Vendor Voices

Tombow – Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Join us as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by shining a spotlight on four talented members of Tombow USA’s Creator Crew who proudly represent their AAPI roots through their artwork. As we delve into their unique styles, we also take a moment to reflect on Tombow’s rich Japanese history, tracing back to humble beginnings as a pencil provider for Japanese students in 1913 when we were established. Today, Tombow has blossomed into a global provider in art supplies and fine stationery, offering a wide range of innovative products that inspire professional artists, crafters, and stationery enthusiasts alike. 

Smitha Katti | @smithakatti

As a self-taught artist in a variety of media, Smitha’s Indian heritage glimmers in much of her work. Take her Rangoli designs, for example, which she brings to life in vibrant watercolor by filling space with Dual Brush Pens and following up with water brush. Rangoli patterns are commonly seen on the floors of Indian homes at entrances using rice flour, flowers, or colored chalk, typically in celebration of Diwali. You can find printables of Rangoli designs on Smitha’s blog, Smiling Colors, which is a play on her name. 

Smitha is a Sanskrit word for “smile,” and her artwork and craft tutorials are also a reflection of her colorful personality. Through her watercolor, drawings, lettering, paper crafts, knitting, and crocheting, Smitha’s rainbow of talents shines brightly.

Smitha currently lives with her husband and two daughters in Minnesota. She started her blog 12 years ago, as a new mom, documenting all of her “crafty endeavors.” On her blog, she proclaims, “Art is my therapy, and crafting is my happy place.”

Carola Sallis | @fromcarola

Carola is a Sri Lankan-Canadian artist who loves painting and drawing in her unique abstract style to create intuitive art, mainly in the form of watercolor and loose floral illustration. Some of her pieces feature the elegant blue water lily of Sri Linka, representative of her heritage. Fittingly, her blog is named Lili and Bella, after her fraternal twin daughters. Her blog features many tutorials of her loose flower artwork, which she poetically described as, “a mindfulness practice because instead of focusing on drawing certain types of flowers, the key is to focus on breathing, being relaxed, and enjoying the process of painting and drawing… It’s about playing with paint and ink without focusing too much on the aesthetics of the final piece.” The colors seem to dance upon the pages of her sketchbook, and the chaotic beauty is then enhanced by pen outlines as opposed to coloring an initial sketch.

When she’s not playing with stationery, planning, or journaling, she’s hiking around Vancouver mountains in Canada. In her blog and on her social media pages, she shares her joy of creative hobbies, stationery, and journaling while inspiring others with her artwork and creative process.

Danison Fronda-Tietz | @deardanison @bowtieandbrush


Danison is a Filipino-American and proud LGBT artist who found his passion for hand lettering early in life, but put it into real practice for his own wedding. Since then, he’s expanded his artist’s palette and business to include signature-style calligraphy and stationery, commissioned signage, and live art in the form of watercolor guest portraits with a fashion illustration style. His personal Instagram features much of his lettering with positive wording, including the Tagalog word “mahal,” which translates to “love.” Much of his art will also transport viewers to impressive and serene landscapes, using watercolor and Dual Brush Pens to play with composition, shading, blending, and textures that beautifully represent natural settings.

Danison currently works and resides in Orlando, FL with his husband, adopted daughter, and yellow labrador retriever. He splits his time between his creative pursuits in the wedding industry and inspiring folks to create art with their own two hands.

Jennifer Chau | @letters.jc

Jennifer Chau’s whimsical drawings and elegant calligraphy spark joy when coupled together in her work. She began lettering in 2016, focusing primarily on smaller stationery projects for friends and family. Over the past few years, she’s refined her craft, grew a small business, and started sharing her designs online and on social media. Nods to her Vietnamese heritage can be found in some of her work, as she recently used Irojiten Colored Pencils to illustrate an ode to Tết Nguyen Dan. Her vibrant design celebrates the Lunar New Year and welcomes the spring season with red envelopes draped from the kumquat tree, a common decoration in her culture which symbolizes prosperity in the new year. 

Jennifer lives in California and makes time for her art while pursuing a full-time career as a software engineer. She travels whenever she can, loves eating Vietnamese food, and enjoys baking all kinds of sweet and savory treats.


#AAPIHeritageMonth #TombowCreatorCrew #VendorVoices #AsianAmericanArtists #WatercolorArt #ArtisticDiversity #ArtInspiredByCulture #FillipinoArtist #VietnameseArtist #SriLankenArtist #IndianArtist #JapaneseStationery #SupportAsianSmallBusinesses

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