Pen Pals Interviews


An interview series featuring notable people whose lives intersect with the world of pens. Jess is a quirky comic artist and illustrator who loves to tell silly stories and make people smile!

Pen Pals Interview: Jess Smart Smiley
Jess Smiley's art portfolio and personal blog
Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Sure! I'm about 6'2" and have a big nose, which I try to minimize with my thick-rimmed glasses. I work as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer in Utah, not too far from where I grew up.

How did you become an illustrator?

When I was younger, I used drawing as a way of explaining inventions and ideas I came up with. My drawings would visually describe how something worked, or what it would look like.

When I looked at other pictures in books and paintings, I was taken by the way that a bold line or a distinct shape could emphasize or clarify certain aspects of the message. I started mimicking the characters I saw in comics and on television (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, Tiny Toons, the Simpsons, etc) and I came up with my own characters and stories.

My love for storytelling, drawing, and comics has only grown deeper over time.



An interview series featuring notable people whose lives intersect with the world of pens. Audra is one of the artists behind the adorable webcomic "nemu*nemu", which follows the adventures of two stuffed toy puppies!

The nemu*nemu Official Website
Please tell us a little about yourself.

I'm from sunny Honolulu, Hawaii -- born and raised! I've spent a year or two in Japan and California for work and school, but returned home in 2004 and have been working on my art since. I currently live with my husband (and nemu*nemu co-creator) Scott.

How did you become an illustrator?

I've always enjoyed drawing -- it was the one thing I always returned to. I took lots of classes in school and college for the basics, but majority of what I do has been self-taught. I find I'm still learning as I go.



An interview series featuring notable people whose lives intersect with the world of pens. Fountain Greetings is a small business that truly believes in the power of the handwritten message.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Fountain Greetings is a company I launched earlier this year with my co-founder as a unique way of sending greetings and gifts with a personal touch, especially in today's digital age.

Everyone loves receiving a handwritten card, but finding the time to purchase a nice card, write a heartfelt note inside, and mail it out? Now that’s another story...

Fountain Greetings aims to solve this by allowing you to send a beautiful handwritten card, along with an optional gift, with ease. What’s also cool is that every card is wax sealed by hand!



An interview series featuring notable people whose lives intersect with the world of pens. Brian Anderson is a comic artist and illustrator who is known for his webcomics "Dog Eat Doug" and "The Conjurers".

Brian's webcomic, Dog Eat Doug.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Brian, I moved from Boston to Charlotte two years ago with my wife, son and dog. Now we have two dogs and two cats, and will probably will end up needing an ark in six years at this rate.



An interview series featuring notable people whose lives intersect with the world of pens. Schin Loong is a fantasy illustrator who produces stunning calligraphy on the side.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Schin Loong, I am originally from Malaysia and am currently living in Nevada, US. I work as a graphic artist and illustrator by day, and by night I am a calligrapher.


How did you get into calligraphy?

I discovered flourished birds and ornamental Spencerian penmanship and was blown away by their elegance and beauty, amazed that they were all done by hand in minutes. I vowed to be able to do the same... eventually.

A couple years later, I have barely scratched the surface of what the masters can do. Give me another 50-60 years, I'll get it by then...