Brooklyn-based illustrator Ping Zhu acknowledges the great privilege of working full time in an artistic field. With her illustrations featured in The New Yorker, Penguin, and Nobrow Press, her work has been highly revered, but when it came to her artistic journey it wasn’t really a straight line.
“I don’t know if there was one moment, but I started learning about the subtle differences between fine art and illustration in college and finding out that maybe my skills were better suited for an audience rather than expressing myself and my ideas as a fine artist would,” she recalled in an interview with The Great Discontent. “I think both are incredibly hard, but I think that I would do poorly in the fine art world because, at this point, it feels like a foreign language to me.”
“What I do is more of a privilege than a responsibility,” she says. “If I dropped out of illustration, someone would quickly fill my spot and the world would go on without me. I feel proud to be able to do something for other people, so if it is a responsibility, I’ll take it.”
She sees her work as a sort of bridge between people who consume and people who create. “As illustrators, we are handing off a baton every time we make a piece of work. It’s nice to imagine saying to someone, ‘Ta-dah! See how I see the world for just a moment.’ Maybe someone can respond to or be inspired by that?”
Take a look at some of her work below and follow her Instagram for more: