Episode 14: Jing Wei

Going from Illustration Director at Etsy to Full-Time Freelance Illustrator

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Jing Wei is an American illustrator based in NYC. Jing was born in China and moved to the US when she was seven. After studying illustration at RISD, Jing got a few successful freelance gigs and was hired at Etsy as part of the brand design and illustration team. She eventually became Etsy's illustration director before parting ways three years later. Since then, Jing has been thriving as a freelance illustrator and has worked with many brands and publications including The New York Times, Bloomberg, Airbnb, Adobe, Headspace, Google, NPR, Panda Express, Warby Parker, and Target. Jing’s signature style is equal parts mysterious and joyful. She uses soft shapes, imaginative worlds, and a mix of vibrant and subdued colors to compose images that create a unique atmosphere. 

 In this conversation, we talk about:

  • Jing’s experience moving to the U.S. as a child

  • how Jing realized she wanted to illustrate for a living and how she made that happen

  • style, finding clients, struggling, full-time jobs, and believing in yourself enough to keep going

  • Jing’s favorite NYC activity (She also reveals her guilty pleasure—it’s something we have in common.)

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