The artist I have decided to share on is a freelance illustrator named Wang Fang Qiao or Wang XX, from Nanjing, China. I first chanced upon her work on the networking site, Tumblr, where she publishes her personal illustrative and comic series under the username, @anordinaryseal. As the username suggests, the series consists of a white seal as the main character, and together with his animal friends, they are depicted to be living their everyday lives as humans do, riding the subway or hanging out at cafes.
Left: Untitled, An Ordinary Seal(2018), Right: Untitled, An Ordinary Seal(2016)
What really captivated me about the artist and her illustrative series is its simplicity and relatability. With the easy-going and friendly art style, it is able to look endearing and approachable to whomever sees it at first glance. The content of the series also hits close to home, thus bringing in a sense of warmth and comfort to its audience.
Most importantly, I find it impeccable how the artist is able to make something out of her ordinary. The artist explains that besides drawing influences from the stuffed animals she owns, she also looks at current events happening in her day-to-day, as well as her real life friends for inspiration. This thus makes it impressive that she is able to find inspiration from the mundane, or simply from the things around her and turn them into something much larger.
This could be seen from the recent advancements the series has progressed into, where its popularity has allowed for merchandises such as plush toys and printed books. There has also been an exhibition which featured the beloved seal in all of its forms.
Left: Seal Plush Toys, An Ordinary Seal(2018), Right: Exhibition, An Ordinary Seal(2020)
As a series the artist simply drew as a form of self-expression and leisure, it must be gratifying to see it being enjoyed by so many others and I do hope to one day be able to emulate the same in my own works.
Featured Image: Untitled, An Ordinary Seal(2017)
Anordinaryseal, Tumblr. Retrieved Sep 16 2020, from: https://anordinaryseal.tumblr.com/
Fanqiao Wang. Cargo Collective. Retrieved Sep 16 2020, from: https://cargocollective.com/fanqiaowang
Wang, B. “The Many Seals of Wang Fanqiao.” Neocha Magazine.
Retrieved Sep 16 2020, from: http://neocha.com/magazine/the-many-seals-of-wang-fanqiao/
YesSealLife. Big Cartel. Retrieved Sep 16 2020, from https://yesseallife.bigcartel.com/