The Tiger Rider

AnnShen_TheTigerRider

Sharing a preview of my piece "The Tiger Rider" for Giant Robot's Go Get Em Tiger group show – the piece is still available at the moment and you may shop the piece here. I had a really great time exploring a new direction with this piece and drawing a bunch of tiger studies. Tigers are so beautiful and majestic.

Shirts, mugs, and more!

I've finally started really working on my Artist Shop on Threadless! Super excited to create new work that would make cool tees, mugs, and other accessories. For now, I've created a new Bad Girl shirt and mug that would be the perfect companion to your Bad Girls Throughout History book, journal, and notecards. Just so everyone knows what a bad ass you are.

I'm also super excited to start offering mugs with my "Females are Strong As Hell" lettering artwork – I just ordered one for myself!

Shop everything in my Artist Shop here!

On Meditation

AnnShen_Meditation

A week ago, I asked for meditation advice on my IG story. I really want to start a meditation practice to center myself and find inner peace; and to be more in tune with flow, creativity, and the universe. I've been a casual meditator for the past year, using YouTube videos, SoundCloud guides, Oprah & Deepak, even a subscription to Headspace. 

I'd read that you should meditate first thing in the morning, so that's how I approached it. However, it was a major struggle for me, especially during stressful times which is also when I needed it the most. Since I run my own business, I'm pretty much get-up-and-go from the minute I wake up. It was super hard NOT to get into that immediately when I get up, and forcing myself to meditate on the moment for twenty minutes made me kind of hazy on my to-do list (even when it was written down) when it was over or I kept thinking of new things to add. This wasn't working.

At the suggestion of many of you, I started meditating at night, right before bed. I have insomnia (who doesn't after 30), and focusing my mind right before bed has helped. A natural night owl, I also feel more creative and come up with ideas non-stop at night, which is the worst when you're trying to sleep. I've found that meditating before bed has been helpful in corralling those thoughts, even better than the morning. It's a time that I want to think and process and just let ideas flow, and meditation helps center me and feel the thoughts run through freely.

I'm using the Calm app's free trial at the moment, and so far I like it better than Headspace. Headspace really helped me in the beginning, but after awhile it became kind of rote – I'm sure it helps other people, it just didn't work for me in the long run. 

I also read my friend Yumi Sakugawa's book, There's No Right Way to Meditate, which helped me release the guilt and anxiety about meditating a "right way" to get maximum efficiency. 

Here are a few other suggestions that I got and will try out:
+ Oprah and Deepak's 21 Day Meditation Experience, when a new one starts, it's free. I'm going to try this one again and actually complete the 21 day challenge!
+ Transcendental Meditation (which I need to do more research on)
+ Insight Timer
+ Candle meditation (visually focusing on a candle instead of closing your eyes)
+ Take a meditation class

Are you a meditator? Have you tried other things not mentioned here? Tell me about it in the comments!

 

Interviews!

I've been doing a few fun interviews around the internet and wanted to update you with them here:

Postable
Did a fun interview with one of my favorite partners, Postable, where you can order and send my cards directly through them! This interview published with a Beyoncé gif so it's definitely one of my favorite interviews I've done in a long time.

New York Public Library
Had a conversation with the NYPL just in time to launch our window.

DisneyStyle
Sharing art and advice with DisneyStyle.

Raise Your Hand, Say Yes
This one's for your listening pleasure – I did this podcast interview (who's not obsessed with podcasts right now) with Tiffany Han last fall and forgot to post about it! We chatted for so long that there are actually two parts. Start here, and part two here.

 

Happy reading!

April Artist in Residence at Wonderground Gallery

This year has been flying by in such a whirlwind! I just wanted to pop in to say THANK YOU so much to every one of you who made it out to see me during my residency at the Wonderground Gallery in Downtown Disney! I had so much fun painting Disney princesses, signing your artwork, and chatting with so many of you. And maybe a little too much fun dressing up every weekend too – since it is one of my favorite things to do and my dogs don't get too impressed when I dress up to work in my studio.

(The photo above was taken during Dapper Day, where I was Disney-bounding as my favorite minor Disney character Clarice Chipmunk!)

Also super excited to share that my first official Disney pieces debuted in April as well! The original paintings for "The Girl with Fins" and "Dressed in Dreams" have already sold, but the original "Centaurettes in Bloom", along with all the canvas giclées, deluxe prints, postcards, and even COMPACT MIRRORS are available in Wonderground now!

Fun fact: "Centaurettes in Bloom" is framed in an exclusive Club 33 frame.

It was an incredible April, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share my work with Disney and all of you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support.

Facebook Stickers!

Happy March! I've been super busy working on a couple exciting projects, and I was so excited to share one finally last week! On March 8, International Women's Day, we launched a collection of Facebook Stickers that celebrate strong women and all their grit, determination, spirit, and love.

I'm really proud of the work I created here with the fabulous team at Facebook; they really encouraged me to represent intersectional diversity without that being the big flag subject of the work. It's my hope that with projects like this, we can make representation the norm and not the exception.

So I hope you enjoy the pack and find ways to use it in your every day conversations and comments on Facebook! You may download and use the pack here.

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Threadless Artist Shop!

I'm excited to share that I've opened a Threadless Artist Shop! My first shirt available is a hand-lettered quote from the fantastic writer Audre Lorde. I'd highly recommend reading her books, especially in these complicated political times. This is my favorite quote from her:

"Caring for myself is not indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."

So shirts are now available with my handlettering, with 100% of my artist's commission going to support the ACLU. The shirt will be available until February 28, 2017, so act fast & grab one here now!

FORBES.

I am so honored to be featured on Forbes.com today. I'm so grateful that it came out today, which also marks the second anniversary of the day I left my job at Mattel to strike it out on my own. Writer and visionary Cate Scott Campbell asked really great questions and it was a pleasure to go deep with her on how I got here. 

If there's one thing I really want you to take away from this, it's that you've gotta believe in yourself. It's a lesson I've had to learn the hard way, after sorting through years of self-doubt, academic guidelines, societal standards, difficult work situations, and giving too much weight to other people's words. There have been many times that I was lucky enough to have people around me who believed in me more than I did at the time. 

I'm also grateful for all the challenges I've experienced, because it's taught me that no one knows what they're doing. So if you're gonna have faith in someone – it better be yourself. And if you're not there yet, if you're not the person you feel like you can count on yet – put in the hours and work on it until you are.

Like Queen Bey says – "I don't like to gamble, but if there's one thing I'm willing to bet on, it's myself." (Source.)