Illustrator Spotlight: Linh My Nguyen


© Linh My Nguyen

Jan. 1, 2022

We are excited to feature illustrator Linh My Nguyen and her banner design for Kidlit411. She won first place in our recent banner design contest.


Tell us about yourself and how you came to illustrate for children.


Hi, my name is Linh! I am an illustrator who was born and raised in Vietnam. When I turned 15, I moved to the U.S. with my parents, and we decided to choose sunny California as our second home. I have always been into drawing and anything art related since I was a kid, but it was more like a personal admiration towards beautiful artworks and people with artistic talents. As I grow older, this admiration turns into something more ambitious, and I realize that I want to create artistic works by myself, too.

© Linh My Nguyen


However, despite my growing interest in art, I decided to choose Finance as my college major. I lost confidence due to a variety of reasons and gave up on drawing during that time. At the end of my sophomore year, my brother gave me a used iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to take notes with. Little did I know that this would be the start of something new. Using my iPad, I started to pick up drawing again and easily fell in love with it. Drawing brought me joy, so I was motivated more than ever to pursue illustration this time. I used all the free time I had in college to teach myself to draw and practice. In my last year of college, which was 2020, I started to share more of my works on social media to build my online presence and explore new opportunities. As my art style naturally gravitated towards the young audience, my agent, Ana Crespo at East West Literary Agency, discovered my work, and that was how I was introduced to the children publishing industry.



Congrats on your banner design for Kidlit411! How did you approach this project?


© Linh My Nguyen

Thank you! I found Kidlit 411 to be such a lovely and supportive group for the kid lit community. As we are growing together and going on the same journey towards kid lit, why not hopping on a train and head to our destination together? That was my initial thought when I approached the prompt. Besides, I’ve always wanted to draw a flying train, and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to do so. All the ideas naturally connected, and that was how everything came together.



Who or what inspires you?


I am inspired by nature and ordinary things in everyday life. I like to observe the world around me and imagine different characters living in that world, maybe with little bits of whimsical elements that I’ll add here and there. I often find it fascinating to see how light interacts with the colors of nature and can eventually affect the atmosphere of the whole scene. Beside nature, my illustrations are also influenced by my native Vietnam, by people I have met, and by stories I have been told or have read about. 

© Linh My Nguyen

I am also inspired by other artists. Instagram and Pinterest are my endless source of inspirations due to the huge amounts of talents and variations on these platforms. Though I work digitally, most of my favorite artists are those who excel in watercolor and traditional medium. I especially love the works of Daniela Volpari, Dominique Mertens, and Thibault Prugne. Their approaches to colors and composition are very impressive and captivating.



What is your illustration process?  


My illustration process is straightforward. First, I will make a rough sketch for my idea. The sketch will be loose because I am just exploring the overall composition and setting instead of focusing on the detail. I will then refine my sketch a bit and block in my colors. While adding the colors, I also try to think of my light source to adjust the colors accordingly. I will finally work on the details until I am happy with my illustration.

© Linh My Nguyen


What projects are you working on these days?


I am working on personal commissions these days and planning on starting my own Etsy shop. I also plan to update my portfolio with new illustration works.

© Linh My Nguyen



What is something most people don't know about you?


I think most of my kidlit friends don’t know that I have a degree in Finance and work in accounting. Though I would prefer a career in illustration over anything else, I genuinely appreciate the experience that I gain from working in accounting because it has made managing the business side of my illustration career easier.

© Linh My Nguyen



Where can people find you online?


© Linh My Nguyen

Please feel free to connect with me at:







Linh My Nguyen (pronounced Lyn Mee Win) is a self-taught illustrator who was born and raised in Vietnam. Linh works digitally and enjoys using her digital brushes to experiment with different elements and textures, bringing to life her own unique, magical world where vivid, charming sceneries and characters exist. She lives in beautiful and sunny Southern California, where she enjoys observing details in nature (always on the lookout for inspiration), watching Studio Ghibli animated films, and spending time with her family and friends.


  1. I love the banner! Your artwork is delightful, Linh! Best wishes!


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