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Blog > Little Moments of Art: Flower Box Artist Rose Wong


Rose Wong is a New York-based illustrator whose work can be found in the popular Flower Box set, and in the pages of The New York Times, the New Yorker, The Atlantic, and more.

On the left half of the image, Rose's set of 10 flower postcards are spread out on the floor. On the right, Rose laughs to the camera in her studio

Last year, Clarisse (aka CStar9) caught up with Rose via web-cast in her Brooklyn studio. All the art pictured in this interview is Rose’s work!

A heavily stylized illustration of several buildings. Through the windows, you can see the inhabitants doing all sorts of things
When did you first identify as a visual artist? You’ve said that as a child, you used to make intricate drawings in Microsoft Paint.

I’ve always been a visual artist. It was something I just liked doing. No one prompted me to do it. I really wish I had the forethought of saving all those MS Paint drawings I made back then, but it was a different time.

Deciding to go to school for visual art was a more serious step. I didn’t even know what illustration was. Drawing, right? Fine art drawing? But then I did research and saw it was more along the lines of what I thought I wanted to do.

A minimalistic illustration of a house lifting from the ground. A person is suspended between the flying house and a trap door that just opened on the ground where the house stood.

That was a huge leap of faith for me, and for my parents who were funding me through school. My parents immigrated from China before I was born. I’m the oldest child, and they hadn’t really gone to college, so I was the first. I had cousins who had done the STEM career thing, and my parents just said, “You shouldn’t do that. You should do what you’re best at. Yeah, you should do art.”

When I graduated, I did a couple of editorials here and there — commercial jobs like book covers. But I was still very much in the student zone, figuring out my style and getting a footing in what it meant to work for clients.

I think I really became a visual artist when I started working full-time in 2018. I had been laid off from my job. And I was worried, because I didn’t ever make the decision to go freelance. I just started doing it. About a year later, when I started getting consistent jobs, I thought, oh, wait, I’m professionally a visual artist now.

The New York Times was my first client. They’ve been my repeat client ever since.

The 10 postcards in the Flower Box that represent you are “Blue No. 1” through “Blue No. 10”. Can you tell us about the roots of these cards?

Initially the drawings were black and white. But they said another artist in the box was already doing black and white, and they thought two black and white sets would be confusing. So I was like, you know what, I do sometimes draw in blue, so I digitally changed it — my inspiration being Chinese porcelain.

That was in 2017, before I did as much digital work. I was drawing from life. I used to go to the Botanic Garden to draw, after days at my full-time job. That was my oasis.

We can see some plants in one of my recent sketchbooks: these are drawn with gel pen on Moleskine.

Rose showcases one of her notebooks. Both sides are covered in drawings, featuring geometric renditions of plants
Is that sketchbook gridded? How on earth do you make such straight lines?

Sometimes you find materials that are just right for you. Grids have informed my drawing a lot. It also just makes my brain feel good to draw straight lines and to fill in in black. I use a ruler now, but all my plant stuff in 2017 was pre-ruler, just using the grid. It was all very neat. That’s what I think adds to the “design”-ness of my work. It’s not just free-form.

This is my most recent still-life. You can see it’s a return to less linear.

Rose holds up her sketchbooks, featuring plant drawings
What do you think is responsible for that shift?
A minimalistic illustration of leaves floating around. In the center, a tiny person can be seen, surrounded by the leaves

In my craft, even for editorial, I always start off drawing. I let myself be really scribbly with pencil and paper. When you move to Illustrator, everything gets straighter and tighter. So, working from analog paper to digital — the digital has now affected how I do the analog.

In my early editorials, I was trying to imitate the tight aesthetic of digital, and it was really difficult. Illustrator has taught me how to create shapes. It’s so funny to say that, but shapes didn’t come as naturally to me when I was drawing freely. I was just drawing what I was seeing. But then I started to see the flowers and plants I was drawing as squares, circles, ovals.

Of course lately there’s a desire to go back to natural, because I feel like maybe I’m too stiff now when I draw. I’m rulering everything and making it too perfect. So, analog and digital really affect each other for me. The two are in conversation, constantly.

How do you go from observing something to creating art on the page?
An illustration showing four sets of books that seem to portray fantastical worlds, with characters and scenery coming out of them

I graduated from Pratt Institute in 2014, and I got my first job working at Fishs Eddy, which is a kitchenware store. I was the assistant to the product designer and visual merchandising designer, so I was working both upstairs and downstairs of the store. I had learned Illustrator in school but had never applied it. So, during this time I was turning a lot of traditional drawings into vectors in Illustrator, to be printed onto ceramic ware. I was doing that for hours — just, like, tracing a floral design — as my job. And I got really good at Illustrator, and at the pen tool!

But also at that time, I was doing a lot of location drawings with my partner and some friends who had a plein air club. I was starting to develop a style by looking closely and trying to simplify what I was seeing. Now I do image research by spending a lot of time with books, bookstores, and museums. My partner, who is a book designer, is really good about this. Before, I would just look at one thing and then try to create something. Now I’m trying to be more intentional. When I was doing my most recent zine, I had six books laid out on the floor. As much as I love my folder of Instagram saves, it’s so nice to have books around, so I’m not searching through my computer for my inspirations. I have them all together in one place that’s real.

What’s your relationship to snail mail, or to paper and stationery in general? rosewong12

It’s so funny, because I love receiving stationery. I love collecting postcards. I love the images. But I don’t write many letters. I save all the wonderful postcards and little notes sent by my friends who love letter writing and care packages. I am terrible at making time to write little notes, but it might one day click for me.

Can you tell us about your Lookbook project?
A collection of very minimalistic fashion drawings

Lookbook was born during COVID. I got burnt out doing a lot of COVID drawings for client work. I felt like I had no attention span to make art for myself anymore. So, for Lookbook, I gave myself like a set of parameters. I wanted a project that was basically about repeating something small and eventually amassing something bigger. I was already doing these little girl drawings and fashion drawings and repeating them in my sketchbook.

So, here you see basically the origins of Lookbook.

Rose holds up her sketchbook, to show some of her stylized fashion drawings

Then I moved to doing these in Illustrator, which was a lot quicker than drawing them. I would do them in batches of 7 to 10 and post one a day. It was a way for me to quickly create little moments of art: inspiration about this color green, or this shape I saw in real life, or a vegetable I saw that I thought was really nice. I’d try to treat my Lookbooks as if I was drawing in my sketchbook, trying not to delete anything and just keep building. And being like, okay, I’m not going to fuss over them — I’ll just move on to the next one if I have a better idea.

This is not a question but a comment: Please tell your agent that Lookbook should be packaged as a set of postcards.

I’ve had people say, you should make stickers out of this. But I’m holding out for the book first! It’d be so cool for a digital project to come back around to analog, as a book, like we were talking about before. I should reach out to book agents, but that involves all this bureaucratic stuff that artists don’t like to think about when they are making things.

What’s something you’re proud of, outside of your drawing?
A small flower vase or jar made of ceramic, with a tile-like pattern

I’m really proud of my ceramics. When I got laid off in 2018, my friend and I decided to take a ceramics class that we’d already been wanting to do. It was a two-month class. And I said, that’s a great idea — I need structure. I did it as a “treat myself” sort of thing. But then I just fell in love and never stopped! It has woven seamlessly into my life and changed it in ways I never could have imagined.

For me it’s a respite from digital. My ceramics are also different from my illustration because they’re very decorative. I’m finding more ways to simplify patterns within my own language. I’m building my world through actual objects, which is so different than doing it on paper.

So yeah, I’m really proud of that. I also think it kind of links to the idea of postcards, because postcards obviously have a function, but they’re very decorative. The function is what gets it out into the world, but the decoration is why you want to send it. At the end of day, a ceramic piece holds water, plants, or pencils, and but it can also be just simply pretty.

What’s a new project you’re excited about? Or something you’re working towards?
Rose holds up her sketchbook, showing some of her most recent work

Well, I recently just finished my new zine for the Brooklyn Art Book Fair. I do riso printing with my friends from school in a project called TXTbooks. Zines and bookmaking allow me the space to explore something that I’m interested in, in a longer format, which in this case is architecture and imagined spaces.

In my zines there are no words — it’s really a free-form experience — a non-linear narrative. I want it to be an immersive journey. I love feeling like I’m capturing moments in my work.

Otherwise, I am excited to do more ceramics stuff. And I’ve been making a little foray into furniture and other bigger pieces. I’m just really excited to do… everything!

To learn more about Rose, check out her website and Instagram pages! You can also read about her roots as a digital artist, or about fashion and creativity in her recent Lookbook project.

And now, for the traditional giveaway, Clarisse is going to send 4 postcards from the Flower Box set to 4 randomly picked postcrossers. To participate, leave a comment below to share your favorite illustrator that should have a postcard box made with their art (but hasn’t yet)! Come back this time next week to check out the winners!

And the winners of this giveaway, as chosen by Paulo’s random number generator are… reverebeachdweller, Indreni, sagitta and fried_rambutans! Congratulations, and thank you all for participating!

74 comments so far

Guny, Switzerland

A postcard box by Swiss 🇨🇭 illustrator and caricaturist Max Spring would be a fun and ingenious idea 😊.

mysweetlife63, United States of America

I love how she explained her craft so well.
Fun interview, thank you.

jjmedusa, United States of America

Thank you for this great interview, and also for the giveaway! My favorite illustrator is MogCherie, and they are also on Postcrossing under the same name. They design the most beautiful art and they should definitely have a postcard box made with their art!

Casehandler, United Kingdom

Great interview - love these illustrations, and now love the ceramics too! Thanks for sharing 🤗

judy_0112, Taiwan

I like many Taiwanese illustrators,one of them is byebyechuchu~

blauwepauw, Netherlands

Mooi intervieuw! Mijn schoonzoon zou mooie kaarten kunnen ontwerpen, Jelle Koper, grafisch vormgever in Den Haag

suvimmmm, Finland

Minna Immonen!

sealed4ever, United States of America

Great interview as always. So informative and it's always a joy to read about a creative person.

To my chagrin the postcard box "the metropolitan museum of Art New York, 100 postcards" is no longer being sold by the museum. That's The one I would choose.

Chirp2lou, Canada

Not only do I love Rose's work, it insprires me to be creative! An illustrator I love is
Natasha van Netten .

Iris_Khan, Russia

Amazing 😍😍😍

djcid, United States of America

📮✍️Will be sending these PostCards for Spring 🌱 💐

direk, Switzerland

Sigutė Ach is one of my favourite Lithuanian illustrators. Her art is so colourful, joyful and uplifting!

clara6201, United States of America

i don't have a favorite illustrator right now but Rose is definitely a contender!

NZSunshine, New Zealand

I love this illustration style. I dabbled a little myself some years back.
My favourite artist that I'd love to see on a set of postcards is Zeke Wolf from Piha in West Auckland. He also does ceramics and painting.

mspatjp, United States of America

So enjoyed hearing about the process of creativity for Rose Wong - her work is amazing. I'm stumped picking my favorite illustrator so I'll choose a Vermonter, Sabra Field who has done very stylized ink blot prints of Vermont landscapes. My son used her as inspiration I think for a series of deep water color scenes of Vermont. I have both sitting side by side on a wall in my house.

-MarianneSF-, Philippines

Thank you for this inspiring interview. It brought to mind the artwork of Frances, a.k.a. @gryffindorkx on Instagram who does beautiful character illustrations!

Ahm, Malaysia

An amazing interview. These might gift inspiration to those young postcrosser with such talent. I believe its not easy to be the position of where she is now due to competition in the market. I’m sure some of us will be motivated from this interview. Looking forward other theme of postcard set ; inspired from 4 seasons or her travel,maybe!

durtlskdi, United States of America

Great interview! I loved it! One of my favorite illustrators / cartoonists is Young-Man Huh.

Indreni, United States of America

Awesome work and thank you for creating postcards with your work! I really love the illustrations of Katie Daisy from her "how to be a moonflower" series. These are note cards but not postcards yet!

Kristi-D, United States of America

I do not need another blank postcard--I have enough to last my lifetime and beyond! However, if Rose came out with a Lookbook set, I surely wouldn't be able to resist adding it to my collection. I'd consider getting the book, as well--to give as a gift, and one for myself :) .

petrini1, United States of America

What wonderful, distinctive work. I love her unique style.

2write, United States of America

Sure enjoyed the profile. I recognized the art from New Yorker magazines.
Such imagination and artistry.
I’d like to see a postcard set of poems by Mary Oliver.

tautiptoe, Germany

Great and very interesting interview - Thanks for that! :-)

PeggyLoh, Singapore

A great n talented illustrator. Thank you for this interview.
A great read too to understand your work as well as your natural talent.

JonathanChua, Singapore

This lady knows her stuff very well.
Great interview, great talent n great work too!
Thank you for the effort in providing great cards for us PostCrossers.
More to come by ya.........cheers.

Verabrady, United States of America

When I worked in a library I had the opportunity to go to SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS’ meetings in New York City where I met mainly illustrators of children’s books. Melissa Sweet, E.B. Lewis, Jerry Pinckney and so many others. I can’t possibly pick a favorite. I often check out picture books from the library to have a museum experience. Ms Wong’s art is truly unique. I’m glad to have learned about her and her work. I also hung out at PRATT INSTITUTE when I lived across the street from it in the 1960s.

CanoeFlickers, United States of America

This was really happy and enjoyable. Good read!

maroon, Japan

I sense a mystery happening in the illustrations! Lovely!
My favourite artist is Shaun Tan.

rubber_ducky, United States of America

I would really enjoy a Lane Smith postcard set if it existed!

cspt, United States of America

An illustrator who should have a postcard box: Shirley Kite.
Thanks for the fun interview!

Nadia_Jang, Korea (South)

What an awesome interview with an amazing person! As for the illustrator that should have a postcard box, I say Sven Otto Nordqvist, a Swedish writer and illustrator of children's books, best known for his series Pettson and Findus!!

AndaAK, Latvia

Thank you!
I can suggest my favorite latvian illustratiors: Krista Bitmete, Anna Vaivare, Zane Veldre

Pulmu, Finland

All talented illustrators!


Nice article. I would suggest our favorite Indian Magazine Tinkle to have their postcards.

LovelySunshine3, United States of America


GoCindy, United States of America

Anne Butera makes lovely art on her blog My Giant Strawberry.

Jackline33, France

My grandson Rémi 9 years old, he draws super well without the lines

mounten, Italy

amazing story loved it

HM, Netherlands His website Participating in this project

My favourite artist from NL is Jeroen de Leijer.
Multitalent. Known from tvseries De Eefje Wentelteefje TV Show. Radioprogramma. Published several books. And designed glassinstainwindows. My latest buy of his work was Mommy was a mobster.
Would love to see his work in alle postcardbook or box!

HM, Netherlands

P.s. for Easter I have currently this avatar, Teatowel picturing the crowned Jesus by Jeroen de Leijer

Karl_Pen, United States of America

I love it when people draw from the heart on their postcard! It does not have to be perfect and is a mirror of how we are people. Receivers of my postcard drawings laugh and are happy.

stacyj25, United States of America

I loved reading this interview! Rose is so open about her creative experience and growth. It's inspiring.
My favorite illustrator I would like to see on postcards is Renee Graef.

estromberg, United States of America

I love, Love, LOVE Rose Wong's fabulous work!! My favorite illustrator is Karen Hallion (because I'm a big nerd :). A postcard box of her work would be a dream come true for me!
Check her out @

MarkW, United States of America

A postcard box made by Canadian cartoonist/animator/author Guy Delisle would be cool.

Happy_Little_Ocean, United States of America

A postcard set made of the US Federal Duck Stamp contest would be really cool. While the winners are featured on the stamp being able to see years of runners up and possibly crowd favorites would be cool!

Allatt, United States of America

Thanks for the interview, the illustrations are so genuine, so minimalistic and yet so complex. A really authentic artist!

kcm76, United Kingdom

What super art from Rose.
I'd like to nominate Kanae Hull for a postcard box: and

RomaandPaul, United States of America

There just can’t be too much art in the world!

RMW, United States of America

I just realized I had one or two of her in the Flower Box postcard collection from Amazon! I have sent a few along already but I am now going to save my last one for myself. What a wonderful interview, thank you.

Reader_7, Ukraine

Thank you very much for the interesting article.
I would like to have box of cards from

MapleMail, Canada

Beautifult art, I loved reading the interview!
I'd like to see my favorite Canadian illustrator, Emily Bourke, have a postcard box, that'd be amazing!

squirrelgirl55, United States of America

Thanks to Cstar9 and Rose Wong for this great interview! Rose, I love your Lookbook project! Illustrator Anna Süßbauer's work is worthy of a postcard box.

Volpe, United States of America

Rose - the lookbook project is amazing! What a talent you have. An artist I would love to have postcards from is an Italian artist Elisa Talentino.

fried_rambutans, Indonesia

I love your illustration Rose, but if you ask me my favorite illustrator, only 1 I have in mind: my own 17yo boy, Kenneth. His IG is and he's also on Postcrossing as ivory_coconut . And I've to say, this interview is full of tips for my high school senior - Kenneth intends to major in visual art like you Rose, so I'll make him read up the article tonight 👍🏻😄

silverrose, United States of America

Wow! Amazing artwork and a great inspiring story!

AlenKa_NO, Norway

Thanks for the interview. Happy to read more of those and I would love to see a postcard box with Pavlína Kourková's art. 😊

Zulhma, Argentina

Thank you for this note. Very good artworks

pamspeidel, United States of America

Wonderful interview! And her art is beautiful.👏 One of my favorite American illustrators/artists is Norman Rockwell. I have a couple of his postcard books and have been sending these when the theme is appropriate for my recipient. 😊

grendelsmater, Canada

Thank you for this enjoyable interview! I liked the insights into Wong's artistic process.
I'd love to have a box of postcards by Lorena Alvarez Gomez, especially on a storybook/fairytale theme.

thejulibean, United States of America

Hello! I think that Eaton print shop should have a postcard box made!

puttingpentopaper, United States of America

Rose, Your journey in creating your art is an inspiration. May each of your drawings inspire the creativeness in all of us. Your history in the art world continues to be written in the future.

mezzanine2, Canada

I would definitely like to see a postcard set developed by American artist Laurie Rosenwald!

ningnong, Australia

Oh the animated drawing of the five apartment blocks above on your website .... amazing!! Please, Rose, just make us more postcard boxes.

santonix, United States of America

I loved this interview and getting to know Rose Wong! The lookbook is so full of character. I would love to see Anna-Laura Sullivan create a postcard box!

Canuck, Portugal

What a fantastic, inspirational artist! Your precision reminds me of one of my favourite artists, Maluda (Portugal). Her city and village views, doors, and windows, are beautiful and I have never seen them on a postcard...

Mirfi, Australia

What a wonderful interview! You certainly covered a lot of ground. It was really interesting.

reiselustig, Germany

Another really interesting interview! Thank you for sharing :-) I loved to read about the impact of digital drawing on analog drawing and vice versa.

A German artist who sells his artwork as postcards but has no postcard box (as far as I know) is Frank Kuhnert. Ok, he is no illustrator (sorry!), but a humourous, talented photographer with a funny attitude to see the world :-)

EmilyHR, Germany

Rose Wong is an awesome and gifted artist. Genius. Her artwork is amazing!

sagitta, India

Loved this interview! I would like to see postcards by Nirupa Rao, who is a botanical illustrator.


I loved the interview. Congratulations on the art.

rutkiuss, Denmark

I would love to see postcard set of Stasys Eidrigevičius graphic designs often used together with collages. He’s coming from my hometown and opening museum of his name there so it’s extra special :)

Feliz78, United States of America

Thank you for the article. I have actually currently been sending out Ms. Wong's postcards from the Flower Box:) I think LadyDylyce, a fellow Postcrosser, should have her own box. Her photography is very good.

chiaroscuro, United States of America

I would like to see a Kevin Wada postcard box :)


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