Young Guns 19: Vikki Zhang

By Alixandra Rutnik and Brett McKenzie on Oct 27, 2021

Featuring the creative stars of Young Guns 19

A year and a half of uncertainty across the creative industry and beyond has finally given way to a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel — a spotlight with a great big "YG19" standing in the middle of it. After more than 70 acclaimed creatives from around the world and across a multitude of disciplines reviewed hundreds of submissions, whittling them down to a formidable finalist list, we can finally reveal the phenomenal winners of Young Guns 19!

This year, we welcome a diverse class of 32 inductees into the exclusive Young Guns family, a collection of young creative talent that is already near the top of their game — and will only get better. These are the designers, the art directors, the illustrators, the filmmakers, the animators, the multidisciplinary artists whose names you'll want to know — if you aren't already following their every move, that is.

Ahead of the Young Guns 19 Ceremony + Party taking place on Wednesday, November 17 — our first in-person event since the pandemic began — we are featuring the future legends who will be stepping into the spotlight that evening.



Shanghai, China


Huaian, China


When did you first hear about Young Guns?

I heard about Young Guns through a past winner.

Congrats on the first time win! How did you decide which six pieces were best to enter and truly reflected you and your work?

I chose to select my latest work that I felt the most confident about.

What went through your mind when you discovered that you won, knowing how difficult it is to make it into Young Guns?

I was already excited to find out I was a finalist. My friends who work in art related media first told me that I made the list. And I remember I was fighting with my parents about something, and then we heard the news and the fight immediately turned into celebration and glee. I never thought I could be a winner– that's insane! A friend told me if I win, he's going to buy me 10 fancy meals in Shanghai. He is now fulfilling his promise.

"I never thought I could be a winner– that's insane! A friend told me if I win, he's going to buy me 10 fancy meals in Shanghai. He is now fulfilling his promise."

If you had to pick one of the six projects that you entered as your favorite, which one would it be and why?

Garden 1910. It's a personal project through which I found my style.

If you had to describe your creative style, the part of your work that’s most distinctively “you,” what would it be?

Dreamy, oriental, narrative, animal characters in stylish costumes, whimsical, victorian...

Who are some of the biggest influences on your work and career– people who may have had a hand in mentoring and supporting you?

Marshall Arisman, chair of MFA illustration as visual essay of SVA.

The pandemic of 2020 is slowly starting to taper a bit, so do you have any big goals moving forward into 2022?

To set up my studio in Shanghai and NYC. Travel to Paris. Get married (maybe?) Publish two picture books with a beloved publishing house like Penguin, Rizzoli, or Harper Colins etc.

Name a professional dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction!

Collaborate with Gucci! I love Alessandro Michele!


IG: @0717vikki

Go check out all the Young Guns 19 Winners in the archive!

Young Guns 19 Archive



Fire + Fragility: Zuzanna Rogatty's YG21 Cube Design
Young Guns 21: Max Amato
Young Guns 21: Justin Au
Young Guns 21: Tess Ayano







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