by Lori Stevens, CSLF Treasurer
Born in the Bay Area in 1972, Pien developed an interest in comics at an early age but did not immediately decide on a career in art. A 1995 graduate of Cal Poly University with a BA in architecture, Pien did not produce her first comic until 1997. She continued to work in the architecture industry as she devoted more and more time to her comics and illustrations, before pursuing art full-time in 2006.
She is the recipient of the 2004 Friends of Lulu Kimberly Yale Award for Best New Talent and the 2007 Best Colorist Harvey Award for her color work on the National Book Award finalist and Printz Award-winning book, American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang.
Pien collaborated with Yang again as the colorist for Boxers & Saints, a 2013 National Book Award finalist and NYT bestseller. She has also partnered with Jennifer and Matthew Holm on their Sunny book series from Graphix/Scholastic, and with Jen Wang as a colorist for Stargazing.
In addition to her color work, she has produced numerous mini-comics and zines. Pien’s first hardcover comic was Long Tail Kitty (2009, Blue Apple Books), followed in 2010 by her children’s book Mr. Elephanter (Candlewick Press), and 2015’s Long Tail Kitty, Come Out and Play (Blue Apple.)
Pien claims that having fun does wonders for her story writing, so when she’s not working, she studies tai chi and other internal art practices, bakes cakes and pies, takes long walks, and stargazes.
You can follow Lark Pien on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@larkpien). Look for merchandise with her charming Cat & Kitten illustration in the Library Advocacy store. A portion of the proceeds benefits the California School Library Foundation. CSLF thanks Lark Pien for her support of California school libraries.