Caper Illustration is the bridge between Asian artists and the Western market

The London and Shanghai-based agency exemplifies the diverse range of styles of Asian creatives working today.

8 May 2024

In 2020, three illustrators conceptualised an idea that would become Caper Illustration. Founded with the intention of celebrating and platforming the contemporary culture of Asia, specifically in the realms of illustration, animation and graphic design, it now boasts a roster of award-winning artists in a diverse range of visual styles across projects for editorial, publishing and advertising. Now working with 27 creatives across the world, the agency works with the promise of connecting clients to creatives that will bring their projects to life.

Before starting Caper, co-founders Weitong Mai, Yulong Lli and Yiwei Xu were working extensively as freelance illustrators, and after some time working in the field they began to realise that while there are many talented artists in Asia, particularly China, they had a different approach to establishing their careers. “These artists often prioritise exposure on Chinese social media platforms over building personal websites or establishing direct client connections via email,” says Weitong. “Because of this internet barrier, these artists often have limited exposure to the global market,” which is where Caper comes in as a means to bridge the gap by providing these artists with the opportunity to reach a broader audience, Weitong adds.


Dawn Yang: Follow the Bunny (Copyright © Dawn Yang, 2024)

Creatives at the agency work across the commercial sphere, with clients including Apple, McDonald’s, Procreate, Harper Collins, the Financial Times and Harper’s Bazaar. The catalogue of works veer from traditional to digital art; with a variety of styles including abstract, landscape, Chinese ink art, BaiMiao白描 drawing, mineral art and on the less traditional side you can see styles such as 3D and pixel art.

Take Laomo Wang for example, an illustrator based in Changzhou, Jiangsu, who specialises in the use of Chinese ink, for commercial projects with clients such as Heineken and editorial commissions from Penguin Random House and GQ. Or there’s Dong Qiu, a Shanghai-based illustrator who works mainly in line drawing with personal works that she describes as a “visualisation of my inner thoughts”. The impact of the agency goes far beyond their service as a cultural connector for these illustrators, it also platforms authentic works and allows creatives to stay true to their style even on commercial projects.

“Much of the work we do is in taking charge of all the behind-the-scenes work like scheduling, handling contracts, setting prices and managing invoices,” Yiwei shares. The approach allows for illustrators to focus on just that, illustrating, as opposed to taking on a bunch of tasks that will take away from their time completing projects and building their client list. “This arrangement not only helps the illustrators to operate more smoothly but also ensures the client can receive the highest quality work possible.”

As Caper started with the main objective of bridging the gap between creatives in Asia and clients elsewhere, it’s a surprise to see that there are a fair number of diasporan artists on the roster too. From Paris to Brussels, Beijing to Shanghai and Brooklyn to London, there are a wide range of illustrators either working between China and the US or Europe, or solely from outside the continent. It’s reflective of the team’s mission, but also a testament to the importance of artists having representation from an agency that understands their background, motif and inspirations. Caper transcends necessity for Asian creatives, it’s a home that allows the artist to flourish.

To find out more about Caper’s latest projects, make an inquiry or submit your illustrations click here.


Dong Qiu: Dream Journey to the West (Copyright © Dong Qiu, 2021)


Jiawen Chen: A secret parade (Copyright © Jiawen Chen, 2019)


Katherine Lam: Badlands (Copyright © Katherine Lam, 2022)


Laomo Wang: Salute to Life (Copyright © Laomo Wang, 2023)


Nanjiao Xi: Afternoon (Copyright © Nanjiao Xi, 2023)


Raven Jiang: Forgetting Gallery (Copyright © Raven Jiang, 2023)


Zaoyu Lin: Forget Worry Ship (Copyright © Zaoyu Lin, 2023)


Michael Lim: Hermès (Copyright © Michael Lim, 2023)

In partnership with

Caper is an illustration agency based in London and Shanghai, dedicated to bringing the vibrant and contemporary culture of Asia to the market through innovative illustration, animation, and graphic design. Working with a team of award-winning artists across a diverse range of visual styles, it delivers exceptional results across editorial, publishing, advertising, and animation and connects clients with the perfect creative for their projects.

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Amao: Zoetrope Cake (Copyright © Amao, 2023)

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