A Chat With: Maria Nguyen

Hey Gang!

  I'm so excited to introduce an interview with the amazing Maria Nguyen. She's an illustrator I found on Twitter, and I was blown away by her art, and I just had to find out what makes her tick, and introduce her to ya'll.


NAL: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

MN: My name is Thuy Duong Nguyen, but I'm commonly known as Maria Nguyen. I'm a freelance illustrator living in the Greater Toronto Area with my cat Cricket and plants.


NAL: Walk us through a typical day for you. 

MN: I usually wake up to the sound of my cat softly calling me from the foot of my bed. 

I get up and run through my morning routine.

I feed my cat and myself. 

I go out to check on the plants and just take in the moment in my garden. 

I am in my studio working until the afternoon.

I reply to emails, negotiate contracts, chase overdue payment, or go back to the garden before taking a lunch break.

I eat lunch.

Feed my cat.

I relax.

I go back to the studio and work.

I eat dinner.

I work some more. 

Feed my cat.

Run through my night routine.

I go to bed.

I think I should also add: throughout the day I am on Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, the floor petting my cat.

NAL: Who are some artists you admire?

MN: Sun Jun, Hiroshi Yoshida, Alphonse Mucha, Killian Eng, Takeshi Obata, Tan Jiu, James Jean, Ito Junji, Tessar Lo, Ness Lee


NAL: If you could live in any fictional world where would you choose and why?

MN: I'm not sure... Probably one where I am a modern-day witch and my companion is a dragon.


NAL: What is your most favorite project you've done? 

MN: I love working on personal projects. It's really scary and challenging because I'm making the conscious decision to try something new on my own terms.

NAL: Whats your favorite movie?

MN: My Neighbour Totoro


NAL: Whose in your dream team up? *fictional or real-life*

MN: My cat, Sailor Uranus, Tomie, Hatake Kakashi and Ching Shih!!

NAL: What's your favorite way to break art block?

 MN: Gardening, cat petting, hanging out with friends, watching a movie/tv show, reading, cleaning up, going to sleep, eating, shower...basically anything that isn't arting .

NAL: Whats your favorite medium to use?

MN: Black coloured pencil on frosted acetate + Cintiq and Photoshop.


NAL: Any advice for aspiring artists?

MN: Besides learning to be acutely aware of your physical and mental health while working: fill your life with things outside of art so that you can have an escape when art gets too overwhelming, practice, cherish & encourage your peers, and get yourself into a small business 101 course if you want to make a living off of art.

Check out more of her work here:

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