“Drawing helps us slow down, look closely, and connect with each other and the world.”

PBS News Hour

“Brief but Spectacular” section on Wendy’s Drawn Journalism work`

Wendy is an illustrator and graphic journalist with a background in social work (MSW). She combines the practice of deep looking, listening and drawing to create stories of often overlooked people, places and things.

PBS News Hour

“Brief but Spectacular” section on Wendy’s Drawn Journalism work`

As a visual columnist for The New York Times and California Sunday Magazine, Wendy MacNaughton drew stories everywhere from high school cafeterias to Guantanamo Bay. She has illustrated, authored and edited eleven books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat, The Gutsy Girl by Caroline Paul and her own book, Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in Its Own Word.

She is the creator and host of DrawTogether, an participatory drawing show for kids that uses art to bolster social-emotional skills, self-confidence and connection. She is also the co-founder of the Women Who Draw with Julia Rothman, an advocacy database launched in 2016 to increase visibility and opportunities for underrepresented artists, illustrators and cartoonists. She lives with her wife in San Francisco, but you can often find her on the road in her mobile drawing studio built inside the back of a Honda Element.

Workshops and talks

Wendy in her studio in San Francisco.

Photo: Peter Prato for The New York Times

Wendy regularly speaks and leads workshops on how drawing, deep looking and listening, and visual storytelling can connect us to each other and the world.

Wendy in her studio in San Francisco.

Photo: Peter Prato for The New York Times

Drawing is a tool that helps people look closely and connect. And anyone can do it. For Wendy, drawing is never about “making a good picture”, it’s a vehicle to cultivate curiosity and attention. It’s about learning to look with fresh eyes. When we remove expectations and judgments, the simple act of drawing improves focus and observation, increasing self-awareness and social emotional learning, land connects us quickly and authentically to one another and the world around us. Wendy advocates for deep looking, listening and visual storytelling via drawing as a social justice practice, and as a crucial element in childhood development.

Past Speaking & Workshops

TED, Aspen Ideas: Health, Obama Summit, Obama Foundation Scholars Program, National Portrait Gallery, De Young Museum, Romania’s Power of Storytelling, NewsXChange: Spain, NewsXChange: Morocco, Adobe Max, 99u, AIGA, Eye On Design, ICON, Netflix Design Team, Mailchimp, Air BnB, Corcoran School of Art & Design, Art Center College of Design, and more.

Get in touch

Wendy is represented by Charlotte Sheedy Literary. Please contact Charlotte@SheedyLit.com

For press, please contact vanessa@MonaCreative.co

For speaking and workshops, please contact Studio@WendyMacNaughton.com

Get occasional updates on upcoming shows, publications and projects by email