the dark arts of lauren tsai

October 18, 2018

words by: Bere Wangge

To be known as a “reality star” doesn’t mean a good thing usually. When searching for the term, for instance, Google’s suggestions would come up with a list of negative descriptions, which include “Deaths,” “Arrested,” or “Murdered.”  

And somehow Lauren Tsai has managed to rise above all the clichés. 

  Lauren in the Marc Jacobs x Lauren Tsai hoodie

Lauren in the Marc Jacobs x Lauren Tsai hoodie

The 20-year-old multi-hyphenate has announced that she will be publishing her first sketchbook, It’s All for You, on October 20. The launch will be held exclusively at Bookmarc in Harajuku. Bookmarc itself is a bookstore owned by the designer Marc Jacobs and, in addition to Tokyo, it also has stores in New York, Paris and London. This, of course, is not Lauren’s first partnership with Marc Jacobs; her collaborative collection with the fashion brand was launched just a few days before her book is supposed to drop.  

illustrator, model, terrace house star lauren tsai first sketchbook it's all for you exclusive launch at bookmarc tokyo japan (3).jpg

It’s All for You is a collection of Lauren’s pop-surreal illustrations. She describes her artwork as the friend who always stays by her side as she hops from country to country, from the pages of magazine to the small screen. “Between moving along to a new city, loving, losing and pushing forward towards my dreams—this book remains my constant companion no matter how life changes and spins around me,” she says. 

Born in Massachusetts to a Chinese father and American mother, Lauren moved to Hawaii when she was seven years old. In college, she moved to Japan as an exchange student. The experience deepened her interest in the country and its culture, and there, she jump-started her modeling career in 2014. Her life completely changed when she joined a Facebook audition in Tokyo and got selected as a cast member of Netflix’s popular reality series, Terrace House.  

Like Lauren says, art has long been a part of her, even before the fame. As mentioned by WWD, Lauren was already approached by Nike back when she “only” had 5.000 followers on Instagram (she now has more than 518.000). Her illustrations are influenced by Studio Ghibli, Laika Studios (CoralineKubo and the Two Strings) and Tim Burton. No wonder if Lauren tends to take her art to the darker side.  

Following the announcement of the sketchbook’s launch date, Lauren, who has been tapped by Marvel, revealed the variant cover artwork she did for the new Captain Marvel comic book, which will come out next year. So rest assured Lauren's artistic journey will continue for long after It’s All for You!