Welcome to BookEnds, Sally Deng!

  • By: BookEnds | Date: Oct 19 2018

Tell us a bit about your drawing process. Where do you draw, and how often?

I have a studio space that I share with a friend. If I am working with an art director, I have a pretty straight forward process which consists of: read a given article, do a few sketches, show them to the art director, take the approved sketch to the final. If I am working on my personal art, I like experimenting more and usually just do the roughest of sketches (i.e., chicken scratch). More often then not, the final piece will look very different from what I originally had in mind.


Do you have any drawing rituals? (e.g. burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)

Does staring at a blank canvas/paper and sighing a lot count? Unsurprisingly, that method doesn’t really get me out of a creative block. What works betters is when I go do something other than art like running or surfing.


What do you love about writing/drawing historical fiction? Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen?

The more I learn about past, the more I realize how little I know. With historical fictions, I can continue to increase my knowledge of the past and still be challenged creatively to string together an interesting narrative that readers/viewers can connect to. It’s also a way for me to procrastinate and tell myself that I’m working when in reality I’ve just been scrolling through vintage photos on Pinterest for an hour.


What is the hardest part about drawing [insert your genre(s) here]?

I worry about inaccuracies. I want to be as accurate as possible but sometimes there are things that really just doesn’t work on a page and as an illustrator, I have to figure out how much artistic license is too much.


Do you get inspiration from any TV shows or movies? If so, which ones?

One of my favorite TV shows is the Avatar series. Everything, from the diversity of its characters to the respect shown towards the cultures that influenced the show, is so so so good. The series also does a fantastic job with introducing darker subjects to a younger audience. I don’t care what age you are, go watch it.


If money were no object, what would be your dream creative location?

I actually did a drawing of this for Nobrow Magazine. I was asked to draw a spread that followed the theme of “Studio Dreams”. I basically drew a really nice, mid-century modern-esque building set on the side of the mountains with a view of the ocean. If anyone is willing to donate a plot of land in Big Sur, please let me know.


Do you belong to any illustration organizations?

I don’t belong to any organizations but my name is in illustration annuals like American Illustration and Society of Illustrators.

One response to “Welcome to BookEnds, Sally Deng!”

  1. Avatar Danna Smith says:

    Welcome to the club, Sally!