art and putting it out there, to be persistent, but to also enjoy the journey. These are advice I hear over and over, but I do believe it is one of the formulas to being successful in anything.
Overall, the conference was wonderful; however, if there was one thing I would love to see more of, it would be more diverse authors/illustrators who attended the conference. As a diverse author/illustrator myself, I highly recommend other diverse authors/illustrators to attend future conferences if you can. I want to let you know that you are welcomed here and that it is your job as an author/illustrator to let your voices be heard and your stories be told.
Going into this conference, my goal was to get a better understanding for the children’s publishing industry and learn from industry professionals. What blew me away about this conference was the amount of encouragement and resources out there for people like me who wants to pursue a career in children’s publishing. People were there to share their stories and experiences. People were there to willingly listen and learn from one another. Being at this conference was a reminder that everyone has a story they want to share with the world. It reminded me that a career in children’s publishing isn’t about the published book, but more so about the journey. It is about who you meet along the way and sharing your struggles and joy with others just like you. I met so many individuals who had totally different careers, but turned to writing and/or illustrating because that was their passion or calling. The stories they wanted to share in their heart never went away. There is a part of them that always wanted to do this.
I am glad to say that I don’t have to be on this journey alone,
because I really am NOT alone.
And that pretty much sums up my experience at SCBWI’s Marvelous Midwest Conference. It was a memorable one. I am definitely going to more in the future.
Thank you again for reading.
P.S. If you are interested in writing/illustrating for children’s books, I highly recommend you join SCBWI. They are full of wonderful resources to help you on your journey.
Hello everyone! I just realized this is my FIRST post of 2019! It’s been a while, but I had so much going on in my life. Things are kind of settling down now, so I had the time to write here. I want to share with you guys some things that have been happening and things to look forward to.
First of all, I started a mini project where I’ll be doing written interviews featuring Hmong visual artists! Basically, I wanted to share the stories of Hmong artists from all walks of life and ask them why they do what they do and how they do it. Looking online, I was barely able to find any interviews conducted featuring Hmong artists. Now that there are more Hmong individuals pursuing art, I feel there is a need to share their stories and experiences. My hope is that by doing this, artists can learn about one another and become aware of others doing work in the community. You can read the interviews here.
Secondly, some of my other projects that I’ve been working on is doing illustrations for a Karen children’s book for the Saint Paul Public Library!
In May, I’ll be attending my first SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference! It’s basically a conference for authors, illustrators, publishers, editors, agents, or anybody involved or interested in the KidLit industry to come together to share ideas, learn, and connect. I’m hoping to learn a lot of things and network with individuals who also share a similar passion as mine for creating great stories!
Lastly, I’m hoping to restock my book inventory and maybe attend some local events to sell them! But I’ll update you guys when the time comes!
Again, thank you for supporting and following my journey as an artist!