Linh-Yen Hoang is a first-generation Vietnamese-American artist and designer. Born in the Midwest and based in San Francisco, she’s obsessed with printed materials and analog methods.

Her work is heavily informed by her identity. She encourages conversation and tongue in cheek narratives in her design explorations. Driven by her parents ambition who immigrated during the Fall of Saigon, she chose to take a different route than they envisioned for her and dove deep into the one thing she couldn’t get enough of: art.

She’s currently working as a designer in advertising as well as balancing her normal 9-5 as a designer for the Cosmos (@jointhecosmos), a space for Asian American women to connect with each other through community-based events centered on wellness and our unique experiences.

Find more about Linh-Yen /

Q&A with Linh-Yen

    What does Silence mean to you?

    I use the notion of silence as more of a challenge in my work. I think as artists and creators, we use our work to better understand the human experience.

    We become more candid when we talk about our emotions and identity in the form of art. It’s an open platform to say whatever it is that you want to convey. In my case, it allows me to tell a story that’s not often represented. It’s about using silence as the fire that ignites our need for more storytelling in spaces that don’t hear it.


    How is this concept reflected on your creative work?

    Being a WOC, your identity is much more complex when there’s a narrative that is uniquely yours. I work hard to exemplify that experience, as an Asian American, in my art. I love it when people can relate and invite conversations when they see my work too. It means that others no longer have to be silenced, but instead get excited about shared feelings in similar stories.


    Would you share a bit more about the CM/SF collaboration and how you came about developing it?

    I connected with this month’s speaker, Ti Chang, on the topic of her talk. It focused on the belief that whenever we design anything, that it should be created with purpose. Working with intention better informs your art and yourself as an artist. The pen is a universal tool for ideas and brainstorming. Everything that comes to life starts with a quick scribble. And we encourage that approach with all of your creative pursuits.


    What have you been inspired by lately?

    Community. Spaces like the Cosmos has given me that platform as a WOC creative to flourish in my work and connect with like minded individuals. The Bay Area especially has shown me that there’s a seat for POC in the creative space. There are tons of galleries and studios open to anybody that’s down to learn and create. One of my favorite, and most underrated, events in the city is the Tenderloin First Thursday Art Walk. It’s the best night to see rad artwork in a community that’s constantly supporting one another.

    Any advice for someone in our community who is looking to tap in more traditional techniques or creative pathways?

    Talk to your co-workers about something they love doing on the side. Learn a new skill at your local galleries and studios. Follow creatives whose work you admire. Don’t be shy and reach out if you think something that somebody has made is cool. Creative people always want to help other creatively driven folx. Whether it’s wanting to learn how to use a risograph or land a dream job, the creative community always comes through.

    CM/SF’s Creative Spotlight | Looks to highlight local creatives by collaborating on a fun project centered around the monthly theme. There are tons of local artists, makers, and creators in our city who are doing rad things – we want to spread the world and spark our community with their creativity! Know someone doing dope things? Drop us a line or two over email at

    December’s Theme is Silence.


    Our Montevideo chapter chose this month’s exploration of Silence and Dani Scharf illustrated the theme. 

    As the end of the year draws near, life can get humorously hectic. We rush to finish up projects, try to squeeze in appointments with loved ones, and can easily lose track of ourselves in the process.

    Is this inevitable? Or can we find ways to ground ourselves amid all the chaos? In this busy season, create moments of stillness where you can.

    When silence is intentional, it is valuable and restorative. It brings us back to our senses and is essential to our holistic well-being. Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton defines quiet as a ‘presence’ and ‘think tank of the soul.’ Silence is a powerful tool that allows us to take a step back from the atmosphere around us and realign with our intentions, our hopes, and ourselves.

    This December, set aside time to tune out the noise. You can go for a walk outdoors, find a cozy corner, or simply close your eyes. The magic of silence is that we can access it wherever we are.
    Your beacon is the light that blazes within you, a signal made up of your values, dreams, and priorities. 

    Shine your light. Ask for help and let go of the idea that you have to make a perfect choice. You may feel lost, but you are not alone. 




    For this month’s event we’ve Ti Chang, industrial designer passionate about designing for women. She is the co-founder of design-centric luxury vibrator company Crave ( the leading brand for women’s pleasure found in mainstream retail stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, the Standard hotel, and Goop. Ti leads the concept and design for the company’s full line of products which has won numerous awards including Red Dot, IDEA, and Good Design. She has been featured in Playboy, Fortune, Huffington Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan and many more.

    “Silence is where shame and stigma thrive.”

    Ti shared with us the importance of designing products that are thoughtful, inclusive and statically beautiful. As a creative thinker, Ti believes that “design activism” is the way of breaking the silence three-dimensionally, through products that make a statements in the market and advocate for women design & pleasure.

    Scroll through the photos of the event.



    For the past three months we’ve be collaborating with In/Visible Talks, a conference for creative professionals that celebrates the art of design.

    As part of this month’s theme Dava Guthmiller and Arianna Orland curated A Guide to Finding Silence in the City, with more than 25 spots in San Francisco where silence can be found – including a swing in the trees of Bernal Heights.


    Download the digital version

    Join In/Visible Talks on their 3rd annual event that will be packed with 15+ speakers including Jennifer Morla, Indhira Rojas, JD Beltran, and Jerome Harris who will share the behind the scenes of how design gets done. Attendees will also receive passes to The Museum of Craft and Design, The Exploratorium After Dark and much more. Joins on January 16, 2020 to spark your inspiration and connect with a multi-disciplinary creative community. Get 10% off your tickets with the code “MORNINGS2020”

    Photos by Ben Conde.

    November’s Theme is Lost. When you’re wading through the unknown, it can feel scary and risky. You float around wondering if you’re going in the right direction and want to know what’s next. Being lost is a collaboration between possibility and uncertainty. It’s an excuse to get one step closer to a more fulfilling life.
    What you were comfortable with may not be there anymore, but you will have the remarkable opportunity to reconnect with yourself and embrace discovery. In these “in-between” moments, turn to your inner beacon and pay close attention to where it’s guiding you.
    Your beacon is the light that blazes within you, a signal made up of your values, dreams, and priorities. The essayist Anaïs Nin put it best when she wrote: “The unknown was my compass. The unknown was my encyclopedia. The unnamed was my science and progress.” Shine your light. Ask for help and let go of the idea that you have to make a perfect choice. You may feel lost, but you are not alone. Our Milwaukee chapter chose this month’s exploration of Lost and Melissa Lee Johnson illustrated the theme. JOIN OUR NEXT EVENT - November 15th at Segment with Benjamin Grant.

    Throwback Thursday: Field Trip on Fashion Sustainability

    Back in April, our friends over at ReLove taught an evening workshop on The Shift to Fashion Sustainability and the global theme: INCLUSIVE. Here’s what you missed.


    ReLove owner and curator, Delila, kicked off the evening with a brief introduction of thrifting, why it’s important when it comes to fashion sustainability, and what to look for. Did you know, if everyone bought one used item instead of new this year, we would save 5.78 lbs of CO2 emissions. That’s half a million cars taken off the road for a year!

    She also talked about taking risks and ignoring the always-intimidating size tag when it comes to trying on pieces that catch your eye. You might be surprised with what you find.


    We then split up into 3 groups taught by the rest of ReLove team to learn more about how to spot and style special pieces.


    First up, 90s queen Maggie shared some tricks and tips to styling for the latest trend to take over gen Z and millennial closets everywhere - 90s street wear. Whether it’s crop tops that exude confidence, bold prints that could only come from the grunge generation, or a vintage Levi’s jacket with the coveted 1960s orange tab, vintage stores are the perfect place to complete your inner 90s child.


    Just a few steps away, Dom gave us a master class on how to spot investment pieces, aka the perfectly worn leather moto jacket, coveted vintage mom jeans, and true lasting labels that align with your identity. Not sure where to start? Dom says start with investment pieces you’ll wear every day, like a designer coat. Or go for capsule pieces, like designer collabs from H&M and Target. Hint: H&M designer collabs retain their value more due to their limited batches and nature of their designs.


    Finally, Michael taught us about the art of layering. It’s not just about basics, people! In our cool San Franciscan climate, jackets and sweaters are necessities, so why not have them harmonize with the rest of your look?


    Huge thanks to Delila and the ReLove team for hosting and teaching this workshop. You can find unique vintage pieces at their store on 1815 Polk Street. Photos by Ben Conde and Pam Dineva. Check out more photos on Flickr.

    It’s no secret that our modern-day world is full of distractions: Glowing screens. Notifications. 24-hour news cycles. At times, it can feel exhausting to try and get things done with all the bells and whistles competing for your attention. In his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, psychologist and researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi theorizes that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow. Flow is the experience of completely immersing yourself in a singular pursuit and effectively applying your skills to it. When you’re in flow, your awareness of time momentarily dissolves. You’re in a temporary, but energizing state that helps you make progress with the task in front of you. So, how can you rise above the noise and get into flow? First, quiet your mind and take a deep breath. Then, pick one task (yes, just one) and set clear goals for it. Move or put away any distractions around you. Lastly, take your first action. Whether it’s writing your first sentence, drawing your first stroke, or playing your first note — dive in. Activate your flow and let it carry you where you need to go. Our Mexico City chapter chose this month’s exploration of and David Espinosaillustrated the theme. 

    Join our event, October 25th at Yelp with Bridget Watson Payne.

    Community Spotlight
    We do our best to give you great talks, inspiring spaces, and tasty coffee every month, but the best part of CreativeMornings is the people. So we’re showcasing a few of the faces of CMSF, and you could be next!



    What do you love about San Francisco?

    I moved here from New York City over forty-years ago. I loved the city then for the dramatic hills, the romantic fog, the fantastic restaurant choices…

    and I still do for the very same things.

    What do you enjoy most about CreativeMornings?

    The young creative energy, the friendly folks who attend, the interesting meeting locations, and, of course, the wonderful complimentary food.

    What are a few of your favorite themes/talks/speakers we’ve had here in SF?

    One of my recent favorites has been artist Leah Rosenberg. Her talk and images about color and cakes were both refreshing and thought-provoking.

    I also liked another speaker, Erin Gilmore, who spoke at the Conservatory of Flowers. She was very different than most other speakers, in that she spoke of her pain and recovery. She was very real and very moving.

    What’s one thing you’ve been inspired by lately?

    Live theater always inspires me. I recently saw a new musical, Paradise Square, performed at Berkeley Rep. The show was an inspiration of staging, dancing and music. Movies can create special effects which can be magical, but when magic happens by sheer talent it’s awe-inspiring.

    What is one piece of advice that is overrated?

    When people tell you that something can’t be done. Nothing is impossible if you have the passion and determination to do it. Before I wrote my first book, I was told I would not be able to find a publisher for my writing. They were wrong… big time. My 27th book, Embracing Life After Loss, and 28th book, Positive Thoughts for Troubling Times, will be published this year.

    Where can people find out more about you?


    TEDx talk:

    Twitter:           @allenklein



    Instagram:     allenklein22

    Throwback Thursday: Food Styling Field Trip

    Back in February, BiteUnite hosted a field trip on Food Styling 101 and the global theme of SYMMETRY. Here’s what you missed:


    BiteUnite was founded by Patta Arkaresvimun as a co-working, commercial kitchen and cafe. As a native of Thailand living in big cities like Hong Kong and San Francisco, Patta realized the need for authentic Thai food like she grew up with, and started teaching classes as an amateur chef. Three years later, BiteUnite is a space built to offer the basic necessities chefs need to kick off their own business, including a fully equipped, licensed commercial kitchen, business support, and a neighborhood cafe to engage with the community.


    Patta is entirely self taught both in cooking and photography, but her tips and tricks to food styling and foodstagram photos are universal. She emphasized the importance of balance in photography, both a physical symmetrical balance in the composition, and a balance between active and passive subjects (for example, a hand with chopsticks reaching into the frame).


    She then invited the class to put her tips into action by playing with and photographing food in creative ways, before ultimately enjoying breakfast together. Rule #1 of foodstagram: camera eats first.


    Huge thanks to Patta and the BiteUnite team for hosting, teaching, and (most importantly) feeding this workshop. You can learn more about their space and cooking classes at 600 S Van Ness. Photos taken by Ben Conde. See more on Flickr.

    Whether you’re a mathematician tinkering with complex equations or a musician pairing discordant notes together, searching for inspiration can often send you in circles. The longer you sit and wait for an epiphany to strike, the harder it gets to make progress. What if you could get unstuck by turning to your muse? Your muse comes from the deepest parts of your imagination and guides you to new ideas. It invites you to bring your dreams to life using the raw materials found in your daily life. Artist and director Oroma Elewa once said, “I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.” * The next time you want to draw out your muse, stimulate your imagination in a different context. Leave your desk, take a walk outside, read something different, observe the ordinary, or try your hand at a new recipe. Chances are your muse will come out to play. Our Dubai chapter chose this month’s exploration of and Shahul Hameed illustrated the theme. Presented around the world by our Global Partner, Mailchimp


    * Correction: We originally misattributed this quote to Frida Kahlo. Our community has since brought to our attention that these words belong to the artist Oroma Elewa. The quote has been widely misattributed as Frida’s and we want to do our part to correct the narrative and redistribute their accreditation to Oroma.

    Artist Spotlight: Ally Schmaling


    Ally (they/them) is a lover of kind humans, vivid colors, Motown music, cold beer and dancing like a goddamn fool. They’re a classically trained opera singer and a hair dye aficionado. When they’re not capturing moments and souls, you can find them petting every dang dog they see. Clients and publications include: Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, Vogue Italia, Afropunk, Bumble, Improper Bostonian, Boston Magazine, Apartment Therapy, Isenberg Projects, OpenView Venture Partners, and TrueMotion.


    Most recently, Ally taught our August field trip on Evocative Portraiture. Check out more of their field trip portraits here.


    Stay tuned for a recap of what Ally taught us during the workshop.


    Thanks to Ally Schmaling for teaching an incredible workshop. To book their photography services, check out their website Thanks also to Chiara Headrick and the Archery for hosting us in their incredible space, located at 498 Alabama Street in the Mission. To book the space for your next event or photoshoot, check out their website Photos by Ally Schmaling and Sana Maq.


    Justice can be a path to healing in fractured times. 

    When we envision moments related to justice, we often think of suits, a gavel hitting the surface of a desk, or people marching in the streets. Change happens when enough people raise their hand to work together. Author Omid Safi wrote, “Justice is love, embodied. We cannot speak of love without linking it to justice, nor of justice unless it is permeated by love.” Justice is restorative when empathetic and innovative solutions are brought to the forefront. Through generous listening, we all hold the ability to form moments where people can feel safe, strong, and at ease. Our Bratislava chapter chose this month’s exploration of and Simona Cechova illustrated the theme.Join our event August 16th at Thumbtack - grab your ticket now!