About Hello ZSO

Hello, hello, I'm ZSO, aka Sara Blake. I'm an illustrator, fine artist, and designer based in New York City, originally from Richmond, Virginia. I came up with the name ZSO in 2007 as an outlet and home for my personal illustration work while working as an art director in advertising.

ZSO (pronounced |zo|) is a collection of letters that I find aesthetically and phonetically beautiful, culled together from some personally significant people, places, and things. Together they make a sound much like “so,” the adverb which means "to such a great extent.” I am a person of extremes, for better or worse (most often the latter), so the ring of it was fitting, and the moniker has since stuck for good.

I graduated from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study and I've been working in illustration and design ever since. I've had the opportunity to work with a lot of great clients such as Nike, Ford, Hurley, IBM, Wired Magazine, VICE Media, Warner Bros Entertainment, Marvel Entertainment, Scotch & Soda, and TEDx Labs, and I'm always pursuing personal art and explorations.

My preferred medium is a mix of digital and analog hand-drawn illustration. I also work as a designer, art director, and thing-maker through Minetta Design Co. I make other things through Solid Gold House and a Rocket Car.

I love travel, running, cycling, white huskies, black cats, and brussels sprouts. You can lure me almost anywhere with vegan ice cream.


San Diego Comic Con, July 2014, group show presented by Vice, DC Comics, and Warner Bros. Entertainment

Fice Gallery, Salt Lake City, March 2014, group show

Secretfresh Gallery, Manila, February 2014, solo show

Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, March 2014, group show

New York Writes Itself, December 2012, Presented by the Village Voice

Friends of Leon Gallery, Sydney, September 2009, solo show 

Online Teaching

Current class available online through Skillshare: Creating Full Color Digital Illustrations From Your Hand-Made Drawings


Digital Alberta Awards 2015

YCN 2014 Young Professionals Awards

Design Collector's Digital Decade 2014

FITC Awards 2014

Adobe Awards 2013

Design Collector's Digital Decade 2013 



Greenwich Village, New York City

General inquiries:

Selected Clients





Wired Magazine

Scotch & Soda

TEDx Labs


Warner Bros. Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment

Speaking & Events

Adobe Creative Jam NYC, December 2015

OFFF Fortaleza, November 2014

SUNY Art Lectures, October 2014

AIGA Design Exchange Boston, September 2014  

Camp Festival Calgary, September 2014

Reasons to Be Creative Brighton, September 2014 

FITC Toronto, April 2014

FITC Amsterdam, February 2014

FITC Tokyo, February 2014 

Graphika Manila, February 2014 

Play & Make Düsseldorf, November 2013 

OFFF Caracas, November 2013

Halifax Pop Explosion Nova Scotia, October 2013

Blend Conference Charlotte, September 2013

OFFF Barcelona June 2013

FITC Toronto 2013

Cut & Paste SXSW 2013

OFFF Cincinnati 2013

Reasons to Be Creative Brighton 2012

We Can Create Auckland 2011

Selected Interviews

METAL & DVST, 2015 // Hypocrite Design, 2015 // Design Milk, 2015 // Juxtapoz Digital, 2015 // Design Exchange Boston Feature, 2014 // 5 Question for 100 Designers, 2014 // Bitchcast Session 8, 2014 // Workspiration, 2014 // Curious Fiend, 2014 // Life & Limb, Episode 4, 2014 // This Is Fly Magazine Issue 45, 2014 // The Great Discontent, 2013 // Computer Arts, Design Matters, 2013 // Abduzeedo, 2013 // Design Matters Podcast, 2013 // Industry & Interest, 2012 // Dirty Laundry Mag 2012 // Hound Magazine, 2012 // Empty Kingdom, 2011 // Stated Magazine, 2011 // August Empress, 2011 // Chelsey NZ, 2011 // Idealog Video Interview, 2011 // Artisnavi, 2011 // Dazed Digital, 2010 // RVA Magazine, 2010 // Thee Blog, 2010 // Partfaliaz, 2010 // Digital Abstracts, 2010 // Design Taxi, 2009 

Features & Books

The Great Discontent Magazine, 2014, Issue 1 // Computer Arts Book of Inspiration III., December 2012, Featured Artist // KARIN + RAOUL 2012, Featured Artist // Design Collector Mag I., March 2012, Feature & Interview // Carne Mag, Issue 13, October 2011, Featured Artist // Computer Arts 188, May 2011, "The Next Big Thing" // NZ Herald, August 2011, "In a New York State of Mind" // Advanced Photoshop 82, June 2011, Interview // LIVE, The Edge NZ, Winter 2011, Feature & Interview // Design Collector iPad Magazine, May 2010, Contributing Artist // Advanced Photoshop, 2011, Issue 80, Artist Profile Feature // Cut Out Magazine Malaysia, 2010, Volume 02, Issue 01, Feature Illustrator // Staf Magazine, October 2010, Issue 45, Cover Illustration & Feature // Default Magazine, September 2010, Issue 4, Web Magazine Feature & Cover // Yen Magazine, December 2009, Featured Guest Illustrator // Curvy 6, May 2009, Volume 6, Featured Artist