Celebrating International Clouded Leopard Day, Biological Diversity, and My Upcoming Children’s Book Project with Adobe Creative Community Fund
Today is August 4, the annual International Clouded Leopard Day! The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of clouded leopards and their status in the wild. Many people have never heard of a clouded leopard and have no idea of the threats facing them.
To celebrate this International Clouded Leopard Day and biological diversity, I am delighted to announce I will be launching my “The Very Hungry Red Panda” children’s book project, with the support from the Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund. This children’s book is a journey about an endangered red panda who eats its way through the world, meeting other animal friends and trying food that is unique to their countries. It is a celebration of food, animals, and art, promoting biological diversity, cultural diversity, and belonging.
This Clouded Leopard I have developed will become the very first friend of my creation the Very Hungry Red Panda.
In addition to The Red Panda, the boba tea emoji I designed will be available on people’s phones in Q4 2020.
I was born and raised in Shanghai China, educated in Sydney, Australia & London UK, and my launching point of creating the Twitter Fail Whale landed me in San Francisco, where I continued to connect the worlds of technology and art.
Over the last ten years, I created visual artworks from the Dumpling 🥟🥡🥠🥢 🧋 Emoji, to Disney Shanghai’s Mickey Mouse to Conan O’Brien’s Pale Whale. With all of these experiences I’ve accomplished, I have always wanted to take the next step and use the creativity I’ve harnessed to create my own children’s book, drawing inspiration from both world culture and nature.
On May 21, 2019, the World Day for Cultural Diversity and May 22, 2019, the International Day for Biological Diversity, I debuted my The Very Hungry Red Panda as the campaign art for a volunteer-based community event “Asian Night Market” led by the Airbnb Asian Employee Resource group. This event was created to celebrate the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month and to promote culture and belonging. At the event, over 800 patrons connected with local API vendors, performers, and small businesses, such as singers, dancers, magicians, comedians, food vendors, and so on.
I chose the red panda to be the focal point of the Asian Night Market art, not only because it is cute, but also because it is endangered, as its population is fewer than 10,000 on earth. The red panda in my art represents the small businesses and artists in the Bay Area that need people’s support. In today’s technologically evolving world, I firmly believe that art is still ultimately what makes us human, that reminds us of the ephemeral experience we all have had during our time on earth, where we should celebrate the nuances of everyone’s unique and different backgrounds and cultural experiences while living harmoniously amongst all life on the earth.
At the Global Big Draw Festival in October of last year, the red panda was also the key visual of my Co-Create Design Lab: Customize Character event at Apple Union Square, where I demonstrated the newest version of Adobe Fresco drawing app on iPad — leveraging the Red Panda to be the muse for participants, inspiring them to draw their own characters. I have since spoken at other Adobe-related events including Adobe MAX 2019.
“The Very Hungry Red Panda” will build off this momentum of the events above. I not only aim to engage and inspire the creative community, but also to empower nonprofit and education organizations.
In the last seven years, I have been advocating for biodiversity and I have leveraged art prints to raise funds for non-profit organizations like The World Wildlife Foundation. I was also awarded the Award of Honor from the United Nations Biodiversity Conference 2020.
This project is made possible with generous support from Adobe Creative Residence Community Fund, a $1M Community Fund program to support creators of digital visual work.
This program will run for 12 months starting May 2020, and Adobe will be giving grants and commissioning work each month to creators around the world. The Creative Residency Community Fund is open to creators in all countries. If you are a visual creator, you can apply from here.
In the next month and a half, I will be sharing my creative process of my Very Hungry Red Panda Projects through multiple social media channels. Including the weekly release of new animal illustrations.