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Comics & Illustration

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Elephant Reserves Judgment

I've been leaning pretty hard into my coping mechanisms lately, like stress-eating and pining for love for all the wrong reasons. I think it's crisis fatigue. Who else?

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elephant, illustration, comics, humor, coping mechanisms, sketchbook drawing, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Update: In Between the Panels

In comics, the space between panels is called a "gutter."

At the moment, I'm in that difficult, transitional, in-between space of trying to decide, "what next?"

A lot of good things can happen here, too, but still, it's not easy.

You may have noticed that I'm posting less one-off sketchbook comics, as I work to develop material for new projects and works in progress.

Thanks for bearing with me as I try to get to a place where I can continue to create comics.

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comics, panels, gutter, sketchbook drawing, climbing, illustration, by connie sun, cartoonconnie


Thursday, July 16, 2020

A Creative Fine Line

There's a fine line between creative inspiration and comparison!

Creativity and the ego have a weirdly codependent relationship.

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comic about creativity, ego, creative inspiration and comparison, by connie sun, cartoonconnie, sketchbook, drawing, slice of life cartoon

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Masks Or Die

This is out of my usual wheelhouse, but I'm concerned by how much politics has drowned out science in the U.S.

I'm afraid to think what will happen if we fail to come together on the most basic shared values.

*Note: This sketch is referencing a political cartoon from 1754, by Benjamin Franklin. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Join,_or_Die)
sketchbook drawing referencing benjamin franklin's 1754 cartoon "join, or die", connie sun, cartoonconnie

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Love and Pizza in a Pandemic

I saw a guy walking and talking to his pizza yesterday and thought, "This is the most romantic New York thing I've seen during this pandemic."

New diary comic. I wear a mask in public, even when I go running. Stay safe and stay well, wherever you are.

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comics, comic strip, illustration, humor, journal comic, slice of life, sketchbook, connie sun, cartoonconnie, nyc, pizza

Thursday, July 02, 2020

The Best I Can Do Today

These have been heavy weeks. The best I can do varies from day to day, but I'm trying. I'd like to think most of us are.

Side note: I wear a mask when in public and around other people because it helps keep the virus from spreading further. It's a small thing, but I do it simply out of respect for everyone around me.

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journal comic, illustration, comic strip, emotional health, doing your best, sketchbook, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Friday, June 26, 2020

Things You Can Hug If You're Single In A Pandemic

I drew this cartoon back in March, but never got around to sharing it.

This was a hard and scary time. We were at the beginning of several months of pandemic shutdown. Covid-19 cases were surging and we quickly became the epicenter of the health crisis in the country.

Suddenly, there were toilet paper and baking supply shortages and we had no idea when we would next see our friends and family or what the following months would bring.

Now, as New York's cases drop, we're now witnessing the virus spread like wild fires across the country and around the world. It is still a hard and scary time.

If you're struggling right now, this cartoon may not be very comforting. But it does remind me that I did my best on the hard days.

Thanks for supporting Connie on Ko-fi
pandemic diary, quarantine, humor, comics, illustration, cartoon, loneliness, singles, pandemic life, sketchbook, connie sun, cartoonconnie, self-hug

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sketchbook: Father's Day Drawing

I texted this drawing to my dad today and he texted back in Chinese:

"Thank you. But my eyebrows have not gone completely white."
father's day, dads, caricature, illustration, connie sun, cartoonconnie, sketchbook

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Pandemic Diary: Maybe It's An Opportunity

The Chinese term for "crisis" is a combination of the characters risk + opportunity.

Even so, it doesn't mean that I'm ready for it!

I speak only for myself ;)

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crisis = risk + opportunity, comic strip, humor, readiness, cartoon, pandemic diary, sketchbook, drawing, illustration, connie sun, cartoonconnie
venn diagram, crisis equals risk plus opportunity



Thursday, June 11, 2020

Mentally Pacing Myself

I've been running on emotional extremes  lately and, yesterday, I hit a wall.

It's funny how small things can break us when we are stretched thin and tired. I have to keep reminding myself to pay attention to when I reach the end of my energy.

Self-care can be as simple as going for a walk, doing chores, and checking in with friends. They can make a big difference.

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sketchbook cartoon about dealing with extreme emotions, emotional exhaustion, knowing your limits, and self-care, diary comic, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Thursday, June 04, 2020

'Black Lives Matter' To Me Because

The U.S. is in a painful reckoning right now. The truth about ourselves is messy, painful, and necessary.

My own reckoning has led me to examine where I fit into the historical context of this country as an Asian American daughter of first generation immigrants.

I found this childhood memory in my brain that I remembered because I didn't understand it at the time. I'm pulling it out now because I think it is a small piece of a larger puzzle.

This is not an easy conversation in the Asian American community, but let's have them anyway.

View as separate panels on Instagram

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asian american identity, black lives matter, childhood story, race in america, comics, autobio comics, sketchbook, illustration, connie sun, cartoonconnie, diary comics

Monday, June 01, 2020

Sketchbook Repost: Maya Angelou On Using Your Anger

Whenever I feel at a loss, I go back to this advice that Maya Angelou gave comedian Dave Chappelle in a 2006 "Iconoclasts" interview. I'm reposting for myself and the exquisite pain of this moment in the story of this country.

"If you're not angry, then you're either a stone or you're too sick to be angry. You should be angry. But you must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer; it eats upon the host. It doesn't do anything. So use that anger, yes. You write it, you paint it, you dance it, you march it, you talk it. You never stop talking it." - Maya Angelou 

Let us use it, focus it, and vote it.

quote, maya angelou advice to dave chappelle, sketchbook drawing of maya angelou on using anger over racism in creative ways, repost, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Thursday, May 28, 2020

"Yes, And" Mental Health

This has been a particularly tense week in the U.S., if you follow our news. On top of the global health crisis, all the ways that we are fractured as a society feels like it is ripping us apart socially too.

I had a hard time cartooning this week. Seeking relief and clarity, but that will take longer. I was only able to sketch this comic when I forgave myself for all of my own contradictions. 


Take care of yourselves; the road ahead is long.


In the last panel, I refer to American poet Walt Whitman's line from "Song of Myself": "Do I contradict myself? / Very well then I contradict myself, / (I am large, I contain multitudes.)"

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comic strip, cartoon about mental health in a pandemic, contradictory complex emotions, and forgiving ourselves, sketchbook, drawing, connie sun, cartoonconnie, walt whitman quote

Monday, May 25, 2020

Sketchbook: Earth As A Snow Globe

It feels like we are inside an upside down snow globe, being shaken up.

If we could watch ourselves from the moon, maybe this is what it would look like.

We can't know how the pieces settle again, but it won't be the same. Like a definitive heartbreak, there is only a before and then after.

Let us not forget what we learn about ourselves.
illustration, earth from the moon, earth as a snow globe being shaken up, global pandemic, coronavirus, before and after, drawing, journal, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Year Of Bread

I've been learning how to make breads I grew up with, like mantou (steamed buns), huajuan (twisted rolls), and congyou bing (stovetop scallion bread). It has been comforting and stress-relieving, if also fattening :p

Still, I'm enjoying being a total beginner at something in these days of upheaval and uncertainty.

View on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CAguswSg_4k
comics, illustration, humor, baking bread, pandemic diary, bread making, stress relief, sketchbook, drawing, connie sun, cartoonconnie
food diary, bread making, photos, mantou steamed bread, home recipes, connie sun, cartoonconnie


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pandemic Diary: Upside Down Face Masks

Slice-of-life diary comic about wearing face masks in NYC. Plus, first shopping trip to Trader Joe's since the city locked down 2 months ago! It was about a 40-minute wait to get inside, but the staff are as nice as ever.

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comics, sketchbook, illustration, nyc scene, trader joe's, pandemic diary about how to wear a face mask, visual diary, connie sun, cartoonconnie

comics, sketchbook, illustration, nyc scene, trader joe's, pandemic diary about how to wear a face mask, visual diary, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sketchbook: Mother's Day Drawing

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and the injured wild parrot who stayed for 6 months before flying off again. ⁣

https://www.instagram.com/p/CABneO6gOum/

sketchbook, illustration, wild parrot, parrots, animals, drawing, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Friday, May 08, 2020

Pandemic Diary: Nothing Like a Food Memory

Sharing a sketchbook diary page. Taking one day at a time and focusing on small routines to rest my mind on.

I've been nostalgic about food lately and cooking dishes that remind me of childhood. Such a blessing, especially now; food memories are sacred.

View as separate panels: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_7gzdDADHr

visual diary, comic page about food memories, childhood foods, journal comic, sketchbook diary, diary comic, food illustration, homecooking, recipe, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Sketchbook: A Simple Pleasure

Almond butter and plain greek yogurt with banana on toast is one of my go-to treats.
food illustration, drawing, sketchbook, foodie art, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Knowing Your Pain Threshold

My hand is healing and I'm better, but not before going through a full range of hard emotions.

This is not a funny one, but I want to share what I'm learning about stages of pain, both physical and emotional. Doctors used to tell me that I have a "high" pain threshold, but it serves me less these days.

Especially in times of stress, I'm learning that it's important to name the pain you feel, when you feel it. Seems like it's critical to the healing process.


diary comic, journal comic, comics, sketchbook, cartoon, illustration, connie sun, cartoonconnie, cartoon about recognizing stages of pain, emotions, stress awareness, and healing

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Friday, April 17, 2020

Hard-On-Yourself Personality Type

Ugh, true story. Some days, creative process is just agony and frustration. Trying to forgive myself when things don't work out.

Sharing this fallback journal comic in case you also need the self-compassion reminder.
comic strip, illustration, humor, perfectionism, creative process, journal comic, sketchbook, comics, personality type

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Pandemic Diary: Quarantine Lonely

I've been keeping a visual diary during these pandemic days and have now reached the stage of self-isolation when I examine all of my personal failings and regrets. LOL.
comics, cartoon, pandemic, quarantine, humor, sketchbook, drawing, illustration, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Pandemic Diary: Struggling Mental Game

(Author's note: I've been keeping a sketchbook journal to help me to process and manage anxiety around the coronavirus pandemic, somewhat different from my usual comics.)

This week, I'm struggling with mental game. I think this is normal. Emotions are up and down.

I've been trying different coping strategies, but I find I need to keep adjusting them day by day.

Talking with friends and daily dance breaks have been helpful, but I find I have to balance it out with silence and solitude. I'm also terrible at dancing, it turns out ;)

comics, illustration, visual diary, sketchbook, journal, cartoon, journal comics, connie sun, cartoonconnie, dearconnie, comic strip

Rejected Ideas: Stay-At-Home Life

I've started posting some of these for fun.

Staying at home is a privilege during a pandemic. But that doesn't mean it's not hard. Hope you're hanging in there.

Gratitude for the brave ones on the front lines of this battle.
comics, cartoon, quarantine, humor, pandemic, domestic scene, sketchbook, comic art, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Friday, April 03, 2020

Pandemic Diary: A Quarantine Care Package

With huge gratitude to my family for sending me supplies in the mail.

New pandemic diary comic. Big thank you to my cousin Lily and my parents for their special pandemic care packages. I feel loved.

Thanks to them and to everyone who is doing what they can to help and be a light to those around them.


comics, illustration, pandemic, sketchbook, diary, journal comic, cartoon, humor, connie sun, cartoonconnie, drawing

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Pandemic Diary: Virtual Dinner

*I've been keeping a sketchbook diary of these pandemic days of the coronavirus outbreak in NYC.

I don't typically like to talk on the phone or do video conference calls. Since most of us are staying home and not meeting in person, I'm doing this more than I ever have. A few friends suggested having virtual dinners and I think I needed the social contact more than I thought I did. When everything feels scary and uncertain, it reminds us of just how much we need each other.

Note on format: These images started as scattered sketch notes and I cobbled it together, so it's hard to read on a single page. Not really meant to be a comic, but sharing it anyway.

It might be easier to read as separate panels on Instagram.

comics, illustration, visual diary, drawing journal, pandemic, coronavirus, socializing, sketchbook, humor, zoom, video calls, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Sketchbook: Exponential Growth

* I've been keeping a sketchbook diary of these pandemic days of the coronavirus outbreak in NYC.

Pandemic diary: Awkward, bilingual conversations about the coronavirus outbreak with family. This is a halting snapshot of me trying to convince my parents to stay home. 

I've been having a lot of these conversations with friends and family and I'm noticing how information about this health emergency is spreading, socially, in different communities.

With my parents, the urgency of the communication shines a light on the challenges and stumbling blocks that we've always had to navigate through. This is a brief snapshot of how awkward it can be to get a thought across barriers of language, culture, and physical distance.

Hope everyone is staying well and keeping sane wherever you are.
comics, pandemic, diary, humor, journal, illustration, communication, exponential growth, asian american, family, codeswitching, bilingual, chinese, english, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Rejected Ideas: Levels of Panic

I've started posting some of these just for fun :)

As I said, it's different from my usual style, but I'm experimenting.

I've been having a lot of conversations with people, trying to understand the ways we are dealing with the current global coronavirus pandemic. Reactions range from "no big deal" to aggressive panic. Our differences are testing all of our closest relationships, I think. Still, these are important conversations to have, even if they are uncomfortable.

That's where the idea for this cartoon came from. May we get through it.
gas mask, face mask, pandemic, humor, couple, relationship, cartoon, levels of panic, comic, illustration, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sketchbook: Meditating in a Pandemic

NYC, along with many other places, has officially closed down to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Like everyone, I'm staying home and trying not to lose my mind.

I'm not practiced in meditation, but I'm trying to do more to help keep negativity from spiraling. Thoughts are very scattered. Worst case scenarios are very top of mind. I'm trying to quiet those anxieties and focus on what I am able to do.
sketchbook, pandemic, meditation, humor, drawing, illustration, connie sun, cartoonconnie

Friday, March 20, 2020

Rejected Ideas: Stress-Eating Cookie Supply

I'll start posting some of these for your amusement :)

It's a different style than my usual comics. You have to fail a lot to be a cartoonist; it's part of the process :)
rejected cartoons, cartoon ideas, creative process, humor, connie sun, cartoonconnie, illustration, comics

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Sketchbook: True Leaders

I've been having a hard time keeping up with my usual cartooning this week, as New York braces for the worst of the coronavirus outbreak and new measures to stem its spread are announced daily.

There's a lot to process, and I don't have a lot to add to the glut of news and grim projections. I'm basically self-isolating indoors and limiting exposure to others. What is helping me through is connecting remotely with friends and family and keeping a journal.

Everything is scary and concerning. On the bright side, I find myself uplifted by the leadership, courage, and solidarity of the global medical and public health community. They are showing us in real time what is critical and what is irrelevant in the face of global crisis.

It sets a heroic example for us all. May we follow their example of global collaboration, rather than the pettiness of politicians who hurry to place blame and pick fights.

May we get through this together.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Sketchbook: Oddly Comforting

* I'm keeping a sketchbook diary to help manage my anxiety over recent events.  

Posting this late, but this was me a few days ago. I had a little moment of feeling paralyzed and not knowing how to feel better. In addition to other hygiene recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I'm disinfecting surfaces at home more, which is oddly comforting. The downside is that I'm sure I look like a crazy person :)

So many changes on a daily basis now. I just hope you're okay where you are, staying well, and staying home as much as possible during this critical time. (Great visualization of why it's so important for us all to do our part to "flatten the curve.")

More guidance from the WHO, my main source of updates, recommendations and moral leadership, in addition to specific guidelines from local government sources.

Gratitude to health professionals, first responders, and everyone on the front lines of this unfathomable crisis.

Trying to do my small part too. In this together.


comics, humor, comic strip, diary, sketchbook, comic, illustration, connie sun, cartoonconnie, coronavirus outbreak, pandemic, nyc