Ping Zhu couldn’t imagine she’d grow up to be a full-time illustrator. She admits to taking her first drawing lesson at age 12 only because that’s what her friends did. “I started taking drawing lessons around 12 years old because I wanted to be around my friends who had signed up for the course,” she shared with the ADC blog.
“Eventually they moved on to other things but drawing had opened up a channel for me,” she added. “My point of no return was around 16 or 17 when I started realizing that people do this for a living, and somehow I’ve wandered to where I am now by making loads of mistakes and trying not to commit them a second time.”
Her hard (but dedicated) work clearly paid off, with features in publications like The New Yorker, Penguin, and Nobrow Press. “I’m not sure if it’s a specialty, but I feel that the most alive doing editorial work,” she shared. “It’s very immediate and based on your database of metaphors, like a test of your reflexes. I admire comics very much but I’m definitely on the sidelines rather than in the playing field.”
Take a look at some of our favorite artworks by her.