Jenny Lelong, better known as Niniwanted on social media, is a French illustrator. After a few years as a graphic designer in different advertising agencies, she decided to focus on illustration. She creates illustrations with a naive pop touch and her personal work is inspired by her love of Japan and the world of animals. With her light-hearted universe, Jenny invites you to wander in a joyful and colourful world.
Containing 4 game-boards, each with a different illustration from familiar scenes around the home and school, My First Bingo is an attractively boxed set – a perfect gift for early learners.
What inspired your product?
For the bingos project, I was mainly inspired by children books especially for toddlers that have vivid colours and simple shapes. For the bingos « home », I was inspired by polly pockets, as a kid I used to love exploring these tiny toys and looking at every detail of each room.
What do you feel makes it stand out from other children’s bingo games?
I think that the fact that I don’t specialise only in children’s illustrations will make a graphic difference compared to other games. My naive style is mixed with lots of little details that children will love to pick out.
Are there any other people who have inspired you or you might compare your work to?
I really love following Caroline Dall’Ava, Ingela Peterson Arrhenius and Ekaterina Trukhan’s works that make a lot of children’s illustration works. Their style is naive but meaningful, each of their works is brilliant.
What are you most passionate about and how does that reflect in your work?
I’m passionate about Japan in general. Travelling there makes me feel more peaceful, I like all the sounds there: the cicadas in summer, the crossroads signal, the train station signals. I love seeing all the different cute brandings for everything: from the orange juice box to the local pet groomer. Everything is colourful and well structured.
You have shared some work in progress images of the design of the My First Bingo games. Have you got a preferred method when designing? How do you see a project through from start to finish?
First, I list all the elements requested in the brief, then I research photo references of each room. Then I make several composition sketches until I get a result that fits. I kept in mind that the elements had to be able to be moved to the back of each bingo board so the background had to be balanced.
Your work is used for a range of projects from games through to mobile phone cases, is there a particular area you enjoy designing for the most?
I really enjoy working in a variety of mediums, it’s exciting to work on so many different projects and see how my illustrations fit.
Was the My First Bingo series a fun project to work on? Did it bring up any interest challenges?
To be perfectly honest, My First Bingo was the first children’s project I ever did. Before that I was working for different companies with more corporate content. My First Bingo was a great experience where I was able to showcase my naive graphic style, and the team in charge was very helpful in pointing me in the right direction.
What was your favourite game to play as a child growing up?
My favourite game was a wooden construction set that I used to play when I went to my Grandma’s house. The brand is called Jeujura and to this day I think this game is beautiful. It’s basically building your own wooden cottage, the shapes and colours are great, and the possibilities are almost endless!
Finally, tell us something that will shock your followers?
I love drawing cute characters in a colourful world but I LOVE reading true crime stories.