Featured Illustrator/Animator

Jiaqi Wang

May 2019

Jiaqi Wang takes us through her wonderful and adventurous life, from studying communications in China to animation in London, before ending up in Italy with her first internship! Jiaqi is a freelance illustrator & animator now based in Los Angeles, she gives us some insight into the exciting projects she's currently working on and how we might see a music video or some mural work in the future!

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I studied visual communication as an undergraduate in China, but realize I wanted to into moving picture, so after that, I went to London College of Communication attended a postgraduate course in animation. It was a really meaningful 2 years, not just the course but also the city. To be honest, I didn't really know how to draw before the postgraduate course (haha). The animation course requires you to know how to pitch your idea's, and also know how to tell the story from the image. I think it helped me develop my idea of what I wanted to do in the future. After graduating, I went to Italy got my first internship in illo(illo.tv) studio as a designer and animator, it was amazing. It’s a small team with super talented fellows, they don't take life too seriously and also work hard on projects.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I am a freelance illustrator and animator based in Los Angeles. Specializes in capture daily life transfer to my own language. I work with varies fields, from lifestyle companies like Starbucks, Targets, Muji, to motion industry. Sometimes just one or two commission illustrations. Sometimes I need animate and design the whole promotion video for them. It’s fun.

How does the local culture of where you live affect your design work and getting clients?

I got lucky that I traveled a lot. After graduating I had already moved to 3 cities. These were amazing experiences, I saw different cultures and met lots of talented peeps. I realize after moving to a new place that my work usually related to this place. For example, the rich sunlight in Italy I used brighter colors, the chilling life in Los Angeles I use a lot more natural colors. The delicate life in London inspires my character’s cloth. But the biggest influences should be the local artists, every time I find a fresh new artist, see what they're doing and I feel motivated. Talking about getting clients, for me it should work globally- No matter where you live, just post the things that make you feel yourself, let people know who you are and see you, maybe potential clients will like it. Alongside commission works find downtime to do personal work that you really wanna do!

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Before starting anything, think carefully on what you want to say in the image, take it seriously (it is your work), people will love it!

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Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share

Right now I am doing two music video. One of it is for Flocabulary, they do education hip-hop song. When they send the soundtrack to me, I immediately love it. The good thing about this project is they give me enough production time. It is coming soon!

How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

Knowing a bit about graphic design has allowed me to shape style in a fun way. At the beginning was trying to animate my work to make it fun, so I like doing fun illustration. It is a long process, even now I still struggle a lot (haha). Learning from the people I admire and keeping in mind to always be myself definitely helps. Before starting anything, think carefully on what you want to say in the image, take it seriously (it is your work), people will love it!

What's on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

I want to do a music video or do more mural art! And start an art collective with people I want to work with. Keep pushing myself :)

Website: jiaqiwang.org

Instagram: @jq.wan

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