As many of you may know, there are two major days of recognition in the month of April for Cambodians: the anniversary of the Cambodian genocide and Cambodian new year. So this month, Khmerican and I were diligently working on some exciting new graphics for these events!
First let us #Remember417. On April 17th, 39 years ago, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge regime forcefully took over Cambodia and the following four years devastated the country and its people. Millions of people died (21% of the population), an abundance of history and culture was destroyed, while many were able to seek refuge in other countries. Almost 4 decades later we remember and families are still coping with the loss. My family was directly affected by this event so it is important for me to #remember417. For more information, Yale University has a section on their site dedicated to this topic. There is great information and resources if you would like to dig a little deeper.
In light of this, Khmerican and I decided to create a black version of our logo and encouraged people to set that to be their profile picture in remembrance of the genocide.
In addition, we selected the next picture to represent a virtual vigil and asked everyone to reshare with their network:
ON THIS DAY April 17, 2014 marks the 39th anniversary of the #Cambodian#genocide. Help raise awareness about this important date by resharing this photo and let the world know that we have never forgotten about the fallen. #remember417 (from Khmerican’s Instagram)
Cambodia New Year Design
The largest Cambodian New Year celebration outside of Cambodia is organized by the Cambodian Coordinating Council (like their Facebook page) and takes place in Long Beach, California. This has been an annual event for more than 30 years and this year I was so excited to design graphics for the first ever souvenir t-shirt for the event!
I had a great amount of creative freedom and space to fill, so I had a so much fun with the details. Once I came up with the concept, I knew that using a lot of Khmer kbach styling would take a very long time to create from scratch. To be efficient, I scoured the internet for resources and found 5Khmer, where Khmer kbach graphics are their specialty! With permission to use the frame and numbers, I modified and refined the original designs to suit my needs. I have to admit, this was by far the most tedious and time consuming piece of graphic that I’ve worked on, but it was so worth it. The design came out great and it challenged me to learn new techniques – hands on learning as I go has always been my favorite way to learn art.