Meet Maddi

Maddi Cross began their journey as an artist at a very young age. Stemming from a formidable time in terms of technology’s overall progression, Maddi was introduced to digital art as soon as they learned how to navigate the shared family computer (remember those?). Storytelling mediums, in general, always intrigued them. They knew they wanted to tell stories, in their own way, from about 7 years old. Art proved to be the perfect medium for them, and so it has consumed each corner of their brain for as long as they can remember.

Similarly, Maddi has been completely engrossed in fan culture for as long as they could be. They were born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, keeping them in close proximity to pop culture from day one. LA and the animation studios surrounding it were their next-door neighbor. Honestly, they probably got involved in fan culture a little too early on…but they ended up alright, still! Maddi made some lifelong connections via these fan communities, and it occurred to them that a whole world of like-minded individuals existed on the World Wide Web. Yet, for some reason, no one was catering to these groups. This is shocking because fans leave their metaphorical caves in droves when given the chance. They conglomerate, they celebrate, and they wear the things they love like a badge of honor.

So, it was high time that someone stepped out into the scene to help. Maddi knows fans’ needs and expectations because they are a diehard fan, too. There is nothing more disappointing for a fan who loves a piece of media, or an entertainer, or anything in between, only to find that there’s nothing in existence that accurately represents them and the things they love. It can feel exceptionally alienating for people who might already have a difficult time navigating this big, confusing world. 

As a result, Maddi has dedicated their time to creating art based on incredibly niche pop culture. Their work screams, “I understood that reference!” And if you understood that reference, you’re in the exact right place. 

Mission Statement

Better With A Pen creates art and gifts for fans, by fans. Maddi Cross dives into the deepest depths of fans’ imaginations, ultimately cultivating a place for them to feel safe and seen. Everyone is welcome here. Seriously. Literally, everyone and their mother is welcome to explore this shop. Diversity is their biggest goal; they are committed to inclusivity in every sense of the word. Everything Maddi creates aims to give a voice to those who need one the most.