Sunday, May 30, 2021

Artist Matt Furie using NFTs to reclaim his creation Pepe the Frog

NFTs are in the news again. This time along with frequent inhabitants of the headlines -- Artist Matt Furie and his creation, Pepe the Frog. (photo below of from the documentary "Feels Good Man"

Furie's earliest efforts to reclaim his art are summarized in this Oct 2016 article "Pepe the Frog's creator wants him to be a symbol of chillaxing again" by Michel Cavna in The Washington Post.


"Can Matt Furie return his comic frog to a happy place?

His character Pepe has gone from slacker to meme to unwilling hate symbol — and now Furie is trying to reclaim him.

Furie created Pepe the Frog about a decade ago in his psychedelic comic “Boy’s Club,” which depicted the character as a chill, “feels good, man” amphibian — before Pepe was launched into a second life as a meme-friendly image. Furie was like the kind owner who was happy to let others play with his pet — until this bizarre election cycle, when Pepe was cast squarely into the Trump and Clinton showdown after the frog was co-opted on 4chan and soon swimming in a cesspool of swastikas and white-supremacist symbols.

Pepe was thrust onto the presidential center stage last month after one of Donald Trump’s sons Instagrammed a Photoshopped image that included Pepe in a lineup of “Deplorables.” As the media picked up the story, Hillary Clinton’s campaign website wrote: “In recent months, Pepe’s been almost entirely co-opted by the white supremacists who call themselves the ‘alt-right.’ ”

Furie's struggles went on for years, and can be seen in the award-winning documentary "Feels Good Man" now streaming on PBS

This summary is from the PBS website:

"Feels Good Man is the story of how artist Matt Furie, creator of a trippy, once-benign comic character named Pepe the Frog, fought an uphill battle to reclaim his iconic creation from those who turned it into a symbol of hate. An exploration of the power of online imagery and the fascinating spin cycle of memes in a culture where ownership and meaning can be wrested away from creators, Feels Good Man is a thought-provoking, wild ride through an Internet that transformed an unlucky cartoon frog, and then the rest of the world.

Created by Furie as a character in his comic Boy’s Club, Pepe was originally an embodiment of the laid-back lifestyles of young male college graduates finding their footing in the real world. After popping up in meme form on various fitness blogs, Pepe eventually started appearing on the anonymous online message board 4chan, where his image was quickly replicated  and adopted as a symbol of misfits everywhere.

Feels Good Man follows Pepe’s surreal journey of being co-opted and twisted into an image of hate by extreme online communities through the eyes of his horrified creator, who finds himself increasingly powerless to stop this co-optation as it spirals out of his control. The film asks the questions: Does anyone truly own anything on the internet? Can an image that has been transformed into one of hate be transformed once again into one of hope?"

Furie's story was also highlighted previously here on the blog (Photo from The Times of Israel). 

In 2021, Furie's creative rights odyssey has taken him into NFT territory. 

Here's a long excerpt from the 5.21.21 article " Matt Furie is trying to reclaim his famous cartoon Pepe the Frog — through NFTs" by Michael Cavna in The Washington Post. (photo from the documentary "Feels Good Man")

"Matt Furie is a patient man. After many on the Internet co-opted his most famous cartoon creation more than a decade ago, he was long willing to live and let live. And when his same Pepe the Frog character popped up on the forefront on the crypto-art scene about five years ago, Furie watched from the sidelines and waited.

Now, he’s moving fully into the world of NFTs and their experimental possibilities.

Last month, an image of Pepe — the first authentic crypto-art of Furie’s iconic character — sold at auction for about $1 million. And the artist is planning to unveil a universe of collectible NFT characters — some of them his latest takes on Pepe.

To Furie, the NFT realm is about more than coin. During the era of Donald Trump, extremist social media users adapted Pepe so often that the Anti-Defamation League deemed it a hate symbol. But the exploding world of crypto-art is allowing the cartoonist to reclaim a character who was never meant to stand for much beyond love, peace, hedonism and altered-state chillaxin’.

“The NFT world is new, and there are a lot of optimistic people creating cool things,” Furie says of his interest in exploring non-fungible tokens — unique digital files whose origins and ownership can be verified. “Pepe does not have the baggage here that he does in the 'real world,’ and I like working with utopians and optimistic freethinkers. There are so many possibilities.”

Furie became intrigued when his cousin Frank Musarra, a Brooklyn-based multimedia artist, contacted him in February with an invitation to show his work on Chain/Saw, a new online gallery of crypto-art featuring like-minded creators. Musarra envisioned a “middle ground between crypto-utopian zealotry and grouchy anti-tech naysayers.”

They soon were on a Zoom call with dozens of fellow artists, kicking around ideas about just what the site would look like. Furie embraced the opportunity to show the world he was much more than the Pepe Guy. Yet as the site’s April launch neared, Furie and Musarra, the site’s official founder, knew something was missing. “We both felt pressure to show a Pepe NFT,” says Furie, who’s based in Southern California….

….So why is ownership of a Furie art token called “1pantsdownpee.jpg” worth a million bucks? “It’s my view that this will eventually be one of the most valuable digital originals in the world,” punk4156 told Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art last month, noting that given how widely the Pepe image has been copied, the original “should rightfully be our generation’s Mona Lisa.”

This week, Furie is planning to unveil PEGZ — Pog-like digital portraits of his creature characters in 2-D, 3-D and animated form. “Everything else is a bootleg, and I’m very inspired by bootlegs in my life and in my art,” he says — including Grateful Dead mix tapes — “but nothing beats the real thing.”

Furie enters this world fascinated, too, by its sense of community — intrigued by how NFTs can “provide a tangible connection between a digital artwork and a collector who owns it.”

Many people are minting their unique works as NFTs because blockchain technology — as a ledger of transactions across a network of computer systems — can now create a fixed digital record proving who owns each work. So creators are selling electronic tokens of everything from music to social media content — including the viral “Charlie Bit My Finger” video (which fetched $760,999 at auction) and Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey’s first tweet ($2.9 million).

“This new space is laying the groundwork for the Internet 3.0,” Furie says. “In the future, you’ll be able to trace memes back to their source.”

And as Giorgio Angelini, writer-producer of the documentary “Feels Good Man,” puts it: “Pepe is the ur-meme.”

As chronicled in that film, Pepe has had many online lives: The anthropomorphic frog jumped from the panels of a relatively obscure comic about benign bro-creatures, transmogrified into a meme on the forums of 4chan and was posted on social media by such pop singers as Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj. But Pepe’s image was also swiped by the alt-right and white supremacist groups and plunged into the political mainstream during the 2016 presidential election cycle, with Donald Trump Jr. sharing an image of Pepe among GOP figures, in a spoof movie poster titled “The Deplorables.” In 2018, Furie sued Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones over unauthorized use of Pepe; the case was settled the next year"

More on NFTs here:

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Fan Art benefits highlighted in article in WIRED

 Fan Art contines to be popular. There will likely be an explosion of it once conventions and artist alleys resume as in-person events. 

This 5.28.21 article, “The Psychology of Why Fan Art Is So Delightful" by Elisa Shoenberger in WIRED, touches on the many benefits of fan art. It concludes with an acknowledgement that the gray area around fan art and copyright continues to be a problem. Photo from the article is by Getty Images.

Here's a long excerpt from the article:

"....Fan art can also be a vehicle for honing or developing one's craft. Levine explains that fan art allows people to “practice skills within a known universe. There are people who really want to get at the medium they are using, and the object of fandom makes it a better vehicle for personal growth in a skill.”…. 

…. Not only do fan artists tell new stories and learn new skills through their work (or more often, play), fan art can be a vehicle for exploring your own identity. In a research study with young fan artists worldwide, generally aged 14 to 24, Marjorie Cohee Manifold, professor of arts education and curriculum studies at Indiana University, reported that 70 percent of participants “described being drawn as fans to specific characters in narratives of popular culture because they saw desirable traits in the characters that they wished to possess or emulate.” In short, during a formative period of their lives, these people were drawn to worlds or characters that had characteristics they wanted to have in their own lives…

…. Making fan art can also be meditative. Zubernis explains that some people get into a flow state through art, and it helps them get a sense of control in the world. Creating in this way helps people focus on the here and now, instead of worrying about the past or future, she says, and that can make people feel good.

On a similar note, fan art can help both fans and artists come to terms with difficult material or story elements that are problematic or hard for fans to accept. Zubernis cites fans who are still healing from the ending of the television show Supernatural (no spoilers here) and have mediated that hurt through fan art in the months since the show’s end. “It helps us go places we don't want to go,” Zubernis says, because we can go there in a safe way.

There’s also joy in creation, Zubernis explains. Since fan art is often personal or shared within a community, the rules aren’t the same as they would be for someone creating works for a job or for commercial purposes. Fan artists can do literally anything they imagine. To borrow a phrase from Marie Kondo, fan art can spark joy, Zubernis says….

…. Others may be concerned about issues of copyright, since some media and entertainment franchises are more litigious than others. Issues of copyright and fair use are unfortunately not well defined, and they often err on the side of the copyright holder, rarely the artist, who more often will avoid a potential legal battle with a large company than stand behind their art. Zubernis points out that the benefits of fan art can outweigh these negative feelings, however.

Ultimately, fan art is a healthy way to express one’s self and find inspiration to think about new worlds, skills, or new versions of self through the love of a fandom. After all, it’s a lot of fun to make. I’ll keep painting my Peeps or making merit badges as a way to celebrate my love of Among Us.”

More about Fan Art in this April 2016 post on the blog:

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Tips on earning $100K a year on Fiverr

What did so many of us turn to in order to get through lockdowns and Covid? Online art and content. (art by

 Covid proved to the public that online art and content has value. 

Art appreciation went from this...

to this...

PSAs everywhere recognized essential workers. Jobs from cleaners and maintenance workers, to teachers, trades persons, truck drivers and delivery services, grocery store workers and especially support staff in retirement homes and hospitals -- so many occupations we all depend on were finally appreciated. (little people toys by Fisher-Price)

Mental health. Self-care. These "luxuries" became indispensable.

Art by Kate Allan (aka The Latest Kate)


Jobs moved to online/at home situations. Or jobs were lost and pivoted careers to self-employment opportunites. Gig work introduced more people to hiring freelancers. News stories followed efforts to get gig workers and all freelancers more competitive pay.

How can we survive all these changes? Taking care of ourselves and each other.

Let's keep these lessons going. 

You can make a living as an artist. Educate yourself. Build your brand and your fan base. Social media companies thrive thanks to online images freely shared and posted. They built the false narrative of "free art" by not linking images back to creators. They profit while artists go uncredited, and uncompensated. Here's the truth -- art and content posted online is never free. ArtWORK is the product of time, expertise, supplies, persistence. All these are expenses paid for by creators. Teach your followers why creative rights are vital. They can help keep content coming by being pro-active about sharing links and credits as well as images, and fighting back against counterfiet works and copyright infingers. Don't exhaust your time and money chasing imitators across the internet. Use the internet's worldwide reach. Connect with followers old and new who will spend about $100/year on your art. Make it easy for them. Share your pay platforms every time you post on social media. Have an online store. Use platforms like Patreon, Ko-fi, Kickstarter, Fiverr, PayPal.You can thrive.

Here is a long excerpt from "Six figures from freelancing? This platform makes gig work lucrative," a 5.15.21 article by Kathy Kristof in the Los Angeles Times. (AP photo)


Carrie French earns about $125,000 annually writing product descriptions. Beau Vallis earns a similar amount remixing music. The one thing both have in common? Fiverr, a side hustle platform that used to urge sellers to list their services for just $5, increasingly delivers six-figure incomes to the freelancers doing the work.

“It’s been very lucrative,” says Vallis, who first posted a digital profile on Fiverr in 2015. “You don’t have to do any marketing. You wake up and there are your jobs.”

At a time when freelancers who work for other gig economy giants, such as Uber and Lyft, say that the legacy companies are becoming increasingly exploitative, Fiverr has gone in the opposite direction. The site boosted its customer service staff; cut its fees; and created special designations for “pros,” or freelancers with advanced expertise or skills. While some sellers still list their services for less than $25 on Fiverr, “pros” are compelled to charge more….

….While not all freelancers earn six-figure incomes on Fiverr, an increasing number say they can easily earn a living wage. Some say that their biggest problem is turning off — or down — the work spigot when they need a break. “I have to buffer clients by going into out-of-office mode,” says Vallis.

Freelancers who work with Fiverr say the platform has certain advantages that are hard to find elsewhere. It’s a broad-interest platform offering hundreds of services where you can post your availability to provide, for example, almost any lawful service, including some off-beat ones, such as reading Tarot cards or casting spells.

You also are in complete control over your pricing and the limitations of your offer. For instance, you might create advertising jingles for $25 each. However, for that price, you can stipulate that the jingle will have 25 words or less. And, if the customer doesn’t like it, they only get one revision….

…The idea is to make purchases so transparent that clients can buy without having to talk, much less negotiate, with the freelancer, says Arnon.

Importantly, too, the funds for every job are put in escrow when the gig is ordered. As long as the freelancer delivers what was promised, they don’t have to worry about getting paid. French says it’s rare for a client to find some sneaky way to avoid payment. She’s made thousands of dollars through Fiverr’s payment guarantees over the eight years she’s worked through the site.

Fiverr pays for its service by charging freelancers a 20% commission on every booking.

Freelancers on other sites say that a lot of their time is taken up by project bidding and providing work samples to potential clients. That doesn’t happen at Fiverr. Clients view your profile, the work samples that you’ve already posted, and reviews. There is no negotiation, auditioning or bidding before purchase. They either select you or they don’t.

Melissa Harlow, a voice-over artist, says this is the primary reason she stopped freelancing through other voice-over job apps. “To get one job, you’d end up doing 50 auditions,” she says. “On Fiverr, if the client likes your work, they buy. If they don’t, they move on.”

That said, with thousands of freelancers from 160 countries offering more than 500 services on Fiverr, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Harlow says it took eight months before her Fiverr profile started drawing work. Now, she earns $40,000 to $50,000 annually, working part-time.

Vallis says it took him roughly two years before he got regular work.

Fiverr’s management understands the difficulty freelancers have with getting noticed, Arnon says, so the site has a number of initiatives to help. These include tutorials that explain the system’s algorithms and the activities that can help you get noticed.

There’s also a team dedicated to helping platform newbies. If you do great work, for instance, you might earn a “rising star” badge. Have years of experience in your field? You can apply to be a “pro” seller, she says.

That puts your resume in front of a Fiverr team, who will evaluate your work and determine whether you qualify to be a premium freelancer. If so, they’ll slap a “pro” designation on your profile. This signals to clients that you do premium work and must be paid a premium price….

…The site has some nagging issues that continue to bedevil sellers. Specifically, freelancers are rated on the number of jobs they’ve accepted; the number they’ve completed on time; and customer reviews, among other things. Failing to deliver, delivering late, canceling orders, or getting bad reviews can kill your business and even get you booted from the platform.

Some customers know this and use the knowledge to pressure freelancers into doing more work for less money….

….French says she’s had customers threaten bad reviews if she won’t cut her rates or provide some work for free. Her strategy for dealing with this is to solely communicate in writing through the platform.

In every message, she reminds clients to read her FAQs, so they know what’s included and what’s not. If a client insists on giving her a bad review because she refused to provide more than what they bought, she takes it up with customer service.

“For every one bad experience, there are four where the platform has protected me,” she says. “Customer service has really backed me up.”

Want to thrive as an indie artist? Check your Mindset. Delegate business tasks.

Want to thrive -- not just survive -- in your indie artist/entrepreneur/content creator life? 

You. Must. Delegate.

One of the many lessons we're all learning from Covid is that time and health are precious. Manage your resources. Stop chasing false expectations. Who benefits when you work yourself to death? I have artist friends who have had strokes. I've had bookseller friends who have died. These tragic scenarios are lifechanging for families and friends left behind -- and may have been preventable.

You must set boundries. Work should help you grow and thrive. Don't buy into the myth that you must sacrifice yourself.

There are parts of your job only YOU can do. Dedicate your time and energy for that work. For many other business life related tasks, you must let go. Let the right professional do it better because it's their area of expertise. Find the right resources.

If you're self-employed, you are a business entity. 

Businesses have needs. Not to mention legal requirements and tax obligations.You need to keep your buiness life in order. That means doing your taxes, and knowing how the tax laws impact you, and possibly benefit you. Your business legal documents must be prepared (and/or reviewed). 

You don't have to master these tasks. Or dread them. You do have to get them done. You may want to wear all the hats of these jobs, but you only have one head. You will undermine your indie art life success by taking on too many obligations. 

Set boundaries to protect yourself and your family.

You can't do everything. You'll only put your most precious resources in jeopardy -- your physical and mental health. 

Educate yourself. There are online and free resources via the Small Business Adminstration, as well as tutorials on websites and You Tube. Attend legal/small business workshops/panels at conventions. That's a great way to vet professionals in those areas. Panel speakers are often open to taking on new clients. Do your homework on professional services. Find pros whose values align with yours. It will help you feel more comfortable with them. You want go into these client-professional relationships knowing their business/service model fits with what you need.

For many years now, I've been a monthly subscriber to the Creators Legal Program

This subscription  program is offered by the intellecutal property (IP) and small business law firm, Counsel for Creators (C4C)

I found this firm via an artist friend who was a client. One of the things I apprecaited about the firm from the start was their niche of educating artists and making legal needs for indie artists affordable. 

With the monthly subscription fee of $95, you'll have access to the program's monthly Q and A sessions on topics like taxes, small business law, copyright law developments, etc. Other benefits include making appointments for phone consultations, and access to the library of archived online sessions.

The subcription fee is a great value. Imagine you have a lawyer friend. You could take them to dinner once a month to pick their brain about small business/IP law. You could easily be on the hook for $100 for that dinner, and you'd have limited time with them. With the subscription service, you have unlimited access to get all your questions answered. You also get educed fees for legal services, and the opportunity to participate in sessions with professionals in other small business life areas. 

A recent online session covered a topic that applies to everyone -- "Mindset is Everything" 

During this session, I learned some top tips for staying focused and motivated. Something we all need as we're emerging from quarantine time.

In this blog post, I'll share some of my notes about ANTs and more from this online QandA 

First -- here's the intro for this session from C4C Facebook page: 

⁠"Join Jon, Chuong and Mindset coach Judith Gordon as they discuss how creative business owners of all stripes can build a winning mindset.

Photo of Judith Gordon

✅How to master productivity by managing energy rather than time.

✅ Why "hustle culture" is a trap.

✅ How to develop emotional intelligence.

✅ Ways to work with your strengths and weaknesses."


Here are notes I jotted down during the one hour online session...

"What is mindset..???

Collective unique attitudes and beliefs. Our own attitudes and outlooks. What drives the way we see the world.

Why is mindset important to business owners?

Makes a difference in terms of progress. Need supportive mindset. Being too self-critical will impede progress. Positive mindset helps achieve business and personal goals. You have to align beliefs with goals. Become aware of subtle thoughts and criticisms that are driving us.


Everyone has same structural brain but no two brains are alike. Our neuro pathways are formed based on experiences These help form mindset – based on experience of the world. Is your mindset Fearful?Welcoming/safe? As adults, we need to examine our mindset. What strategies are helpful. Offices are an environment akin to day care (like for toddlers)… actions reflect experiences.

What’s driving me? What’s motivating me?

Mood. Mindset. Motivations –  these are the 3 “M’s” of high performance

We are influenced by past events. But mindset/experience aren’t fixed. Can be changed

Neuro-plasticity.. our brains change based on information

Want to change habits?…  shift/change in brain, patterns etc Observe thoughts, esp the subtle ones. Stop and challenge thinking that is not helpful --

“Does this serve me”

Develop thinking plans that are in your best interest. How do we know if mindset is working for us? Are your thoughts supportive and helpful.

We all go into victim mode… criticize too much etc. Most of our daily thoughts are negative and repetitive. Our brain is always surveying the landscape looking for danger/threats

ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) get in the way

Shoo them away...

Starting …. Or pivoting… a business is full of risk. How we feel about risk can moderate how we feel overall. Having the "power throught it" mindset can get us into trouble.

More reflective means better outcomes. Don't lump everything together as “I’m stressed”.. or "I’m fine. Being general/judgemental is nor helpful.

To get to change, drill down to emotion. Emotions are data. Get specific.

For example -- you're feeling "I'm stressed" -- why? Because you're waiting for info to meet deadline. Articulte your feelings -- Anxious and frustrated that colleague didn’t get back to me with info needed.

Naming the feeling can help dissipate the burden. Knowing emotion can help define action/solution.

ID your emotions -- this will calm the brain and make better decisions. Name it. Visualize emotion. Decide action/how you want to respond

Don't let generalized judgement calls spiral into panic mode. Make molehills manageable.. not churned into mountains.

Not stepping back can lead to conflict. Step back and look for other ways to act than quick anger/reaction.

Cease and desist letters can have a friendly tone. That approach can bring better response.

Example of  Jack Daniels trademark warning letter….  The tone is friendly. Not bullies. They use empathy and stress tradition of their brand.

Trust. Curiosity. Empathy… these words help create more helpful mindset. 

Noticing all the ANTs can make them swarm, but they calm down and diminish over time.

Approach bad habits with curiosity… why am I doing this. How is this helping me? Understanding your mindset  about bad habits helps find more impactful actions.

What about confronting others who have difficult mindset. Don’t internalize someone else poor behavior. That’s on them. It’s a reflection of where they’re coming from.

Disconnect. Don’t own someone elses bad behavior. “we’ll get further faster if we can all just calm down”

Find ways to elevate conversation/communication vs  getting defensive. Focus on what is the message they are trying get across.

It takes time, but we can learn to communicate better.

"Kill them with kindness" is the cliche, but it works. Approach others with respect can get more results. But some people are just bullies/aggressive. Pivot to elevate…. Can diffuse hostility. Humor can help if that’s your strength.

Attacking back and forth just ratchets everything up…. Rarely resolves.

Find allies… not gossip/triangulation.. Allies will help you find solutions…not perpetuate problems.

 Productivity is more about energy vs time. How are you approaching projects? How distracted are you?

Multi-tasking can deplete focus/energy. How we feel when we approach task can be important. Find steps to move your attitude away from resentment/aggravation. We’re most productive in relaxed, slightly happy state.

Seeing the longer term goal/outcome can help reset away from current work/grind to get task done.

What energy are you putting into task? Positive  helpful mental energy. Physical drain can compromise work. The drain/downshift that certain tasks inspire (have to do taxes)

All can influence performance of tasks

Identify it… why am I not doing this? Find interesting motivation to get the task done. Top athletes need to practice skills and keep motivation up. 

Creatives/indie business owners are “Cognitive athletes”… our ability to do our jobs is threshold to entry. Be in touch with why we’re doing this work to keep energy and productivity on track.

Part of every job/career is doing things you don’t want to do. Getting those tasks done helps achieve goals. Get/stay on successful path.

Cut down on distractions. Monotask. Hide all devices – put phone/iPad in a drawer. Out of sight.

Set a timer for 20-40 mins. You’ll get more done in that time.

Drink water! Eat healthy food. Your brain requires oxygen nutrients and water to think.

Hydration is essential to create thoughts. Brain fog, Irritability, headaches, bad mood can be signs of dehydration.

Anxiety attacks can   be brought on by dehydration.

We have to pay attention to our physiological container.

Self-care will make us more productive.

Mindset – how do we optimize our experience. How we view the world dictates how much we enjoy it. We all have challenges.

We can’t be  creative if we’re in a highly stressed state.

Staying focused while staying home…

Break up your tasks. Alternate things that are self-supporting with some exercise/fresh air. Move around to pump up again… breath deeply. Notice your thoughts…. Have alternative thoughts/options. Text a colleague.

Zoom fatigue is real.

Music is helpful.

Comedy is helpful… TV shows, stand-up, radio

Don’t just work straight through your day. Processing and creativity happens when we are off -task/non-targeted/physical.

Focused state vs. diffused state. It's downtime when we can access solutions. The “best ideas in the shower” scenario.

How to prioritize ---

Break down into tasks that are Professional and ones that are personal.

What has to happen today to make this a productive/good day.

2-3 things. How do you feel about them…. Neutral, happy, draining.

Find ways to get to energizing mindset for the draining tasks.

If it’s going to take a long time, break it up.

You need a break after each task.

Schedule those things that will support us:

Take that walk. Drink that water. Talk to that friend/colleague.

At end of day, check in with “what went right today.”

Can be an energizing/satisfying perspective.


You can access replays of this session and past sessions as perk of montly subscription to legal service.

Here's "about us" info and photos of the C4C team from their website

"Chuong Bui is a seasoned entertainment attorney and partner at Counsel for Creators LLP based in Los Angeles, California. His practice includes entertainment and commercial transactions, copyright, trademark, and corporate law.⁠

His years providing legal support on a broad range of entertainment, technology, and artistic ventures (including independent film production, post-production, digital content production, music, book publishing, multimedia art, illustrations, public art, and software development) make him a valuable ally for creative businesses. Over his career he has represented a wide range of creative clients – from filmmakers, musicians, fine artists, and book publishers to technology startups and serial entrepreneurs.⁠

Prior to Counsel for Creators, Chuong successfully launched and managed his own practice, where he served as counsel on a number of independent films and new media projects both in the United States and Asia. He’s also served as an Of Counsel Attorney with TDL International Law Firm, where he managed the firm’s entertainment and media practice and advised on several international media productions.⁠

Having honed his skills in one of the nation’s top entertainment law programs, he continues to mentor emerging artists, advise several media organizations and technology professionals, and he remains active in the Southern California arts community.⁠

Chuong received his B.A. (Economics) from the University of California, Berkeley and his J.D. from Loyola Law School. Admitted to practice in California. He was selected as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2019.⁠

In his spare time Chuong enjoys fitness, digging for (and occasionally DJing) rare & independent dance music, and spending time with his son. He is a meditation advocate."

"Spencer Cross is a Los Angeles-based former design professional and creative community organizer turned lawyer for creative professionals.⁠

Before transitioning to law, he spent nearly two decades as a designer and art director in the music and entertainment industry, including ten years as creative director of his own boutique design firm.⁠

Spencer now leverages that extensive experience to educate and empower filmmakers, writers, authors, designers, artists, developers, and other creatives to do better work.⁠

His practice includes entertainment, commercial transactions, internet and technology, copyright, trademark, and art law.⁠

Spencer received a B.S. in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder.⁠

He graduated summa cum laude from the University of California Irvine School of Law, where he also received ample hands-on clinical experience providing pro-bono legal services to intellectual property, technology, and arts clients. He is admitted to practice in California."

"Jon Tobin is a partner and attorney at Counsel for Creators, and is focused on helping creative professionals and businesses use the law to succeed.

A graduate of the UCLA School of Law, he studied intellectual property, business law and international law under the nation’s top-ranked practitioners. While at UCLA Law he served as one of two editors-in-chief of the UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs. Before studying law he worked for years as a designer and software developer, so he knows what it means to work in creative industries and how things actually get done.

He deals with matters involving copyrights, trademarks, software, design, licensing, business, art law and contracts.

Jon speaks and writes regularly about legal issues facing technology and creative ventures and has given talks for the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the California Community Foundation, UCLA Law, and at a variety of design and technology conferences."

Your Guide to Behind the Scenes at Stuart Ng Books (5.17.21)

 Start here to learn how to use this blog..... You are about to explore SNB adventures from my (Amy's) perspective ... Stuart's website links to this blog, but Stuart does NOT write these posts. This "Your Guide" posts updates monthly.

For the latest news on Stuart Ng Books, you can follow SNB on Facebook or Twitter. To receive Stuart's email newsletter (with lots of exclusive offers) use this link from the SNB website:
For info on ordering books, and a website chock full of our extensive inventory, start at the homepage for  SNB:

Welcome to the realm of Bride of Bookseller. The posts are all written by me. This blog exists to educate and entertain by sharing resources that can benefit artists.

It takes talent and commitment to thrive as an indie artist. But it also takes balance and fitness. No one talks to artists about this truth: You have to be well enough.. physically.. mentally..emotionally...financially... to get your work done. At the same time, so many artists struggle with chronic conditions that impact their productivity. No wonder artists are stressed. Many posts on the blog here offer possible solutions.... and celebrate the traits all the best artists share: (button below from Alaska Robotics
Scroll down this "Your Guide" post  and you'll discover background on the blog (SNB and BTS backstory)....
Then these categories of highlighted posts:











For the origin of the SNB logo, see this post:

Stuart Ng Books is very small business in Torrance, CA. Our niche is books on illustration, animation and comic art. Our wonderful, loyal patrons are artists, students and collectors in these fields.
We started in the genteel era of hands-on bookselling, before the internet. We were mentored by colleagues, some of whose stores folded under the pressures from Amazon. We weathered the transition to websites. Stuart worked hard to build a brand in this tough business environment.  Our bookstore started as a printed mail-order catalog. I say "our" bookstore because it was just the two of us for years. We had a book room in the house for inventory. The dining room table was the packing station for mail orders. I was the voice on the phone, processed orders, and schlepped boxes to the post office. But it's called Stuart Ng Books for a reason. Once the books started earning their way and moved into a store location, I was ready to segue into BTS (behind-the-scenes) mode.

Sales are still mostly mail order. Stuart ships books all over the world.  In addition to our website and Torrance store location, we sell books at conventions and the occasional special event expo or festival. Scroll down for links for convention appearances. Here are two examples of expos/festivals:

Stuart is a man on a mission. He is always on the job: in constant search for great books and artists. He is known for discovering treasures during his annual trip to France to attend the festival in Angouleme, Europe's largest comic art convention. He doesn't speak or read French; he selects his inventory strictly for the art. He's the visual one. I'm more verbal. I took some French lessons... so now I can try to talk with people there (and order more than a ham and cheese sandwich at the cafes).
When Stuart launched the business full-time in 1997, we had no idea we would become a world-wide resource for books in our field. When I married Stuart... a LONG time ago.. I had no idea I would also be marrying a small business (we didn't meet in business school.... but that's another story). Where we find ourselves now, all these years later, is a creative place that keeps us both engaged with artists. Stuart Ng Books has exhibited at San Diego Comic Con for over 20 years. For 2020, Stuart planned to open a retail location in Burbank. He’ll resume the search for the ideal spot once conditions allow -- so if you have any suggestions, please contact him directly.
Our patrons seek out Stuart at conventions and online. They buy books from him because his "eye" and expertise are a bonus they value. Part of the fun of Stuart Ng Books is how we get to facilitate connections and inspiration. We get to see the artistic process in action. We steward the passing of cherished books from the reference libraries of artists who are masters in their field into the hands and creative spirit of a next generation. I try to remind us of all this on the days when our "What is the Matrix" question haunts us: Can a little book business survive in the internet age? Stay tuned ....
I started my blog in 2008 as a way to share topics I discussed with friends and patrons who visited us at conventions. I also use the blog to share trips to exhibits and shows we attend that artists might find inspiring.
See "FAQ," "Stewardship" and "Legacy Books" for posts about bringing YOU the benefits of a devoted rare bookseller in world where mom and pop bookstores are themselves becoming endangered!
HELLO WORLD -- 120+ and counting
For a complete list of the 122 countries that have visited the blog, check out this Aug 11, 2011 post: "Hello World.." And one final stat -- as of February 2020, the blog has tallied over 500,000 all-time page views.


NFTs --- Future for art, or current version of 1630s Tulip craze cautionary tale?

This April 2021 post is where I'm collecting case studies on NFTs as well as resources that explain them.

(became effective January 2020)

This January 2020 post is where I update links and info on AB5 (updated 5.17.21)

CASE ACT (Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act )
UPDATE January 2021 -- This is the Bill has become a federal law. Read all about it here: 
(images below from the Graphic Artists Guild)

Several posts here on the blog explaining the CASE Act Bill, as well as links to other sources.

This January 2021 link from Copyright Alliance has FAQ on how CASE Act Small Claims court will work, and when it will start:


It was around July 2014 that I started posting frequently about Copyright Protection for images posted online. My artist friend Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings
had become a target for outrageous levels of art theft. This included an impostor in the UK who downloaded Lili's dog images, flipped them, painted them on canvases adding painted dog collars with actual rhinestones on them, then sold them at art fairs and even a gallery! The gal ended up on a British TV show bragging about her successful business. Lili's fans alerted her -- a great example of how an educated, loyal, invested fan base is the front line for fighting art theft. Even more vital: Lili registers her copyrights. It was a long, expensive, frustrating fight to watch my friend go through. The gallery was appalled at the impostor and kicked her out. The impostor went into hiding. It became a dead end for Lili (and the expensive UK lawyers she had to hire). Lili has won successful settlements since then, but is still fighting art theft. I see how exhausting it is. This waste of artist time and resources, not to mention livelihood, inspired my activism. So I started learning more and posting more. Since 2015, I've subscribed to an intellectual property legal service that allows me to schedule phone consultation appointments. It's an investment I make on behalf of the blog. I want to post info that's as accurate as possible given that many of these issues are fluid with new laws in the works. I use this source to fact check my own IP questions directly with an IP attorney. More on the service here:

My blog post links below share resources and case studies on unauthorized commercial use of artist-owned images for profit by others:
Also see blog post from June 11, 2016 with FREE infographics by Lili Chin on copyright 101
Lili's infographics are available as free downloads on  her link:

Lili Chin won a settlement against Kohls when the retail giant stole her artwork.

This Oct 2016 post has background info on this groundbreaking legal case in the fight against art theft:
This post also has links for the infamous case Lili suffered in 2013 with the UK art thief.
Lili's suit against Kohl's settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

Important info on blog post  "Fan Art -- Playground or Minefield." Includes link to video clip of panel on IP. This post on the grey areas of Fan Art is also updated.

case studies and taking action

This "Combat Art Theft" post compiles case studies and how artists are fighting back. There is a dangerous culture of tolerated piracy when it comes to online art. This. Must. Stop. Links on this post explain the risks.. and offer solutions.

Loyal fans alerting artists are the front line of defense against art theft. Artists educating fans about creative rights helps curb counterfeiting... (chart below by Ginger Davis Allman -- more info in these links --

August 2019 posts with insights from industry pros about the damage done to artists at all levels when art is undervalued..


The long trauma of 2020 impacted everyone. 2021 continues to bring many self-care challenges. Please be mindful of your mental, emotional and physical health. 
Artists and other indie creators must be well to work -- they are the only ones who can do their jobs. You can't do your best from a place of unwellness.

Use the internet and social media wisely. Share facts, not fear. Always SIFT before sharing.
Fact-check/Find corroborating stories on credible sites.
Trace posts back to original context/media. 

The SIFT system was coined by Mike Caufield, a digital literacy expert at Washington State University. 
Please check out more SIFTing tips here:

There are 15 Posts for April 2020 on the blog regarding COVID-19. Here's link for #1 of 15 of the April posts:
The 15 posts in April include links for indie artist funding resources (post #s 3-5) , DIY disinfecting tips, post #7) links for credible, science-based sites to find the latest on Covid (post #s 12-14). Post #s 9-11 have oodles of online links with family friendly sites like links to zoo and aquarium live cams, as well as tips for home office and self-care survival tools. 

I'm leaving the March 2020 posts in tact with the announcement that they are untouched from 3.31.2020, but are valuable as a record of information we  had available as the crisis hit.

Info graphic below from Compound Interest

I also post links for resources regarding Art and Anxiety. This includes tips on how to communicate the value of your work!.

Link below is for Tumbler post by (gal artist .. just saying :)  C.Spike Trotman. The gem below is just one of the panels from the Tumbler post explaining steps to success for indie artist life ....
The link hasn't been active for awhile... but I'm leaving it here as a record and in case it revives somewhere else. Meanwhile, here's the link for the book form of this terrific comic about indie art survival:

More "art has value" on this post on how to turn a charity request into a paying job ...

Lots here on the blog for artist health -- physical, emotional, financial....
Graphic above by Patternson Clark...

"PSA on Killer Chairs" post on dangers of too much chair time for anyone with a desk job .. and tips to help fight the effects of damage to posture and hand and wrists

In 2015 I launched a series of posts to share stretches and restorative options for Artists and others whose work demands long hours of sitting. These simple exercises will help undo the strain on back, shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. Posts feature stills and video with certified yoga instructor Simone, who gives helpful workshops at the SNB showroom for crew and colleagues. Simone's Facebook page also offers links to online tutorials she finds and recommends:
Always consult your own doctor before beginning any fitness routine.
Here are links for "Yoga for Artists" lessons on the blog:
Lesson #2 - Upper Body Stretches using Chair, Wall and Blocks

Indie artists struggle to either absorb shipping and handling costs or factor them into their prices. Customers have been indoctrinated into the myth of Free Shipping. What is that really costing all of us?

I will always advocate for using tutorials to monetize your online art. Educate followers so they can grow with you as supporters.
Art below by Catherine Scartaccini

Documenting your creative process engages followers. It's also a great way to make your artWORK work for you. You're going through the steps already. You're taking the time.. and spending your resources... to document them. They are perfect to make multi-purpose. Monetize them. Never undervalue your time, talent and effort. Art life requires art work that is compensated.

So many artists posts these valuable tutorials for free. Why not share a few, but then use these sorts of posts to move followers to platforms where they can find more by supporting your art life on Patreon or with Ko-fi.  
Art below by Hannah Stiles, Ainigmati Studios

The internet has been a game changer, but recently I've heard professional artists, executives, instructors and collectors concerned about the growing trend of mediocrity. The easy access to so many versions of familiar images and subject matter means that everyone's art starts to look the same. Imitation is the death of growth. Don't copy other artists work, tweak it a bit, and call it your own. That's fine for practice in your sketchbook, but it's no way to build a brand and audience of your own.
 If you want to reach the next level, get away from the screen. Go in person to look at original art. Attend events that lend themselves to sketching. Visit the zoo, aquarium, museums. Look back in books and at libraries to see what artists were doing generations ago. These are habits the exceptional artists share. Disney legend artist Andreas Deja is a prime example of this. His highly educational blog shares treasures from his personal collection of art by past artists who have inspired him.  My blog post on his wire sculptures shows his work, an artist that inspires him, and links to his blog:
Art history in all genres can expand your own visual vocabulary. Here are some posts that showcase art inspiration from icons of the past, or activities that inspire sketching... 

Icons to study...

activities to sketch and study anatomy


The Stuart Ng Books - Claire Wendling connection dates back to 2005. That year, Claire was the featured artist at the annual  Angouleme Festival of Bande Dessinee, the largest comics festival in Europe.
Prior to the 2005 festival, Stuart had discovered Wendling's work via her sketchbook of personal drawings "Desk" (first published in France; current edition published by Stuart Ng Books)....

....and her award-winning art for the Bande Dessinee (or BD) series "Les Lumieres des Amalou" (written by Christophe Gibelin).

Inspired to attend the 2005 festival for the chance to see a career retrospective of her work, and perhaps meet the artist, Stuart embarked on his first-ever trip to France. In fact, it was the first time he had ever traveled outside of the US. Stuart does not speak or read French. Fortunately for all of us, Claire and her charming husband and colleague Christian speak fluent  English.
Even from those first meetings in the city cafes, Claire and Stuart spoke a common language of appreciation: for Claire's unique skills; and for Stuart's ability to bring her visionary talent to an ever-expanding US and worldwide community of peers and fans.
In the years that followed, Stuart's annual trips to Angouleme for the festival also included a visit with Claire and Christian... bringing them news and appreciation from her US fans ... and always talk of a hopeful visit by them to the US.
In 2015, on the 10th anniversary of the Claire Wendling-Stuart Ng connection, Claire was able to accept two long-offered invitations that Stuart had conveyed to her from mutual friends. Claire appeared as a special guest at the  Big Wow comics convention in early April. She accepted an honorary doctorate and speaking engagements at the Academy of Art Universtiy in San Francisco in April and May. Photo below shows Claire and Stuart at Claire's table at Big Wow.
Here on the blog are a series of 6 posts with photos and behind the scenes highlights from this long-awaited return of Claire Wendling to her beloved California ... where she worked for Warner Bros Feature Animation in the 1990s.
Claire Wendling at Big Wow Convention (background post)
Claire Wendling -- Highlights from Big Wow and speaking engagement at Academy of Art University
"animal" art show at Gnomon School (Claire attended and met with several of the artists)
Paul Choy photos from Claire Wendling signing at SNB
Behind the Scenes at Wendling signing and CA visit
Claire Wendling sketching at Big Wow, link to video by John Fleskes

Wendling was a featured guest at the 2016 CTNX Animation Expo. Here's link for an interview with her on the CTN website:

3 posts on CTNX 2016 -- including this one w/info on Wendling book that debuted:

Wendling was a featured guest at the inaugural Lightbox Expo.
She also had a signing at the SNB store in Torrance.

The online version of Lightbox Expo exceeded expectations with its virtual Artist Alley and array of panels and programs that were recorded and available to re-watch. Here's first of 3 posts on the blog:

Views of the virtual artists alley...

sample of multi-artist "jam session"

September 2019 was the inagural Lightbox Expo at Pasadena Convention Center. 
Five posts here on the blog detailing this new convention and highlighting guests and exhibitors. 
Lightbox Expo also hosts the annual Concept Art Awards. I was very grateful and proud when this community of elite industry professionals recognized Stuart with an important honor.

Each year, Stuart recharges with travel to France to attend the largest Comics festival in Europe. It's held in the city of Angouleme, about 2 hours from Paris. During this trip, we get to reconnect with artist pals and colleagues.. and I often get to document my side trips to museums and other art reference adventures. While I used to attend annually, I have taken an indefinite sabbatical from intercontinental travel. You can find France related posts in the February posts of most years on the blog:

Yes, Stuart Ng Books exhibited at Comic Con 2018 and 2019. However, I did not attend these years so there are no posts here on the blog.

Views of the Exhibit Hall and around the convention... including links for the Blade Runner Experience interactive attraction.


Six posts .. highlighting SNB booth.. Indie Artist Exhibitors....Pavilions, Toys and the Price of Popularity.. link for podcast on Exhibitor Tips for Artists.... Revisit the show starting with  #1 of 6

Comic Con 2015 Seven Posts in all on topics from SNB Booth to Cosplay .. to Marty Mouse SDCC survival guide.. plus lots of links for commentary and photo albums. Start here for topic titles and links:

From the first CTN Animation Expo in 2009, Stuart Ng Books has been an annual exhibitor at this event. We missed out on 2019 because booths were sold out when Stuart went to sign up. Instead we enjoyed a more relaxed weekend just shopping and visiting with colleagues.

Posts on the November entries here on the blog over the years document this Expo's explosive growth. The 9 blog posts from 2011 show a range of activities and guests:

Artist tables moved into the large outdoor tent in 2016. 
An admission ticket to this large outdoor tent venue at the Expo is still a great way to meet many artists and buy directly from them. 

Blog posts document booths at WonderCon from its days in the Nor Cal San Francisco Bay Area through its transition to current location in So Cal at Anaheim Convention Center. 
In 2009 we almost didn't make it --

First blog posts of WonderCon at Anaheim are from 2014

Stuart rarely gets to exhibit at or attend this con, as it's on the same weekend at CNTX. However, many of our artist friends find exhibiting at DesignerCon is a good fit for them. I have posted on the blog about it on the times I've been able to attend. 
As an experiment, SNB was at both CTNX and DesignerCon in 2018 -- but we were stretched thin as you can see in this brief blog post
This 2014 DesignerCon post shows it at the Pasadena Convention Center

Stuart attends these cons, but I haven't been to them, so no posts here yet.

Exhibiting at conventions and long-time personal relationships with artists are just some of the ways Stuart is able to provide signed copies of books for his patrons. He is also called on by studios and art schools to provide book sales for guest artist lectures. Signed copies allow SNB to carry some in-print titles from major publishers. Indie bookstores can't compete with the massive price-cuts on current books offered as loss-leaders by online giants. They are selling books at a loss. They don't care about books. They want your consumer dollars for all sorts of other purchases and services. Stuart wants to offer in-print books as a convenience for his patrons. So he adds the priceless benefit of the book having been in the hands of the artist and/or author. This way Stuart can offer the book at a reasonable price that covers his inventory expenses etc and helps deter outsiders from buying signed books from him just to flip them for higher prices online. Most of the signed copies Stuart stocks sell out right away. This is because they are going right into the collections of fans who treasure them. Win-win.

Signings at a convention...

 Some studio arranged signings..

More on signed books here:


In 2015, I started listening to more podcasts. There are many great ones out there. If you "don't have time" for podcasts... or fitness... try planning a time to get up from your chair for a 10 or 15 min walk once a day, and listen to a podcast while you’re moving around. See if it becomes a happy habit with benefits! Some podcast segments are under 15 mins. Many are about an hour. Listening to a podcast adds a learning opportunity to many activities. Here's a post where I gathered a list of podcasts recommendations, including these 3 top picks.

Bancroft Bros Animation Podcast (SNB is a sponsor)
Here's a post on one of my favorite episodes of this podcast:

Hirschfeld Century Podcast

The Complete Creative
Originally known as "The Business of Art", this podcast was re-launched in Oct 2019 as The Complete Creative. It's an outstanding resource for all indie entrepreneurs. The episdoes are all archieved here:

Between Diapers and Deadlines
Artist Brett Bean and his wife Julie, a designer, deliver truths about juggling parenting with indie art life. They also interview other artists for tips on artlife with families.

Matheatre -- History Science Theatre podcast
Lives of scientists are dramatized as musical theatre podcast episodes. An entertaining way to look at science using music and drama. (Full disclosure -- I'm a longtime fan and sponsor of Matheatre's online zoom lessons with historical scientists and I also sponsor this podcast via Patreon). 
Link for the podcast:

For more on the zoom classes (the Tuesday sessions are geared for grade school, but suitable for all ages). These programs can also be customized.

The podcast from one of my favorite science museums -- the Science History Institute (not related to Matheatre programs above). 
Tons of art prompts and premise potential in the interviews on these episodes. Everything from alchemy to Covid-19.
Science  Vs
Outstanding Podcast I discovered via Distillations when it interviewed producer about this October 2019 --prior to Covid -- "what if" episdoe regarding pandemics:
Science Vs has interivews with Dr. Facui and other top scientists looking at Covid as well as science history.


All-time favorite posts include these entries on film franchise Maleficent:

2019 -- preview posters with artists credited!!! (art below by Andy Fairhurst)

4 posts I wrote in June 2014 for first film "Maleficent" .. with 2 detailed posts on the QandA with director Robert Stromberg and Production Designer Dylan Cole that I attended at Gnomon school.

Here are links for the four June posts on Maleficent --
More Maleficent posts in Sept and Oct for the "Once Upon A Dream" book signing including this re-cap of the event

(LtoR, Dylan Cole, Robert Stromberg, Charles Solomon, Don Hahn at Center Stage Gallery for book signing co-hosted by Stuart Ng Books)

March 3, 2015 post on "Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum.
Here's link to LA Times story about the exhibit...
The featured costume for this exhibit was the Maleficent gown from the christening scene.

FIDM exhibit 2016


MARTIN "MARTY" MOUSE tours the cons ... and the world!
Internet phenom Marty is the star from Martin "Marty" Mouse facebook page which has grown over the years into the Marty Mouse House by Photographer Sarah Hunt Her glorious photos of Marty have been featured on Buzzfeed, Cute Overload, etc and bring the charm and comic fun of wee ones to a world-wide audience of over 75,000 + fans. More on the Marty Mouse House world
I'm delighted to escort Marty (in squeeze Marty pillow form -- art designed by Steph Laberis  ) at conventions and on other adventures, documented here on the blog, with links to featured artists and other finds.
Here are the Marty posts
CTNX 2014

Plush art tour pals for 2016
Huggable Koi #10 in France

Plush Art Pals Tour WonderCon
How does art plush happen??? Check out this Kickstarter that surpassed its funding goals and launched its artist/creator to a whole new level  ... 

Your local art fair is a great place to find artists in your own neighborhood. Here in SoCal we have a number of these. I especially enjoy the Patchwork Art Fairs, organized by DearHandmade Life

May 2014 post, also frequently updated, reveals the "mystery artists" behind Google Doodles. This post also includes background info on some of my favorite Google Doodles over the years. March 2016 update has info on annual Google Doodle contest for students K-12th grade.


Image above by Manny Carrasco...
The tragic circumstances with Cecil the lion in 2015 provoked an outpouring of tribute art. I collected some images on this blog post.. as well as articles about conservation efforts.

YOUR SCIENCE LESSON.. (Aug 27, 2009) video clip from Musee Curie

See February posts in 2016 and 2017 for extensive photos of  my favorite museums in Paris..
the Musee Curie...

In early 2021, the Musee Curie released this awesome animated comic, available online in French and English!

the Grand Gallery of Evolution ...

and the Hall of Comparative Anatomy.


(another fun SCIENCE LESSON post -- CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION LIBRARY (in PA) and MUSEE CURIE (in Paris) post from Aug 21, 2009)
The Chemical Heritage Foundation Library is getting a new name in 2018. As of Feb 1st, it will be known as the Science History Institute.


If you want to visit the SNB showroom -- and your family or S.O. (significant other) wants something to do besides look at books -- here are some links to local attractions:

From SEPT POST 9/5/11: Two "Family Fun" posts about Wilson  Park. See pics of the ballparks, tree house, and more ... also a paved walking trail that's mostly shaded and about a mile long. Still there are lots of amenities.. and if you bring a bag of unsalted peanuts.. chances are you'll make friends with some squirrels!

The duck pond pictured above is closed now. It was fenced and drained back in 2015 due to the drought and general maintenance issues with this water feature. After long delays and increased costs detailed here...
It's been renovated as the "Splash Pad" -- an interactive water fountain, popular with kids on hot summer days.

Here's a link to Yelp reviews of the park.

There are activities for all ages in and around Torrance... so if you want to browse our showroom for awhile and your family doesn't... you can all come to Torrance and do different things! We are minutes away from shops and AMC movies at Del Amo Fashion Mall  A few miles north will get you to the South Coast Botanic Garden ..... and we're also close to the Lomita Train Museum

On Saturdays, Wilson Park is home to the Torrance Farmer's Market -- great produce and food booths. Wilson Park is also home to the Southern California Live Steamers Minature Railroad  Ride the trains at the Park every 3rd Saturday!

Even more culture just minutes from our showroom -- The International Printing Museum. This tiny gem hosts an annual printers fair ( -- as well as a Dickens festival (post nov 29, 2010 ) a Ben Franklin b'day celebration (post Jan 6, 2012, and a founding fathers independence day event in July. Check their website for calendar of upcoming presentations:


Why is Stuart Ng Books located in Torrance? One reasons is the proximity to HORSES!!

No, I don't have a horse -- but just a few miles from us is the rural enclave of  Palos Verdes (PV)  -- a thriving equestrian community -- with miles of trails -- lots of riding stables -- all located right on the coast with ideal weather. If you want to sketch horses and equestrian life in a mild, shaded climate there are a number of public parks in PV with rings that riders use to train their horses as well as the various public and private stables in the area. Here are links for two of the public parks:
Ernie Howlett Park (site for annual charity horse show)
Dapplegray Park, Rolling Hills Estates

Every September, a nationally ranked charity horse show, The Portuguese Bend National Horse Show, is held in PV.
The show has been held for almost 60 years by the non-profit PCCH (Peninsula Committee Children's Hospital), an organization that raises money for Children's Hospital Los Angeles. All proceeds from this charity horse show benefit Children’s Hospital LA. More on PCCH here:

With the launch of Lightbox Expo in 2019, my annual visit to this horse show is on hold, as Lightbox is the same "first weekend in September" date! Auuugh.

Five posts on 2015 horse show... including this one featuring background on artist Terryl Whitlatch (her book was highlighted in the horse show program)

This horse show is a family friendly event with TONS of amenities. -- and an outstanding sketching opportunity for artists. There is a large, shaded, grassy knoll where you can sit for hours and sketch. You can also get quite close to the horses and riders if you want. While many equestrian events in PV are FREE to attend, there is a nominal admission charge for the charity horse show on Sat  and Sun -- because all proceeds for this event are a fundraiser. Admission to the charity show is free on Fridays. The show runs fri - sun on the 1st weekend in Sept.
"HORSE SHOW 2011 - PREVIEWS AND PICS FROM PREVIOUS SHOWS" post from 9-6-11 has some of my favorite action shots of horses and gives you a flavor of this very special event.

For more info on the annual Portuguese Bend National Horse Show -- including date for this year's show and schedule of activities, check out this link to show webpage:

Popular post from 2016 featured contemporary equine artist Jo Taylor (pictured below in her studio)

One of the most popular posts on the blog concerns artist Norman Thelwell.

other Equine artists I've highlighted
George Ford Morris
CW Anderson
Post on Horse reference and scale models (including Breyer horses)


 and THE BLACK STALLION (Oct 2010)

2011 was the most active year on the blog. Here are links for some of the most frequently visited posts:

(includes posts on REGIS LOISEL

TERRYL WHITLATCH (This post updated 6/14; added you tube interview with her from Academy of Art University)


ANIMAL ANTICS.... SNB publication of Pres Romanillos sketchbook previewed here on the blog.

A set of three  "FAMILY FUN" POSTS ON ANNUAL MODEL TRAIN SHOW (oct 30th 2011)

ART OF ANIMALS (Aug 2010) exhibit at Forest Lawn in Glendale with links to more images from amazing artwork at this show!


Dream Con started as an annual Book Fair for and by the DreamWorks Animation artists. They get to showcase some of their personal projects -- self-published sketchbooks, photography, original art etc. It's held on the DreamWorks Animation campus and SNB was only outside vendor.
In 2019, the event was combined with the studios annual holiday market -- so the artist vendors expanded to include jewelry, home decor items, apparel and even holiday decorations.
We are lucky to be invited there every year, as they kindly consider Stuart's booth a "perk" they are providing their artists. Always a great day with fun folks at a beautiful setting. Here are links for the years I've been along to attend:




Want to sketch bones??? Check out these three posts on the LA County Museum of Natural History and the Sept 2011 opening of the new Dino Hall:  Link for LA County Museum of Natural History

SNB experiments (like our booth at a Twilight convention Oct 2010.  ); Scenes from our bookscouting trips (Aug 2009 is a good one ); Even a post on the time someone shipped us a book in a used pizza box (Aug 2008 post  . For posts written back when I was "the voice" on the phone at SNB and at the order desk full-time, search "Daily Brew" (2008 - 2010). All this and more lurks here on the blog for you to discover..

Some blog posts highlight the directions that SNB takes me (but not necessarily Stuart)... search the archive posts to find Hoops and Yoyo; Twilight;
Ready for a dance break? Enjoy this music video of band Ok Go w/ agility dogs!
Stuart was featured on an MSBNC show in 2010. The link hasn't been active for awhile, but I'm leaving it here just in case it resumes :
The segment was also reported here:
See AUGUST 2010 posts additional pics and info on SNB on MSNBC...

FYI notices: 1) Stuart's last name, "Ng", is pronounced like the suffix "ing" in "drawing" or "Wendling." 2) you can email comments or questions directly to me at seahorse310(at) Aloha and thanks for visiting.