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Ann Shen on Making Art, Being a Bad Girl, and Taking Care of Our Mental Health

Ann Shen is an illustrator, author, and designer based in Los Angeles.

She started her creative career in her mid twenties, when she quit her job and to go to art school. Since then, she's hit the ground running creating whimsical, colorful work for clients like Disney, Facebook, and Papyrus, among many many others.

She's also written and illustrated two wonderful books published by Chronicle Books. The first, Bad Girls Throughout History, showcases 100 revolutionary women who were bad in the best sense of the word: they challenged the status quo and changed the rules for all who followed.  Ann's most recent book, Legendary Ladies, is a lushly illustrated celebration of goddesses from around the world, in which her gorgeous artwork and enlightening essays celebrate the feminine divine and encourage readers to empower themselves.

In this episode, Ann talks honestly about her career as an artist, sharing the behind-the-scenes truth of the major turning points along the way, such as when she quit her job to go to art school, how she transitioned from being an in-house designer to owning her own business, what it felt like for her first book to be such a big success after years of being told the idea wouldn't sell, and so much more.

Ann shares what a typical workday looks like for her, what her self-care routines entail, and why she's now placing such a big emphasis on her own mental health.

We talk about curiosity, taking risks, the power of experimentation, and lots more, and I absolutely loved all of the honest stories that Ann shared in this conversation. I've been a huge fan of her work for a while now, and I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did!

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Website // Twitter // Instagram

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Books, Resources & People Mentioned

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Music & Audio Editing by ADAM DAY

Join the Conversation

  1. Anna Tara Andrésdóttir

    Hi thank you for a lovely episode. Just wanted to say that a lot of what she describes sounds like inattentive ADHD, might be worth checking it out😊