Freelancer of the week - 21st August 2019

Xulin Wang and Ailsa Johnson

Every Monday we showcase the best of the UnderPinned Community, putting a spotlight on two freelancers whose work we believe deserve a special mention.

Want to be in the running to have your work on our magazine? Make a Portfolio on our Virtual Office and show us why you stand out from the crowd.

Xulin Wang

I’m Xulin Wang, a 22-year-old freelance illustrator and comic artist based in Toronto, raised in Alberta. Through my work, I tell personal and socially-conscious stories with a smart and editorial style. I create colourful and unconventional images using gouache, charcoal, photoshop, and whatever else I find lying around. I choose my medium based on what I think suits the project I’m working on.

My clients include the Globe and Mail, the Nib, and BUST Magazine, and in 2019 I showcased my work at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

I am always creating new zines and comics, trying a different format and topic each time. My most recent comic, Children in the Woods, is a dark fairy tale told in the format of an accordion book, or a long continuous image.

One of my other comics, The Garden, is autobiographical and dedicated to queer and Asian visibility. The warm and profound messages I’ve received in response to this comic encourages me to keep making honest and sincere work.

Social media: @xulinillu

Website: xulinwang.com

Ailsa Johnson

Hello! I am an illustrator from West Yorkshire. After university and interning at Penguin, I moved to and lived in Japan for 3 years, soaking up lots of cultural and visual information. I’ve been featured on It’s Nice That, and ended up in their most recent issue. I’m into bold colours, rough textures, and clean-cut lines. I do most of my work on the iPad, moving textures and sketches in and out as necessary.

So far, I’ve had an editorial focus but I have a pretty varied project and client base, and I’m always up for a challenge. I’ve worked for clients such as Faber & Faber, Penguin, Culture Trip and At The Table. Most recently I did a series of illustrations for the Exploding Bakery. You might have seen my work on the UnderPinned site, too.

As well as editorial I’ve worked on branding, book cover design, and I’ve explored street art, ceramics and printmaking in my personal work. I’m very much into my food – eating it, reading about it, imagining it. Reading is a big hobby, and I love traveling. Being a freelancer offers me so much opportunity to expand my world.

 

Social media: @ailsarr

Website: ailsajohnson.com

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