Michelle Romo is a graphic artist and product designer working out of Los Angeles. She recently released her first children’s book, Frankie’s Magical Day, and has also designed children’s products as well as her own creative line of products. Michelle was kind enough to recently take a little time to Spill The Beans for us!
Hi Michelle! Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Hi! I’m Michelle Romo. I am an illustrator, product designer, and maker of stuff. I currently live in Los Angeles, CA with my dude, Adam, and our 3 cats, Chu Chu, Deli, and Bimmy.
Tell me about Crowded Teeth.
Crowded Teeth is an umbrella name for a project that I’ve been working on for 17 years.
When it started I idolized Paul Frank and Sanrio and I wanted to build a product line of cuteness and fun. I taught myself to draw in Adobe Illustrator and created a group of characters.
I had built it into a brand, but I’ve kind of abandoned that concept. Crowded Teeth lives on as an art project.
I just want to make someone’s favorite something.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I am inspired by all cuteness!
I think my brain
What are some favorite creations of yours, as well as projects you’ve worked on?
They were 3D 2 sided figures of my cats Chu Chu and Deli. I made them as a tribute to my dad who worked in concrete in his career. I also donated proceeds to PAWS Chicago, the animal shelter where I got Chu and Deli. The project involved many things I love: my cats, my dad, and helping out animals.
My other favorite project was the kids’ book I just put out - Frankie’s Magical Day.
Have you ever been surprised by the reception of some of your work
About 8 years ago Michelle Kohanzo (former CEO at The Land of Nod (now Crate&Kids), found my artwork randomly through
Bedroom design by Michelle Romo
You just released
Thanks! Frankie’s Magical Day came about because I was approached to create a kids book, and I wanted to make something that I would have liked as a kid! I wanted to create involved scenes that kids could get lost in, and keep revisiting over and over.
Frankie’s Magical Day follows Frankie on a typical day hanging out with her parents. She goes to the park, the city, the grocery store and hangs out at home. It wraps up with her having
Originally I wanted the book ALL fantastical magical scenarios (like the dream sequence). But that really lacks educational value - haha! So I made it a nice day for a nice
Frankie's Magical Day
How did you come up with the locations in Frankie’s town? Are any of them based on your current surroundings?
I snuck a drawing of my fella and me on a picnic in the park near Frankie’s house. I illustrated my parents next to the “spooky house” and there is an actual spooky house in my current neighborhood! I honestly wish my house was as big as Frankie’s! Most of the locations are generic versions of fond things I remember from childhood.
Adam and Michelle enjoy a picnic in “Frankie’s Magical Day.”
A spooky house.
Let’s talk about coffee. How big of a role does it have in your day
Sadly, I’m a decaf lady these days. I used to drink caffeinated coffee regularly but in my 30’s it started to
If I’m feeling saucy I’ll get 1/3 real espresso in a 2/3 decaf
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Coffee serves as a ritualistic part of my morning routine. The smell alone is enough to get my brain going in the morning.
What sort of effect do you see Coffee having on your creative process?
I see coffee as a companion to my creative process. It’s like a reliable friend. I have a day job as a creative person, and I use coffee to get my brain going on those days.
For my personal creative
What is your favorite coffee drink?
Decaf Americano with Oat Milk (just a little on top - and if oat milk isn’t available I also enjoy half and
What’s your preferred brew method?
My boyfriend Adam is a barista, and my preferred method is when he makes it for me.
I am not a coffee superstar. I went through a phase where I was very anti owning stuff, and all I had was a single cup ceramic pour over
We now have a fancy coffee maker that does the job for me.
I’m not picky as long as it tastes good.