With their surreal content and wobbly shapes, Jing Wei’s illustrations often have a dream-like quality. One image shows a girl wandering through a garden of giant heads and cacti, while another dangles precariously above ominous coral-like creatures. Running throughout the works is a use of rich hues, clean lines and strong narrative that takes you away from reality.
Born in China, Jing moved to California as a child, and later studied illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. Now based in Brooklyn, New York, she has worked for the likes of The New Yorker, Fast Company, Intel, Bloomberg, Adobe and Sundance, and consults for Etsy as illustration director. Her artworks also mostly feature ladies as focal characters. “I guess I do draw a lot of ladies! I’m probably just a secret narcissist, and they’re all me in some form or another.”
A regular commission for the New York Times’ sci-fi column has seen a surge in Jing’s output. “With this series, I have the opportunity to explore some weird and darker themes,” she says. “It just seemed natural to put a female character in the middle of those scenarios, because it taps into this fear and anxiety that feels very familiar personally, and particularly in the world right now.”
On International Women’s Day, Jing comments: "I think it’s important to have these big pushes, because it’s very easy to slip into hopelessness on a daily basis with all that’s going on. The Women’s March was such an amazing show of organised resistance. Sometimes you’re just doing these little things on your own, like donating and signing petitions and leaving voicemails, and then you read the news and think that nothing you do could ever really matter. It’s energising and reassuring to see that there are lots of other people who are working alongside you, toward the same goals.”
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