Happy New Year

January 20th, 2023

Objects as memories! Asian stuff on Lunar New Year weekend eve.

picture book in the works

August 17th, 2020

I’m delighted to share some exciting project news–I’ll be working with Dana Chidiac and her team at Dial BFYR on my first picture book, Nana, Nenek, and Nina!

👵 🌳 🤸‍♀️ 🌴 👵

Thanks, ta, and terimah kasih to my agent, Kurestin Armada at Root Literary, for finding Nina a great home!

From Publishers Weekly:
“Dana Chidiac at Dial has acquired world rights to Nana, Nenek, and Nina, written and illustrated by debut author Liza Ferneyhough. Nina is off to visit her grandmothers, who live in Malaysia and England respectively; while their food, clothes, and neighborhoods look quite different, they both love her exactly the same. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Kurestin Armada at Root Literary represented the author-illustrator.”

ayam brand tote

February 26th, 2020

A tote bag illustration for Ayam Brand sardines in Malaysia. My family used to buy these when I was little, so an especially fun project for me! They’ll be doing some in-store promotions with the totes.

Here’s the full tote bag illustration: Ayam Brand sardines on nostalgic dishware from my childhood in Malaysia. Sedap! 😉

Scrambly sketch page.

c.a. native plant socie-T

September 18th, 2019

T-shirt design process (from final back to thumbnail) for the Santa Cruz chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

The prints turned out very nicely!

beginning on the new island

March 29th, 2019

An illustration for my agency newsletter on the theme “beginnings”: an ancient Polynesian girl arriving for the first time at a new island, her arms full of canoe plants.

Canoe plants were a set of about 20 or so food plants that the Polynesians took with them in their canoes and propagated all over the Pacific. They include taro, sweet potatoes, coconuts, yams, and breadfruit.

Her dress is made of mulberry barkcloth – essentially paper! She’s also with her poi dog, which were related to dingoes but are now extinct. They were pot-bellied dogs evolved to eat poi and take care of children. A lot of internet descriptions of them are rather dire (they were fairly dim and as likely to play and sleep with the tribe’s children as they were to be eaten by them), but I think they sounded kind of sweet.

This picture was inspired by my recent (40th!!) birthday trip to Hawaii.

my brother’s fire gear

February 23rd, 2019

During the summers, my brother works as a California wildland firefighter. For his 30th birthday, I made a poster of all the gear (55 lbs of it! 😱) he hauls around with him in the mountains.

Prints here: My brother’s wildland firefighter gear

I’m donating profits from this print to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. (My share is 50% of the list price, plus I’m applying to Inprnt’s 10% matching fund program)

arnold lobel-ish pattern

November 17th, 2017

Pattern based on plant borders Arnold Lobel drew on some Frog & Toad covers, I think. Or maybe it was Mouse Soup. He was so good!

Some uses for the new pattern: inked and in that millennial pink I keep seeing around, as wallpaper in crumbly goth parlors, in tea colors for backgrounds.

repeating roses

November 7th, 2017

I probably should have learned how to do repeating patterns in photoshop ages ago, this was so fun. 🌹🌿👩🏽‍🎨🌿🌹 Surprisingly easy and satisfying!

drinking teh tarik

August 22nd, 2017

Teh tarik is a milky tea you can get in Malaysia that’s frothy from being hurled in the air. You can either drink it at the the stall or take it to go in a plastic bag with a straw. Plants: a young banana tree and caladium. Bugs: atlas moths.

to voyager

August 15th, 2017

NASA is celebrating 40 years of Voyager by choosing a message to beam into interstellar space. I couldn’t resist, I have such a soft spot for hopeful robots intrepidly zooming through the cosmos. Here’s my message:

40,000 years to the next star out. Little spaceship, I wish I could see what you’re going to see! #messagetovoyager

family food: england

July 31st, 2015

english family food_final-md
presented with affection, the (infamous) food of my father’s people.

mapping my ride through golden gate park

June 4th, 2015


i added a map of my well-pedaled route through golden gate park to the painting of my bicycle. starting at home, i pass the conservatory of flowers, the disco rollerskaters, the academy of sciences, the lindy hop people, the boats on spreckels lake, the bison paddock, the windmill and the tulip garden and end up at ocean beach, where there is the cliff house with juicy booties graffiti, the spray-painted sea wall, kite boarders, and surfers.

bicycle, bicycle, i want to ride my

April 15th, 2015


my purple bike! it’s a public C7. we ride to ocean beach and back several times a week (and often get V for victory flashed at us by passing brits, as my helmet was claimed in the name of queen and country).

sisters making milo

August 20th, 2014


milo is like a more earnest ovaltine. malaysian aunties make it for you when they want you to be distracted from what they are gossipping to your mother about.

besides the milo, some other very malay things in the painting are the bobtailed cat and the house geckos, or cicak. my grandmother’s house was full of them!

note the moths approaching (ominously?) outside the window. this is the second painting in a series i’m working on about a giant moth invasion. i haven’t written a story, i am messing around with painting things i like, adding words later, and hoping something interesting comes of it all.

work + play group show

July 6th, 2014

monkey on my bike

hooray, i’m in! my illustration got picked for the upcoming ICON illustration conference Work + Play group show. it’ll be up at land gallery in portland from july 11th-august 17th. land is selling prints of all the participating illustrations. my print is here.

the painting was inspired by a recent tandem outing with steve, during which we had a terrible argument (naturally). surprisingly pleasant work getting lost in the swirlies of hairy orangutan.

giant moth invasion

April 13th, 2014


new painting! it’s the house where my mom grew up (with large uninvited insect guest). one day i was looking at pictures of atlas moths and my mother, peering over my shoulder, mentioned she hated them. i prodded a bit to find out the reason for the strong reaction. apparently, her village was overrun with them!

One year we had these atlas moths invading our village. They were fluttering all around the house to try and get in! They left torn and battered wings all over the yard!

i always pictured the invasion looking like this. i’m gonna give it a stir in my brainpan and see if i can’t get a book to pop out.

emperor norton

April 7th, 2014

letterpress-card -emperor-norton

letterpress project #4, Emperor Norton I, bay bridge visionary and a damn great san franciscan, with apocryphal canine companions bummer and lazarus.

>>a bit more about norton in an earlier post of mine<<


i printed norton on crane’s lettra paper. the texture is amazing!

circus bugs welcome

December 7th, 2013

baby announcement, circus bugs

circus bugs to welcome a handsome wee gentleman.

circus bugs baby announcement

bedtime stories

October 28th, 2013

bedtime stories critters

an illustration for a baby book shower. the fox is reading goodnight moon and the raccoon is reading frog & toad (the frog and toad series is a really great read, by the way, if you haven’t opened it up since childhood. they deal with some complex human issues–willpower, existential angst, etc.–with humor and empathy and mostly using two syllable words.)

the raccoon was also turned into some pretty sweet bookmarks:


tumblewords posters

September 16th, 2013

my mushroom forest and painted desert backgrounds for tumblewords are now available as posters in the minicore studios shop!