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Sharing my creative process, new work, and recent creativities.

my happy whale personal stationery "celebrations" on minted

Anais Lee

After three years, my happy whale card "Celebrations" has finally hit the Minted shop. 

This design was for Minted's personal stationery challenge in 2011. It's one of my early "Minted works". It has been a long wait for this card to be released. I am so glad it finally came for sale!

This folded card can be personalized with name and address. It comes with envelopes and address labels.

Please visit Minted website to check it out! http://www.minted.com/product//MIN-KX4-KSF/celebrations  

mats bootcamp 2 – jello inspired patterns for bolt fabric

Anais Lee

The Bootcamp assignment for March was to create bolt fabric patterns inspired by Jello molds and vintage desserts. When I saw the brief, I had the similar reaction as other bootcampers had – what? Jello?? But as soon as I did the image research on Jello, I understood why Lilla chose this subject for our assignment. It is fun and colorful, the shapes are interesting, it's nostalgic, and it's challenging to draw!

jello on pinterest

jello on pinterest

As usual, I started with mini icons. I played with colored pencil, markers, watercolor, and pencil sketches. In the beginning, I had struggled with accurately drawing the complex geometric shapes and the transparency of jelly. After some ugly sketches, I had loosened up a bit, just to focused on capturing the colorfulness of it. I also drew some objects that a vintage kitchen has. Everything started to be fun!  

mini icons with colored pencil and marker

mini icons with colored pencil and marker

more minis with pencil, pen, and watercolor pencil

more minis with pencil, pen, and watercolor pencil

Lilla's suggestion for the color palette this month, was muddy neutral colors and pale/pastel colors. I love these colors as I grew up with the influence of Japanese design, and Japanese tend to have a great soft color sense.

vectorized the hand drawings and played with the colors

vectorized the hand drawings and played with the colors

I vectorized and colored my hand drawings in Illustrator, then made the pattern by using Pattern Tool and traditional method. This step took me a long time and I could only make one coordinated pattern before the deadline. But I am developing it into a collection now.

my submission

my submission

All the bootcampers' beautiful works are shown on MATS Bootcamp's online gallery. Check it out! http://bootcamp.lillarogers.com/bootcamp-march-2014-gallery/

cuckoo wonderland and mats bootcamp with lilla rogers

Anais Lee


I am very excited to share a fun project I have been working on for the past few weeks. As some of you know that I attended Lilla Rogers' "Make Art that Sells" online class last year. I really enjoyed all the assignments she gave us. The fun continues in 2014 as I joined her new class "MATS Bootcamp" (designed by Lilla Rogers and Beth Kempton of Do What You Love). Each month we are given an assignment for a specific art market. The one for February is to design an iPhone cover with "cuckoo clock" theme.

I found hundred's of cuckoo clocks on Google

I found hundred's of cuckoo clocks on Google

Pinterest is my inspiration source

Pinterest is my inspiration source

The process always starts with research and "icons". I've found so many cuckoo clock designs online and learnt how much craftsmanship to put into every handmade cuckoo clocks that produced at Black Forest Germany. I appreciated the beautiful details and wanted to include them in my drawings. 

My sketches of cuckoo clock

My sketches of cuckoo clock

Drawing with brown color pencil

Drawing with brown color pencil

I loved the texture of colored pencil drawing. But I decided to create the final art with Illustrator so that I could experiment various color palettes. 

Lilla also provided us her secret on how to spot color trend and how to find color inspirations. When I visited Crate and Barrel last week I saw these colors appeared all over the store! 


I also created a quick hand lettered title for the presentation. Here is the final artwork I submitted to Bootcamp gallery using the trend palette.


I am glad that I joined MATS Bootcamp. The project is so fun and inspiring. Learning and creating along with over 400 talented artists from different countries is a great experience. So many creative cuckoo clock designs and illustrations have been created by us! Please visit Bootcamp gallery to see our artwork.

the process of creating hand lettering holiday card

Anais Lee

I took a Skillshare class - "The First Steps of Hand-Lettering: Concept to Sketch" before the holidays. It was fun and, yay! My class project was used for the class promotion on Facebook and newsletter by Skillshare! I thought you might be interested in my process of creating the project. So here it is.

Start the Project

The first step was to choose the quote or words to illustrate. I wanted to create a holiday card for my portfolio and Holiday self promo. I thought it will be fun to incorporate some hand lettered words.

First I picked the theme to illustrate, which is "Holiday sweet treats", inspired by my MATS classmates' assignment. Then I looked for wording/saying that fits this theme. Here is what I am going to draw.

"Wishing you a season filled with sweetness."

Warm-up Sketches

Here is my warmup sketchs. I picked the word "sweetness" for the exercise. Though I would  probably end up NOT using any of them for the final project. It is hard for me to just design one word before having the whole layout in mind.  Nonetheless it is a fun exercise.


I like the idea of the candy shape. But the word in my exercise is hard to read. I am going to try different shape of candy or make the stroke of the letters thicker.


Layout Thumbnails

After some warm-ups, I started designing the layout.

I am having a hard time picking just one layout. So I posted them on my Facebook and asked for feedback from fans and friends. It helps me to look at my design from a viewer's perspective.


Finalizing the Sketch

Thank you everyone for the feedback! I finally finished the pencil sketch. I was pretty happy with it because I've figured out a way to keep the hot chocolate in the design, until...


my friend told me that the whipped cream on hot cocoa looks like poop lol. SoI replaced the whipped cream with some marshmallow guys.

I am gald that I made the change. I think the marshmallow made it even cuter :)



I used brush pens and fine liner to ink the artwork. Then vectorized it in Illustrator.


Final Art

Here is the final artwork. I added some grungy textures to give it a vintage feel. Everything was done in Illustrator.


i am going to surtex!

Anais Lee


Dear Friends,

Yes, I am going to Surtex this year!

After walked the show for 3 years, I finally decided that it's time to make a leap by having a booth of my own. I feel intimidated, anxious and thrilled at the same time, but I know I have to do it because it's one of the reasons I came to New York.

I will be exhibiting with 3 very talented illustrators, SusieNina and Yuhusan and formed as "ASNY Art Group". Our booth number is 353. If you are going to see Surtex show this year, please stop by!

out of box gift wrap: from my kitchen

Anais Lee


My Holiday wrapping paper design "From My Kitchen" is now available for sale on Minted.com! It can be personalized and added your name on the wrapping paper. There are 3 color options, and to complete the "look", the coordinated stickers and gift tags are available as well . 

If you are going to gift homemade sweets, food, or even kitchenwares, this wrapping paper is perfect for making the gift pretty :)

To order, please visit my Minted shop at: http://www.minted.com/product/wrapping-paper/MIN-KR3-CWR/from-my-kitchen