Mei-Li Nieuwland, a freelance functional and editorial illustrator, graphic journalist, and artist.

"I'm convinced that any topic, no matter how complex, can be explained with an illustration. In my work I look for opportunities that allow me to prove this claim."

WHY • You want to communicate something in a way that will engage your audience and be remembered.

WHAT • Whether you are preparing a presentation, a training or a brainstorming session, the information design and use of metaphors in a functional illustration can help you get the message across.

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functional process

HOW • In close collaboration we create a refined story, test it with your target audience, and translate this into a visual tool you'll be happy to use.

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"Extremely pleasant to work with"

"Smooth collaboration"

"A very professional experience"

In editorial illustration the ideation phase is crucial. To come up with great concepts and smooth out the collaboration, I ask critical questions during the briefing and provide options at each intersection. I always validate an idea before continuing with it, and aim for easy to read images that are beautiful, fun and smart!

I specialize in highly technical and scientific topics, and items about psychology and the mind.

Got a job for me? Contact me through or one of the social networks below. Thank you!

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As a cultural anthropologist I am interested in making sense of a social environment through independent research and analysis. My work as a graphic journalist follows along the same lines but utilizes the far greater freedom of the visual medium to present my findings to the reader in a compelling way.

I have done both visual essays (based on literature research) and graphic journalism (based on fieldwork). While my stories are always grounded in reality, I like to tell them from a personal perspective that gives readers something to agree or disagree with, to help them sharpen their own opinion.

In a time of 'fake news' and a growing distrust of mainstream media, alternative forms of journalism like this are both refreshing and necessary in order to stand out and involve today's audiences in the myriad global challenges we face.

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In my personal work I like to reflect on my everyday experiences and interests. Topics like the mind, being of mixed heritage, and our relationship with technology tend to resurface. These projects are a place for me to experiment, be free, and learn new things.

Currently I'm also exploring traditional Chinese paintings (国画). Typically these feature nature scenes such as landscapes, plants and animals. I find the study of the techniques involved and the feeling of the brush to be very relaxing and helpful in 'emptying' my mind.

High quality prints and originals of my personal work are available through my shop.

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Mei-Li Nieuwland (鄭美麗)

I am a Dutch illustrator based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

My passion is to create images that are both “good to see and good to think”: to translate great ideas into visuals that are aesthetic yet meaningful.

I am a self-taught artist with an academic background in artificial intelligence and cultural anthropology. The hands-on fieldwork methods and analytic thinking both come in handy when illustrating complex concepts. I aim to translate these into accessible, visual stories that anyone can understand.

Topics of special interest include: science and technology, the relation between man and machine, privacy, psychology, the environment, and work in the age of automation.

I work with a mix of digital and traditional media, using a Wacom tablet and Chinese ink.

When I am not drawing I like to practice recurve archery and learn new languages.





My first self-published comic called “Fork in the Road” is out! This interactive ‘inktober’ adventure comic was made with the help of polls on twitter in which voters decided where the story would go the next day. Head over to the shop to have a look and purchase your copy!



I’m excited to share that my work will be on show during the CrossComix exposition “Stripped!”. Contemplating this years’ CrossComix theme, “The Naked Truth”, this expo features 19 female artists’ interpretations of Nietzsche’s opening thesis to Beyond Good and Evil: “Supposing that Truth is a woman – what then?”. Tickets are available here.



The Dutch Comic Museum ( will be featuring my comic One Day in Kara Tepe in Dutch as part of the exposition “Sprong in het diepe”, about the visualization of the refugee crisis through illustrations and graphic journalism. On show from September 22nd until November 23rd.


I am currently available for freelance jobs in functional and editorial illustration, graphic journalism, and in some cases custom artwork.

Interested but not sure where to start? No worries, I would love to think along. Drop me an email at: