Yinfan Huang
BFA in Illustration
Freelance Illustrator

In a couple sentences, describe what you do for work and how you feel about it.

I'm a New York-based Chinese illustrator who creates joyful, whimsical work for children’s books, magazines, brands, and institutions around the world. 

What was your major and how did you choose it? Was it the right choice?

I always wanted to study art, but It was not until my second year in Chinese college that I realized I wanted to study illustration. Later on, I decided to come to America to study illustration because I could not get the formal illustration training in China. It was the best choice I've ever made in my life. 

Tell us about your internships.

The summer before my junior year I interned at local paper-making studio Cave Paper where I collaborated on the regular production routine in the commercial studio to help make and design handmade paper for books and stationery. I was very drawn to papermaking and printmaking in college so it was really nice to learn how to make a piece paper from scratch and turn it into something both artful and functional. I also worked as a design intern for Alyssa Thomas (who is also an MCAD alum) at her studio Penguin & Fish during my senior year. I helped Illustrate and design seasonal product collections as well as assisted her in the day-to-day business functions. I love the work Alyssa does combining her graphic design background and her passion for handicrafts, and working with her helped me get a sense of how to run my own business. I also learned some modern marketing techniques from Alyssa. That was a great experience which was helpful when I later started working as a freelance illustrator. 

Has your work evolved since leaving MCAD?

Absolutely. My portfolio has become much more clear which direction I’m heading to and my craft has improved a lot since graduation. And I have learned the most comfortable and effective way for me to work. 

Do the Twin Cities offer many opportunities for creatives?

I think the Twin Cities have lots of great opportunities in terms of fine art and design, but the illustration community is a little small to me due to its location and size.

How do you network yourself and your art?

The perks of living in a big city like New York is that I can go to countless industry events and meet like-minded people there. Social media has become a great way for networking/promotion as well, but a face-to-face connection is invaluable. 

Current obsession?

My tuxedo cat, Sesame. I even created a series of comics based on him.

What advice do you have for current MCAD students?

Use your time to experiment as much as you can, make friends, work hard.