That’s “hello” in Lao. Nice to meet you. My name is Nor (naw) Sanavongsay (să·nă·vōng·saī) and I’m a Product Designer / Story Artist living in the San Francisco Bay area. I enjoy combining storytelling to all the products I create. I design, make illustrations and write a blog about it all.


Textbook Reader


Enterprise Software


Chord Connection


Children’s Book

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blog posts

Some Thoughts
July 15, 2014

How to Pass a Design Test

A step closer to land your dream job My career started 1997; As a webmaster, web designer, interactive designer, new media designer, flash developer, front-end developer, product designer, and visual designer. I’ve always been a designer, but I touched a lot of code in the process. I wasn’t afraid to…
Some Thoughts
June 10, 2014

Why I Love to Code

println("Hello World!") I just finished coding another iOS app this week. It should be in the App Store in a couple weeks (App Store review process takes that long). It's an ABCs flashcard app designed by a friend of mine with silly animals drawn by him. I wrote the code in Objective-C.…
Some Thoughts
May 5, 2014

Mu Yu Phu, Pig on a Hill

IN LAO ໝູຢູ່ພູບໍ່ມີມູ່.ໝູລົງພູໄປຫາມູ່.ໝູເປັນມູ່ນໍາໜູໄດ້ບໍ?ໝູເປັນມູ່ນໍາໜູໄດ້ຢູ່! ENGLISH PHONETICS Mu yu phu baw mee mu.Mu loang phu pai ha mu.Mu pen mu num nu dai bo?Mu pen mu num nu dai yu! TRANSLATION Pig on a hill hasn't any friends.Strolling down the hill to find a friend.Can a pig be a friend with a…
Some Thoughts
April 14, 2014

How I Learned to Draw

“Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.”– MALCOLM GLADWELL, OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS I started drawing a lot when I was eight years old. By a lot, I mean for hours everyday. I lose track of time while I’m…
Some Thoughts
April 10, 2014

Always be Learning

“If you don't know how to do something, figure it out.”– MY DAD In my younger years, I spent a lot of time breaking things. I took things—mainly electronics—apart just to see how they work. Then, I try to put them back together. This was fun for me. I loved…
Some Thoughts
January 28, 2014

Being “Good” at a Lot of Things

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.”– BRUCE LEE What defines being “good”? To me, being good at something definitely takes a lot of skill. You can even be good at doing the wrong…

A long time ago….

It was the end of a civil war when my family became Lao refugees. We were sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church of Kingsport, Tennessee. That was the beginning of big changes to come in our lives. Our sponsors taught us many things about American culture, including baseball, but television made the most impact.

My sponsor, Bodie, teaching baseball.

At the age of 6, I was completely glued to the TV set watching shows like Super Friends. They had an Asian character I could relate to. The first thing I did when we got a VCR was to pause the recorded show and trace the screen. Samurai, from Super Friends was my favorite to trace. I was hooked on drawing superheroes and drew all the time.

As an avid TV consumer, I was caught by an ad to draw a turtle head to enroll in a home study course from the Art Instruction School of Minnesota—better known as the Draw Me! School. My dad enrolled me after countless hours of begging.

I went on to study illustration at Northern Illinois University, emphasis in comic art but then the web hit me. It was 1994, the world wide web was the new glue. I was caught up in learning how to make my own website to showcase my art. I ended up with a degree emphasis in Electronic Media. I credit my dad again for introducing me to the computer and learning to make digital art for the first time on Microsoft Paint. I have been making digital art and design ever since I graduated in 1998.

I haven’t stopped learning art. I take online classes and share my skills with others. If you’d like to connect, send me a message or visit me at any of the social media platforms under @ArtofNor.

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