When it comes to making a career out of being creative, they say L.A. is the new Brooklyn and Instagram is the new professional portfolio. We say, if it gets more talented ladies like Carly Kuhn onto our radars, we’re all about it.

Carly – also known as The Cartorialist – is a Los Angeles-based illustrator (and former TV producer) whose art can be seen everywhere from fashion campaigns like Prada, to iconic books like Elle Magazine and, of course, on social media, where she got her start. We love seeing The Cartorialist at fashion parties on both coasts as she whips up illustrations in live time and we asked this stylish talent to talk us about personal style, current inspirations and art supply obsessions…


Carly Kuhn (aka The Cartorialist).

Summer uniform:

Any slip dress by Organic by John Patrick (from Reservoir LA on Robertson!) and a vintage Levi’s denim jacket with chunky open-toed heels or flat sandals.

Fall uniform:

The same… but with a leather jacket and booties instead.

Look that always draws well:


Latest inspirations:

Models with weird, distinct faces/features.

Dream illustration subject:

I’d love to actually do an in-person series with the model Anna Cleveland. Her features are beautiful and so interesting.

My style in 3 words:

Basics, California/hint of boho, comfortable. (Sorry, that was more than 3 words!)

Latest LA haunts:

Sugarfish, The Apartment by The Line, La Cienega Nursery (where I get all my plants and succulents), Dan Tana’s, Melrose Place Farmers Market (there’s a booth there that sells the best three-dollar tamales) and just walking on Abbot Kinney in Venice.

Fave spaces in NYC:

Just walking around the neighborhoods – West Village, Lower East Side, Brooklyn.

Fashion trend exciting me now:

I think as a child of the ’90s, I’m very excited about the comeback of the choker necklace.

Always carrying:

A pen and my phone.

Fave art supply stores:

Amazon and Blick on Beverly

Art-supply obsession:

Not technically an “artist” tool, but my favorite pens are Uni-Ball Vision Elite. I actually first started using them back in my TV comedy days, working as a producer on “Chelsea Lately.”

Most treasured art possession:

The above pen – I used to have a lot of them. I’m down to about three that still work.

Advice for Artists and Creatives:

I didn’t go to art school, but when I started to draw just as a hobby on the side, I did it at least once a day, every day. The more I did, the more confident I became in my work and my style. What I once thought were mistakes and flaws I later realized were actually my strengths and what attracted others to my work as well.

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