YG15 Showcase: Jing Wei
By Brett McKenzie on Nov 15, 2017
Shining the spotlight on this year's Young Guns winners
Young Guns 15, arguably the most prestigious portfolio-based competition for creatives under 30, is going out with a bang! This year's winners were unveiled earlier this month, and it's safe to say that this is one of the most eclectically talented classes in Young Guns history.
This Thursday is the traditional Young Guns ceremony and party, (you've scored your tickets, right?) and nearly all of this year's winners will be travelling from across the globe, across the country, or across the Williamsburg Bridge to attend. Ahead of the festivities, the One Club for Creativity is highlighting many of the winners you'll be able to meet.
Based In: Brooklyn, NY
Originally from: San Jose, California
What does winning this award mean to you?
This was definitely not my first time entering, but it was my last year to qualify. I think it’s actually really satisfying to get this award after a few tries, because it is a sign that my work has been growing and getting stronger over the years. I’ve always seen Young Guns as a measure of how professionals outside of the illustration community might view my work. It feels great to win an award that recognizes such a wide range of disciplines.
"Becoming a Young Guns winner has been a goal since I was in college; I first submitted when I was 24. Since then, the purpose behind my work became more focused, passionate, and refined."
What sorts of challenges have you encountered to get where you are today?
This could definitely turn into a very long answer, but the main challenge I’ve had to overcome is self-doubt. It’s something that I still struggle with, and probably will forever to some extent. But learning to be confident in my work and my capabilities is really what has led to past and current successes. It’s hard enough to overcome obstacles that are out of your control, the least you can do is trust your instincts and stand behind the things that you make.
How did you decide what to enter?
It was actually pretty easy to narrow things down, because I do think some of my most recent projects have been my best. I’ve had some awesome opportunities in the past couple of years to play with scale and material, and I think you can see my enthusiasm in those pieces as a result.
Can you name any past Young Guns winners who you look up to?
There are a lot! A few of my friends have gotten the award, which is always great to see. Some names that come to mind are Lotta Nieminen (YG8), JooHee Yoon (YG13), Josh Cochran (YG6), Ping Zhu (YG11), Daniel Zender (YG13) and Sam Weber (YG7).
What keeps you going, creatively speaking?
I do feel this compulsion to work all the time, even if I have opportunities to slow down and take a break. I’m still trying to figure out what drives me, to be honest. I think it’s partially anxiety, and partially the desire to keep making things in the hopes of discovering something new in the process. I strive to keep stretching and surprising myself.
Now that you’re a Young Guns winner, what’s next?
Immediately check my ego, grab a sandwich down the street and get back to work!
Jing and her fellow winners will be honored at the Young Guns 15 Ceremony + Party, taking place on Thursday, November 16 at Highline Stages in Manhattan's Meatpacking District.
Young Guns 15 is presented in proud partnership with Shutterstock, Levene/Leavitt and MTV.