jess x chen Small Grey Outline Pointer

work in progress #2 of a spread from me and Oceans Vuong’s collaboration. “I remember happiness. Sitting on my grandmothers lap by the window, waiting for morning….”
Time to sleep!

published: 8 hours ago - 2 notes - reblog

Part of the Underpainting for 1 page of me and poet, oceanvuong ‘s  collaborative picture book. Work in progress.

Dark Mountain Book 5 Cover Art 

by Jess X Chen & Noel’le Longhaul

So happy to see that the etching I did with  laughingloone was chosen as the cover art of the Dark Mountain Book 5! This literary and arts journal and artist network is based in the UK, and publishes a bi-annual collection of work that strives to “reflect the global reality of ecological collapse, material contraction and social and political unravelling.” I really admire their work. Read their beautifully-written and intentional manifesto here! You can order this volume here.

Thanks to AD Charlotte Du Cann for choosing us, and for her great work in designing and laying out this whole 200 page beast, I can’t wait for this huge book to arrive in my mailbox.

I have finally have business cards now. I think making these was one of the most helpful things I did recently when i decided to move to a new city.

published: 2 days ago - 2 notes - reblog

Photo of me by Ali Sarshar Khan from 2011 in bellingham WA

the sky absorbs every forest fire / smoke stack empire/ little death / and / paints it across the atmosphere. After no human will be left to witness it, what kind of painting will that be? Skies made from our own body’s debris, has no viewer but the sea.

published: 4 days ago - 3 notes - reblog

Merch for Franny Choi!

Franny just came out with her first book, Floating Brilliant Gone which I illustrated. I designed some merch for her tour. Her poem: The Lyrics of Lil Wayne’s Pussy Monster Re-Arranged By Order Of Frequency is screen printed on a 8.5x11” back patch. Originally published in PANK magazine and on many national poetry slam stages. The Providence Journal says that when Franny reveals that "Lil’ Wayne says “pussy” 40 times, as if she’s slapped an “Ingredients” label on the side of the song, alerting listeners to exactly what they’re consuming." 

The last patch contains a quote from her poem "If the stars have been dead for billions of years by the time their light reaches us, then it follows that my retinas are a truer thing to call "sky."

These are all available at Franny’s upcoming shows and on the LoveHoldLetGo Etsy.


A Short Film. Written & Performed by Paul Tran. Directed & Editted by Jess X Chen. Sound Design by Anders Link.

Released in the April Issue of CURA: A Literary Magazine of Art and Action

iampaultran and I are so excited to finally put this out into the world. Please watch and share! 


Art Tablings this Weekend

HALIFAX: Saturday April 5, and Sunday April 6 from 10am-5pm Beyon will be tabling for LoveHoldLetGo at the Halifax Spring Crafters Market all day at the Olympic Center.   (2304 Hunter St, Halifax, NS)

PROVIDENCE: Saturday April 5, at 6-8pm jessxchen will be tabling for LoveHoldLetGo at Franny Choi’s Book Release party featuring korean food, some amazing poetry from local poets and a dance party.  She will be selling some merch made specifically for the release of Franny’s book.  (The Salon, 67 Eddy St, Providence, RI)

Everything in our etsy store will be for sale there plus a few newer things! Stay tuned. Come say hi.

"Ode to My Burning Country" Jess X Chen 2014 | gouache and ink

For the first time I found the time and confidence to make a painting that directly addresses the violence of my cultural history.  I see the Cultural Revolution as a forest fire that spread across China from 1966-1976. It clear-cut millions of family trees through extreme propaganda & violent class struggle instigated by the government. This is the last family dinner. Even sixty years later, my motherland still burns from the phantom pain.  Though I may never understand, I can honor the resilience of my people.


Thanks to yukoshimizu & chris buzelli for the direction, and extended time they spent on giving me feedback, and pushing me to do a personal piece. This was my personal take on the “utopia/dystopia” assignment on tutormill, an online illustration class. This piece has come a long way, as you can see through the many sketches in the last image.


I updated and redesigned my website about a week ago. <3 - Jess

Jess X Chen 2014

loveholdletgo just opened an Etsy store, and I made a couple of small patches and back patches featuring some of me and Beyon’s recent printmaking work. We ship from Halifax, NS, but starting in April 6, we will ship from both new york city and halifax, nova scotia.

Here are upcoming craft tablings and performances where you can buy our stuff or say hi!

Sat/Sun April 5-6th Halifax Crafters with our friends from oakheartcollective.
Sat, April 5th, Franny Choi’s Providence book release party 

Fri, April 11th, 8pm East Meets Words Bookstore (Cambridge, MA)  with iampaultran

April 26th-27th Brooklyn Zine Fest  with our friend thecowation

Sat, May 3rd 10-4pm
Spring RISD Alumni Art Sale with the lovely secretdoorprojects

I just signed an edition of 32 Giclee prints of the colored version of “Gardening As An Act of Resistance,” published in the Breathe issue of Taproot for a beautiful article by Rachel Kaplan called “Tending the Inner Garden”. They 8”x10” and are printed on 100% cotton moab smooth paper, and are now available at the Taproot Printshop. 


Jess X. Chen ‘13

Happy New Year From the Bath Tub (scratchboard) and Feast of the Southern Wild (watercolor)

Two commissioned illustrations for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Seeing how far this little community-based indie has come,  has been one of 2013s’ biggest highlights. I am thrilled to have been an outreach coordinator / media designer for them. Read Benh Zeitlin’s new years message here, where the artwork was originally featured. 

Jess X. Chen 2014

New page from my sketchbook.