• A Couple melancholies

    Here are a couple melancholies. 

    The top one is for Tor.com’s current short story “The Museum and the Music Box” by Noah Keller. “A neglected museum gradually succumbs to the elements. A music box rusts beneath a bell of glass. Fragmented texts are pieced together which tell the history of a lost love, the destruction of a civilization, and the origin of the museum.” Read this heart-wrenching story here.

    The second illustration accompany a Boston Globe Book Review of  “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara. Here we have four young men with four distinct talents whose lives are inextricably intertwined, but it is Jude that is the main focus.  He’s the glue that ties them together, but he’s also the one with the deepest darkest  and mysterious secret. Read the review here.

  • drawingis-magic:

    Today is the official release of Drawing Is Magic! This sketchbook is full of games, exercises and inspiration- perfect for young doodlers, art students, teachers, weekend artists and illustration professionals. Buy it from amazon here!

    Afraid of a blank page? Don’t know how to start a drawing? Struggling with finding your own voice? Forgot how to enjoy art? Check out this super fun inspiring book, “Drawing is Magic” by one of my favorite illustrator/ author John Hedrix!!

  • Around the World

    Victo Ngai

    Although I have been stuck in my studio lately, my work has been having fun traveling around the globe. 

    The first piece is a cover for the New York Times Travel Annual Special Report on Asian Seaside Attractions. Big Thanks to AD Corinne!

    The second one is about Asset International editor Sage searching for the next 40under40 around the world. The third one is “Meeting of the minds”( a conference about innovations and researches) at Regents Park Boating Lake in London, UK. Both of these are for aiCIO. Big Thanks to AD SooJin Buzelli.

  • 48 Hours

    Victo Ngai

    This sums up my past couple crazy weeks. Two covers and an interior spread, each piece created within 48 hours from sketch to finish. I haven’t been able to work on quick turnarounds as much last year because of a few long term projects. The thrill is definitely to be missed.  

    The first two are for Variety’s cover story on China’s growing influence on Hollywood, in particular four mega-media companies that have its eye on the film/entertainment industry. Big thanks to AD Chuck Kerr, I love the layout design and type treatments. 

     The third one is a cover for Wall Street Journal Weekend Review on the newest research findings of our brains. “For 400 years, we’ve had the wrong view of the brain. Now scientists are finally gaining a new understanding on how it works and its unique way of healing—and the latest discoveries are changing the way we approach brain-related ailments, from Parkinson’s disease to traumatic brain injury to dementia.” Big thanks to AD Keith Webb!

  • Franke - Make It Wonderful

    Victo Ngai

    I had loads of fun doodling for Franke's “Make It Wonderful” campaign. This project felt perfect for me. For those of you who have done intoxicated napkin drawings with me at a bar, you might have noticed that my free-hand drawing behaves like wild weeds. It starts at one corner and grow to fill the whole page. 

    The lettering was my first time, so it took more some planning. But it turned out to be a very enjoyable challenge. I think I will start playing with type more often now! 

    Big Thanks to AD Chrissy from Gyro!

  • SOI 57 

    Victo Ngai

    I am extremely honored to have these pieces selected into this year’s Society of Illustrators NY annual competition. Being a judge (Uncomission category) for the first time, I got a back-stage glimpse of how selective the competition really is and am extra appreciative of being included. Only pieces with more than 6 votes (out of 8 judges) were chosen. The result was a less than 4% acceptance rate. Out of 1600 entries, only 60 were picked. 

    Big thanks to SOI, the judges and all the amazing AD I worked with!

    See you tonight at the Illustrators 57- Advertising, Institutional, Uncommissioned Categories Opening Reception.

  • Round Up 2014

    Victo Ngai

    Happy first Monday of 2015!

    Hope you all have had a wonderful holiday and feel refreshed and excited for 2015. Here is a piece I did in December for the  2014 PLANSPONSOR Year in Review

    Big thanks to AD SooJin for the badass art directions and layout design. I love how the title fades in and out on the cover.

    Here is to another rewarding and sparkling year!  

  • A Happy Nortons Holiday!

    Victo Ngai

    "The Sighting, The Search, The Meeting: A Romance" is a sequential holidays card commissioned by Mr. Peter Norton and his wife Ms. Gwen Hill - a whimsical story to celebrate their romance and the festivities.  Mr Norton is best known for his invention of the Norton Antivirus and his contribution to the Tech world, but he is also one of the world’s biggest contemporary art collectors who also sits on the board of MoMa and Guggenheim Museum. Every year the Nortons commission a Holiday card. And since 1998, they started the Peter Norton Family Christmas Art Project.

    It’s a real pleasure and honor to work on this project. It was finished last November and I am happy to finally be able to share this with you! I am very grateful for all the creative freedom from my patrons, also their understanding of my nit-pickiness with the production process. 

    Happy Holidays y’all! 

  • Rule Breaker- SPECTRUM22 Call for Entries Poster

    Victo Ngai

    It’s a great honor to be asked to design the call for entries poster of SPECTRUM, an annual competition which showcases the best of the best sci-fi and fantasy art every year. 

    The tile of this piece is Rule Breaker. The girl represent the role of an artist, bringing colors and surprises into the predictable mundane daily routines (monochromatic checker cage). She’s not afraid to break rules and confinements which suck blood and fun out of life (leech monster in square checker suits).

    The deadline of the competition is 26 Jan 2015, make sure to pencil it in your calendar! Many thanks to John Fleskes for having me on board and all the creative freedom! 

  • Cosmic Pizza

    Victo Ngai

    A piece accompanying a heart-wrenching real life story in Cincinnati Magazine. The owner of Cosmic Pizza owner Rich Evans was shot and killed in front of his wife and kids outside of their family restaurant. This threw the lives of his wife and children into chaos and despair. To make things more complicated, his wife Ao, a bride from Thailand, was incredibly dependent on him and barely spoke english.

    The story focuses on how after the shooting, the community came together and raise the family back to their feet. 

    Now Ao Evan is supporting her family by running a small Thai restaurant. Check out The Evan Family FB page here.

    Big thanks to AD Megan Scherer and DD Grace Saunders! This is another piece that has made it into the editorial category of the Society of Illustrators NY Annual Show 57!

  • The Terrorist, the Herdsman, the Emir and the Bishop

    Victo Ngai

    This illustration is for the latest issue of Liberty Magazine on religious liberty in Nigeria.

    Nigeria is one of the most religious divided countries in the world - with 50% of the population being Muslims and 40% being Christians. The essay “The Terrorist, the Herdsman, the Emir and the Bishop” gives a historical account on how the British Colonization played a huge role in bringing about this conflict. 

    The missionaries introduced Christianity to the poor and malarial south; while the officials were “hopelessly biased in favor of the feudal Emirs of the North” and they came to the region with “a romantic passion for Islam and for polo-playing.” 

    Huge thanks to Bryan Gray, a fantastic AD who’s always a pleasure to work with and a great designer who always make my art look good with gorgeous layouts.

    Also hot off the presses, I am very happy to share the news that this piece got into the Society of Illustrators NY Annual Show 57!

  • The Wound and the Gift

    Victo Ngai

    This year has been full of new endeavor and exciting challenges. "The Wound and the Gift" is one of the hardest yet most rewarding projects among all. This is my first time getting involved in a movie production. From making key-frame storyboards to thinking in a four dimensional way, from creating animatable illustrations to working with the team as an animation art director, there were much to be learnt on the job.

    "The Wound and the Gift" is a documentary which explores the relationship between animals and humans. An animated ancient fable about a wounded crane weaves together real life stories footages of rescued animals and their caretakers. When directorLinda Hoaglund emailed me about the project almost two years ago, I got very excited immediately as animals and animation are two of my absolutely favorites things.

    It was clear that the project would be a very special one, as it’s pushing the boundaries of documentaries and exploring uncharted territories in film making. But it was also clear that the challenges would be just as great. Many great conversations were had on how the animation could be seamlessly tied into the life footages. Many late night oil was burnt to figure out the perfect metaphors and imageries. Many happy dances were done when Venessa Redgrave agreed to be our narrator…

    2 year fast forward, “The Wound and the Gift” has just returned in glory from the Vancouver International Film Festival world premier. We’re thrilled that our New York Premiere will take place at theDOC NYC Viewfinder film competition on Saturday, November 15th at 4:45PM at the SVA TheatreTickets are available now! There will be a Q&A with the director and myself afterward. 

    Tickets available online now, tell your friends! Looking forward to seeing you at the screening.

  • Chinese Fairy Tales and Fantasies 

    Victo Ngai

    I have had the great pleasure to work with Folio Society earlier this year on this book. For those of you who are not familiar with Folio Society, they are one of the few publishers who is all about the art of book-making: from the illustrations to the printing and binding. To give you a taste, the cover of this book is fully cloth bond and luxuriously blocked with color and gold ink. 

    I have included some of the art I created for the book here, but not all. To see all of them, pick up a copy here. Make sure to check out other gorgeous books from Folio Society and like their FB and twitter to keep the good books coming!

    I will also be signing and  talking with AD Sheri Gee and the amazing Sam Weber at the Society of Illustrators NY on Nov 3,2014. Check out the event here. Hope to see you there!

  • Too Big to (NOT) Fail

    Victo Ngai

    Latest cover for CIO Europe for an article about companies that are too big to be nimble, and are unable to react fast. My idea is that the big horse is being confined by the page while the small ones are free to leap from page to page. I wanted to try out a simpler graphic approach on this one and it has been really fun!

    Big thanks to AD SooJin who always encourages new endeavors and amazing to work with! 

  • A Cup of Salt Tears

    Victo Ngai

    Besides the fact that Irene Gallo being one of the best ADs, I am always excited to work onTor.com short story art there’s no way to tell what kind of subject matter will come along. 

    This piece accompanies Isabel Yep’s novelette A cup of Salt Tears - an eerie yet beautiful story. You can read it here. The audiobook of IQ84 by Murakami Haruki accompanied the working of this piece, it was quite the perfect track. 

    Makino’s mother taught her caution, showed her how to carve her name into cucumbers, and insisted that she never let a kappa touch her. But when she grows up and her husband Tetsuya falls deathly ill, a kappa that claims to know her comes calling with a barbed promise. “A Cup of Salt Tears” is a dark fantasy leaning towards horror that asks how much someone should sacrifice for the one she loves.” 

    While I was doing research for this project, I learnt a lot of interesting facts about Kappa (河童 ”river-child”), including their obsession with shirikodama (尻子玉 "Small Anal Ball"). It’s believed that kappa lure their victims into the water and gain power by taking their shirikodama, a mythical ball said to contain their soul which is located inside the anus. Check out the amazing manga by Hokusai titled 同河童を釣るの法 (“How to fish for Kappa”).

  • Neo 1984,Cover for “Dark Fairytales” by TinHong

    Victo Ngai

    I am so happy I got to work on my first Chinese book cover with Hong Kong/Taiwan/Mainland China best-seller TinHong.

    TinHong’s latest book, “Dark Fairytales” (Non orthodox translation of 黑童話集), is a compilation of 16 novelettes set in a fictional metropolitan called “H town”. The stories are based on real stories in Hong Kong, structured after Chinese and Western classics such as “1984” by George Orwell, “The Last Class” by Alphonse Daudet, A Poor Man’s Tale of a Patent’ by Charles Dickens, ‘差不多先生傳“by胡適.etc. These parodies poke fun and reflect on the society’s current maladies, corruptions and injustice in a sarcastic and darkly-humorous way. 

    For the cover, TinHong asked me to freely follow my inspiration. This was awesome and quite rare for book cover jobs. So I decided to make a piece about “H-Town” in a neo”1984”way.

    Big thanks to TinHong for being an A+ author, art director, publisher and the ultra-delicious care-package!

  • NYTimes OpEd- Conservation or Curation?

    Victo Ngai

    I did a quickie for today’s NYTimes Op-Ed on how the new definition of what qualifies as an endangered species, passed this month, severely limits the scope of the law.  

    Previously, the language of the law — that a species qualifies if it is “at risk of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” — was read to mean that species should be protected if their geographic range was significantly smaller than it had been in the past. Now, a species will only count as endangered if it is at risk of going extinct. This significantly restricts conservation and ignores any responsibility we may have to mitigate even a portion of the harms that we’ve committed against other species. Read the article here

    The illustration features a Colorado River Cutthroat Trout, its protection has been recently denied because they were not at risk of extinction, even though their geographic range was significantly smaller than it had been in the past. 

    Big thanks to AD Matt Dorfman, always a pleasure to work with. He suggested we go for a more playful layout instead of boxing the fish in, which made the image that much more dynamic. I also like how the trout now looks like its skidding down some stairs screaming while falling apart. 

  • 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage' by Haruki Murakami

    Victo Ngai

    Being a long time Murakami fans, I was super excited when AD Kim from Boston Globe asked me to create the art for the “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” book review. 

    In “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” Haruki Murakami’s latest novel, he allows his hero to eavesdrop on one of life’s darkest possible tunes: the inner hum, the secret desire, for death. As the book opens, the “colorless” Tsukuru Tasaki has fallen into a terrible depression. Tsukuru’s four closest friends, who are nicknamed by colors, abruptly and unequivocally cut him off. All he can think about is dying. Tsukuru escapes the void, just barely, and emerges a new person, the person we follow through the rest of this book. Murakami elegantly describes how emotional trauma can lead us to disassociate. Read the book review here.

    Big thanks to AD Kim Vu. This is actually my first time working with the Boston Globe, what a great way to start!

  • Spellbound

    Victo Ngai

    For a article in Dension magazine about Fairy Tales and the changing nature of how these stories are told — from Grimm’s tales, to the super-scrubbed happy Disney tales through to the darker popularity of shows like Breaking Bad now. Fairy tale expert Maria Tatar also discusses how some of the world’s oldest tales help us navigate modern life.

    Big thanks to Erin from Em Dash for this very interesting project!

  • Silicon Valley Lady Warrior

    Victo Ngai

    3 illustrations accompany the profiling of the feisty Shanley Kane by Elizabeth Spiers. Kane, a feminist publisher, started her own media company Modern View Culture in the male dominating Tech environment in 2013. She’s known for her outspokenness when taking on the worst of Silicon Valley (and sometimes her allies, too). 

    Read the story and check out AD Erich Nagler’s beautiful layout design here on Medium. 

    Big thanks to Erich, whom I have enjoyed working with during his NYTimes days, for this challenging assignment!