• Chinese Fairy Tales and Fantasies 

    Victo Ngai

    I have had the great pleasure to work with Folio Society earlier this year on this book. For those of you who are not familiar with Folio Society, they are one of the few publishers who is all about the art of book-making: from the illustrations to the printing and binding. To give you a taste, the cover of this book is fully cloth bond and luxuriously blocked with color and gold ink. 

    I have included some of the art I created for the book here, but not all. To see all of them, pick up a copy here. Make sure to check out other gorgeous books from Folio Society and like their FB and twitter to keep the good books coming!

    I will also be signing and  talking with AD Sheri Gee and the amazing Sam Weber at the Society of Illustrators NY on Nov 3,2014. Check out the event here. Hope to see you there!

  • Too Big to (NOT) Fail

    Victo Ngai

    Latest cover for CIO Europe for an article about companies that are too big to be nimble, and are unable to react fast. My idea is that the big horse is being confined by the page while the small ones are free to leap from page to page. I wanted to try out a simpler graphic approach on this one and it has been really fun!

    Big thanks to AD SooJin who always encourages new endeavors and amazing to work with! 

  • A Cup of Salt Tears

    Victo Ngai

    Besides the fact that Irene Gallo being one of the best ADs, I am always excited to work onTor.com short story art there’s no way to tell what kind of subject matter will come along. 

    This piece accompanies Isabel Yep’s novelette A cup of Salt Tears - an eerie yet beautiful story. You can read it here. The audiobook of IQ84 by Murakami Haruki accompanied the working of this piece, it was quite the perfect track. 

    Makino’s mother taught her caution, showed her how to carve her name into cucumbers, and insisted that she never let a kappa touch her. But when she grows up and her husband Tetsuya falls deathly ill, a kappa that claims to know her comes calling with a barbed promise. “A Cup of Salt Tears” is a dark fantasy leaning towards horror that asks how much someone should sacrifice for the one she loves.” 

    While I was doing research for this project, I learnt a lot of interesting facts about Kappa (河童 ”river-child”), including their obsession with shirikodama (尻子玉 "Small Anal Ball"). It’s believed that kappa lure their victims into the water and gain power by taking their shirikodama, a mythical ball said to contain their soul which is located inside the anus. Check out the amazing manga by Hokusai titled 同河童を釣るの法 (“How to fish for Kappa”).

  • Neo 1984,Cover for “Dark Fairytales” by TinHong

    Victo Ngai

    I am so happy I got to work on my first Chinese book cover with Hong Kong/Taiwan/Mainland China best-seller TinHong.

    TinHong’s latest book, “Dark Fairytales” (Non orthodox translation of 黑童話集), is a compilation of 16 novelettes set in a fictional metropolitan called “H town”. The stories are based on real stories in Hong Kong, structured after Chinese and Western classics such as “1984” by George Orwell, “The Last Class” by Alphonse Daudet, A Poor Man’s Tale of a Patent’ by Charles Dickens, ‘差不多先生傳“by胡適.etc. These parodies poke fun and reflect on the society’s current maladies, corruptions and injustice in a sarcastic and darkly-humorous way. 

    For the cover, TinHong asked me to freely follow my inspiration. This was awesome and quite rare for book cover jobs. So I decided to make a piece about “H-Town” in a neo”1984”way.

    Big thanks to TinHong for being an A+ author, art director, publisher and the ultra-delicious care-package!

  • NYTimes OpEd- Conservation or Curation?

    Victo Ngai

    I did a quickie for today’s NYTimes Op-Ed on how the new definition of what qualifies as an endangered species, passed this month, severely limits the scope of the law.  

    Previously, the language of the law — that a species qualifies if it is “at risk of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” — was read to mean that species should be protected if their geographic range was significantly smaller than it had been in the past. Now, a species will only count as endangered if it is at risk of going extinct. This significantly restricts conservation and ignores any responsibility we may have to mitigate even a portion of the harms that we’ve committed against other species. Read the article here

    The illustration features a Colorado River Cutthroat Trout, its protection has been recently denied because they were not at risk of extinction, even though their geographic range was significantly smaller than it had been in the past. 

    Big thanks to AD Matt Dorfman, always a pleasure to work with. He suggested we go for a more playful layout instead of boxing the fish in, which made the image that much more dynamic. I also like how the trout now looks like its skidding down some stairs screaming while falling apart. 

  • 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage' by Haruki Murakami

    Victo Ngai

    Being a long time Murakami fans, I was super excited when AD Kim from Boston Globe asked me to create the art for the “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” book review. 

    In “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” Haruki Murakami’s latest novel, he allows his hero to eavesdrop on one of life’s darkest possible tunes: the inner hum, the secret desire, for death. As the book opens, the “colorless” Tsukuru Tasaki has fallen into a terrible depression. Tsukuru’s four closest friends, who are nicknamed by colors, abruptly and unequivocally cut him off. All he can think about is dying. Tsukuru escapes the void, just barely, and emerges a new person, the person we follow through the rest of this book. Murakami elegantly describes how emotional trauma can lead us to disassociate. Read the book review here.

    Big thanks to AD Kim Vu. This is actually my first time working with the Boston Globe, what a great way to start!

  • Spellbound

    Victo Ngai

    For a article in Dension magazine about Fairy Tales and the changing nature of how these stories are told — from Grimm’s tales, to the super-scrubbed happy Disney tales through to the darker popularity of shows like Breaking Bad now. Fairy tale expert Maria Tatar also discusses how some of the world’s oldest tales help us navigate modern life.

    Big thanks to Erin from Em Dash for this very interesting project!

  • Silicon Valley Lady Warrior

    Victo Ngai

    3 illustrations accompany the profiling of the feisty Shanley Kane by Elizabeth Spiers. Kane, a feminist publisher, started her own media company Modern View Culture in the male dominating Tech environment in 2013. She’s known for her outspokenness when taking on the worst of Silicon Valley (and sometimes her allies, too). 

    Read the story and check out AD Erich Nagler’s beautiful layout design here on Medium. 

    Big thanks to Erich, whom I have enjoyed working with during his NYTimes days, for this challenging assignment! 

  • New You Magazine Spreads

    Victo Ngai

    Here are the 2 spreads I did for New You magazine. The first article focus on combating caner with new integrative treatments while the second talks about the importance of caring for body, soul and mind. 

    Big thanks to AD Donna! 

  • Time out of Time Book1 Cover

    Victo Ngai

    Time out of time

    the horned man rides

    with the forest queen

    the greenman Dies.

    the Heavens bear witness

    the great wolf Flies, and TImothy Hames stands alone. 

    I have been working on a new book series called Time out of Time by Maureen Doyle McQuerry. Book 1 Beyond the Door has just come out!

    Time out of Time is an advantage and imagination packed fantasy story which draw inspiration from Celtic mythologies. Our hero is a shy bookish boy named TImothy who is fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. However, everything changes on one dark spring night. A mystery knocks on his door and starts revealing his role in an ancient prophecy…

    Choosing a moment from a book as cover is always a fun challenge. It has be a true representation of the story without spoiling the plot, while being visually stimulating. I decided to go with the Wild Hunt because:

    a) There’s a giant golden flying wolf, who wouldn’t like that?

    b) We introduce our main character - Timothy. 

    c) The chase set the stage of adventure and the storm set the mood of danger.

    d) It’s a perfect moment to show the parallel existence of Timothy’s ordinary world and the fantastical world “beyond the door”. 

    This art has been featured on the American Library Association Booklist cover, what a honor! 

    Big thanks to Maureen for this great story, Ad Chad Beckerman and Editor Howard Reeves for all the great input. I hope you would enjoy the book as much as I do! Don’t forget to decipher the secret code which comes with the book! 

  • Sakamoto Ryuchi Benefitial Concert at Le Poisson Rouge NY

    10 more days to go for our Kickstarter campaign and here is the newest surprise reward!  For $100, you will get a ticket to the intimate concert staring the legendary oscar+grammy winner Sakamoto Ryuichi at Le Poisson Rouge NY this Sat. You will also get to meet the entire film crew, including myself!

    Don’t miss this rare opportunity!


    Dearest Friends,

    We’re thrilled to report that at the mid-point of our campaign, we’ve raised over half of our $40,000 goal! We are so grateful to all of you for your belief in our film. 

    Today, we’re excited to share the newest surprise element of our campaign.

    At 3PM on May 10th, the doors will open at Le Poisson Rouge, where we’re hosting a benefit for The Wound and The Gift. The 4PM show features music performances by our very special guest, legendary Sakamoto Ryuchi and the film’s composers. We will also showcase sneak previews of scenes from the film followed by a behind-the-scenes conversation with the filmmaking team.

    Single tickets are available at the $100 reward level, but space is very limited! For those of you who have already donated at our AFFECTION level and higher, your contribution entitles you to a ticket. Please contact us if you want to reserve a seat.

    We hope that you can join us for this rare and intimate performance.

    Thank you again for your support.

    Love and affection,

    The Wound and the Gift

  • Liza Lim Music Review

    Victo Ngai

    A portrait for Alex Ross’s music review on Liza Lim, an Australian composer of Chinese descent who is known for her sensuous scores, in the current New Yorker Magazine. You can read the review here.

    Big thanks to AD Chris Curry!

  • FINALLY you can now get phone cases and laptop skins with my art on them!! Browse all 13 designs on http://www.gelaskins.com/victo-ngai

  • Family Life- NYT Book Review Cover 

    Victo Ngai

    This is the second time I illustrated for author Akhil Sharma’s writing. The first one was for his New Yorker short story “We didn’t like him”.  I have always loved the beautiful melanchonia in his work.

    Family Life is about an immigrant family from India living in New York, with 2 children. One of the brothers, Birju, suffers from brain damage from a swimming pool accident. This incident not only impairs Birju, but also his parents. They are blinded with grief and neglects to provide the nurture and attention the younger brother Ajay needs. Check out the book review by Sonali Deraniyagala here

    What I tried to capture in this image is how the pool has segregated and orphaned Ajay from the rest of the family. I curl my toes when I am trying to endure something painful, so I added that detail. 

    Big thanks to AD Nicholas Blechman for this great project! Look for it in the Sunday paper!

  • Interview with Forge Part II

    Victo Ngai

    Come take a look at some my trinket and book collections!  (And please don’t mind my rambling, it’s hard to talk and hold a giant book at the same time. ) (Also it was kinda a bad hair day…hmmm)


    Here’s a bonus video we made as a part of our interview with Victo Ngai, where she gives us a tour of her apartment and shows off a few of the books and artists that inspire her. This video also includes music by THE BILINDA BUTCHERS.

    For more music by THE BILINDA BUTCHERS…

  • Spectrum 21, End of the End of Everything

    Victo Ngai

    I am very honored to have 8 pieces be selected into this year’s Spectrum 21 illustration Annual

    Among them is a new piece called “End of the End of Everything” for Tor.com. It has also been selected into Communication Arts 22 Illustration Annual. The illustration is for a wonderfully scary horror novelette by Dale Bailey. It sets in pre apocalyptic earth and the stories revolves around suicidal parties, libertine orgies and amputation performance art. I don’t think I have ever been so shaken by a short story like I was by this one. 

    The Tiger Beer art is nominated as one of the medal finalist in advertisement category, woohoo! 

    My big thanks to the judges and congrats to all the winner. Thanks again to my art directors Aviva Michaelov (NYTimes), SooJin Buzelli (PLANSPONSOR), Irene Gallo (Tor), Jordan Awan(New Yorker), April Montgomery (Computer World) and Dylan Davies (Rothco)! 

  • The Guardian

    Victo Ngai

    Another fun piece for PLANSONSPOR! The article this time talks about layers of strategic planning to protect one’s assets. So of course I am drawing tigers guarding a fortress against invasion. 

    Big thanks to AD SooJin, always pleasure!

  • Lufthansa Wimmelbilder - Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 

    Victo Ngai

    So much was going on in the last months that I didn’t get a chance to post this project until now. This image is part of Lufthansa Airline’s online New Year promotion “Passenger On Tour”. 14 “Wimmelbilder” ( a German game similar to “Finding Waldo”) were created by 14 artists with a Lufthansa passenger hidden in each image. Each scene depicts a destination from Lufthansa’s network, from the beach in Rio de Janeiro to the Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong (my image!).

    On finding the hidden person and clicking on them, the user is taken to the relevant offer by a teaser generated out of the scene. The daily prizes were products from the Lufthansa WorldShop, with the first prize an intercontinental flight for two. 

    As a kid, I LOVE the game of finding hidden objects, so I was thrilled to be designing my own. The process was such a breeze, the client and agency really encouraged the whole “Victo doing Victo stuff” thing, which made it extra fun.  There was zero revision from sketch to final, which is quite rare for advertisement projects! 

    Can you find the hidden Lufthansa passenger?

    Big thanks to ADs Sebastian Kuhs and Martin Kulik from Plan-Net.

  • Divergent IMAX FANFIX™ poster + Movie Tickest Winner!

    Here are the randomly chosen lucky winners:



    Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address to victo@victo-ngai.com so I can send you the Divergent FANFIX poster I created and 2 IMAX ticket!