Originally from China and now based in the United Kingdom, graphic designer and illustrator Weiyena Wei is passionate about using art and design to ‘encourage new behaviours in a visually engaging way. Over the past few years she has worked with a range of NGOs such as Greenpeace Africa, Plastic Tides and Action for Dolphins. She is also the founder of ethical organisation asearth, which “supports various companies, charities and organisations with professional design and marketing services all over the world to make the world a better place”. A strong advocate for sustainability, the climate crisis, animals welfare and plant-based lifestyles, Wei uses her free time to create graphical illustrations “to educate, inspire, excite” those around her.
Below we showcase six of Wei’s most recent creations, as well as the story behind each in her own words.
1. ‘Protect Vaquitas’
“The Vaquita is a critically endangered porpoise that is based around California and there’s only 10 left in 2020 according to the NRDC. I was shocked to hear about this and created this poster to illustrate the issues these incredible animals face. I decided to create this graphic to educate people about the issues surrounding the Vaquitas.”
2. ‘Cows Contribution to Global Warming’
“Livestock is a major threat to the environment. I made this illustration to show the cows contribution to global warming.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome 2006). Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of CO2 per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
Eating a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to protect the environment.”
3. ‘Holiday 2021’
“I made this to highlight the importance of protecting the ocean from plastic. We need to create innovative solutions to combat this global issue for the animals, people and environment. I hope that my work inspires people to care more about the natural world.”
“Commercial whaling was banned in 1986. However, Japan, Norway, and Iceland have killed nearly 40,000 large whales since then. Over 100,000 dolphins, small whales and porpoises (small cetaceans) are slaughtered globally in hunts each year—many to be used as fishing bait. Most of these hunts are unregulated, illegal, and unsustainable, with potentially wide-ranging adverse impacts on small marine animals.
Inspired by the recent documentary ‘Seaspiracy’, I created this illustration to show the connection between shocking killings and normal food on restaurant tables.”
5. ‘The Face of Fear’
“Pigs are considered to be one of the most intelligent animals in the world and they share 80% of DNA with humans. I was shocked to hear that there are nearly 1.5 billion pigs killed each year for food.
Since I was a child, I have loved pigs and in March, 2020 I decided to stop eating them.”
“Animal abuse is widespread in the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums facilities (75% of them). However, over 1,200 aquariums and zoos in 78 countries connected with WAZA participate in such animal misconduct.
I exchanged the position of performer and audience this time by putting a girl in the small tank at Marineland, Canada where they are now putting marine animals in it.”
All artwork by Weiyena Wei, photo of the artist courtesy of Weiyena Wei, lead composite image by Green Queen Media based Weiyena Wei designs.