Cheers for Christina Tan, Our Creative Volunteer Of the Month!

In addition to our crew of volunteers who support our students in programs day in and day out, we also turn to volunteers for help bringing our student writing to life. When it comes time to publish our books, we call on our Creative Volunteers to illustrate book covers, student characters, copy edit, and more. This month, we’re celebrating Christina Tan whose work you may have seen grace the covers of our Mission Bay publications, as our CVOTM (Creative Volunteer of the Month)! You can also see her work at Target for a special Lunar New Year collection – wow! We’re so lucky to have such talented volunteers sharing their skills with us. 

Read on to hear more from Christina about how she got started with 826 and what her favorite aspect of illustrating student stories is.Cheers for Christina Tan, Our Creative Volunteer Of the Month!

What is one of your favorite moments (memories, experiences or anecdotes!) from volunteering with 826 Valencia?

While reading student writing, I’m visually piecing together random elements and ideas in my head, but the best moments would have to be seeing all these elements interact with each other on a sketch.


What led you to become part of our volunteer community?

I was walking by the storefront of 826 and noticed all the amazing graphics and illustrations. I looked into it online and realized I could also be a part of this. I also knew I wanted my work to have a special purpose in the community, so this was the perfect fit.


Given a choice of the three, which would you choose: pirates, pufferfish, or woodland

creatures? Why?

The carefreeness of pirates. They really know how to have an adventure!


What would we find you doing when not you’re not volunteering at 826?

You could probably find me cruising around on my skateboard or stuffing my face with all the great food the Bay Area has to offer.


What is a piece of advice you would give a new 826 volunteer?

As a creative volunteer, remember to have fun and don’t hold back on your ideas – there’s a lot of creative imagination that comes from student writing. The first ideas that come to mind are sometimes the best ones.


If you’re interested in getting involved to illustrate one of our many upcoming Spring publications as a Creative Volunteer, read more here or complete an application here. Want to see more of Christina’s work? See her portfolio here!