You can’t but admire Joey Yu’s incredible achievements. An award-winning illustrator in her twenties (with selected clients as big as The New York Times, Guardian, and Hermes), she’s also an animator and a curator and has put on shows at the ICA and Tate. And at least judging by her Instagram, there’s no shortage in creativity when it comes to her work.
“I remember hearing a lot of people say that there wasn’t enough space for new illustrators,” she reflected in an interview with G-IRL. “A lot of the stuff I do is reportage style and I was talking to someone who said ‘You can’t make money from that’ but my experience says otherwise.”
According to Yu, if you’re working hard and you’re really diligent and persistent with what you do then there’s always going to be space for you. “At first, no-one was asking me to draw,” she says, “so I drew for myself. If people see what you’re doing, they pick up on your passion and a space will emerge for you. I’ve been really lucky.”
Her style and work is very much an extension of her everyday life and experiences. “I have a lot of different reference points,” says Yu, explaining that she’s an avid collector of graphic imagery. “For example, I have this regular physics school book but the cover is so stylish and the way it feels is really lux,” she says. “I also like traveling and seeing the visual language of different places. I think one of the best places to look for inspiration is in a supermarket. You look at all of the packaging and see the way each country employs certain graphic elements in their products. That is something that really inspires me. The colors of a place.”
Her work, in and of itself, will fill your heart with inspiration and color.