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May 2020 highlights

We’re so grateful to have you here. Here are our May 2020 highlights:

  • As of writing this, we have made 695 handmade masks. We are still making and donating masks to local frontline workers and hospitals. You can find our handmade masks on our Etsy store and on our website
  • May is Asian American Pacific Heritage Month. We did a month-long series of writers and artists that we love. You can find all the posts here
  • We finished up a project with Ed Watson where Jen made Jedi robes for a Yoda statue. Check out his page for amazing artwork (he just launched a great line of yoga mats!)
Yoda statue

For the entire month of June, we will match donations to any of the organizations below. Make a donation (any donation size) to any of these places (some make it very simple and take direct paypal donations) and let us know which organization and how much.  

  • The Legal Rights Center: Provides criminal defense and legal services for low-income people of color in and around Minneapolis, including arrested protesters. (Takes Paypal) https://www.legalrightscenter.org/donate.html
  • Northstar Health Collective: Medics for protesters. The group of nurses, doctors, and healthcare providers was originally founded to maintain community safety during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Donate here. (takes paypal) https://www.northstarhealthcollective.org/donate
  • Black Visions Collective: “A political home for black people across Minnesota,” this Minnesota nonprofit is dedicated to safe, autonomous black communities. (pay with a card) https://secure.everyaction.com/4omQDAR0oUiUagTu0EG-Ig2
  • Official George Floyd Memorial Fund: A GoFundMe campaign organized by Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, for Floyd’s children’s care and education, as well as family counseling, lodging and travel for court proceedings, and burial expenses. It has raised $1.7 million, with average donations of $22. (Go Fund Me) https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
  • Communities United Against Police Brutality: This is an established local organization that was created “to deal with police brutality on an ongoing basis.” (pay with card) https://www.cuapb.org
  • NAACP: The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/naacp-1 (https://secure.actblue.com/donate/naacp-ep-2020 for tax-deductible contributions)
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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Nidhi Chanani

Nidhi Chanani is a freelance illustrator, cartoonist and writer. After completing her undergrad literature degree at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Nidhi pursued a career in non-profits. The desire to draw kept pulling her away and in 2008 she enrolled in art school (only to drop out a year later). In 2009 she began completing one illustration every day of the week. She called this Every Day Love and developed her narrative style and voice with three years of daily practice. Thus began her art career and business.

Nidhi was born in Calcutta and raised in suburban southern California. She creates because it makes her happy – with the hope that it can make others happy, too. In April of 2012 she was honored by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change.

Her debut graphic novel, Pashmina, was released by First Second Books in fall 2017. It received starred reviews in the School Library JournalPublisher’s Weekly, and was reviewed in the New York Times. In March of 2019, the film adaptation of Pashmina with Netflix was announced. Gurinder Chadha is set to direct.

In 2018, Jasmine’s New Pet, which she wrote, drew and colored released through Dark Horse Comics. Her bilingual board book, Shubh Raatri Dost/Good Night Friend released in 2019. Her debut picture book, written by Bea Birdsong, I will be fierce, released in April 2019. Her next picture book, Binny’s Diwali, written by Thrity Umrigar, will release September 2020.

She is currently working on a few unannounced projects and her second original graphic novel, Jukebox, with her husband Nick Giordano which is slated for 2021 release. She is an instructor in the Master of Fine Arts, Comics program at the California College of Arts.

Her media appearances include CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and BBC Radio. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, the Women’s March, My Modern Met, Bored Panda and India Times. Nidhi has worked with Disney, ABC, Airbnb, Sony, Microsoft, State Farm Insurance and a variety of other clients. Her non-fiction comics have appeared in the Nib. Everyday Love Art products are sold in retail shops across the country, including the San Francisco International Airport, Books Inc., and Therapy stores.

Nidhi draws and dreams every day with her husband, kid and their attention starved cat in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This is the last post for this year’s Asian Pacific American Heritage month. Which was your favorite? Who did we miss?

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Xia Da

Xia Da is a well-known Chinese cartoonist whose work is deeply influenced by traditional Chinese culture, combined with modern anime expressions, exquisite style, rich and beautiful ancient charm, care for human nature, culture and cultural connotations. She is best known for creating the comics Zi Bu Yu and Chang Ge Xing, and five million copies of her works have been sold as of 2018.

Xia Da - Confucius Didn't Say I'm A Schoolgirl
Confucius Didn’t Say

Check back tomorrow for another amazing artist!

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Ma Wing-shing

In 1976 Ma Wing Shing at the age of 15 entered the comic book world, his first published work was in Day Dream by Hei Po publications. But it was not until he worked on Wind and Cloud more commonly known as Storm Riders that he hit an all time high.  But in 1977 Hei Po was closed and Ma found himself working for Golden Comics and his art took a more realalistic tone and even found himself going back to the Academt of fine arts to help improve his skill. 

Upon returning after a years course Ma quit Golden Comics and moved to Ching Po and continued to make many comics; Evil ExperimentAssault 13AlienI Wanna be WomanSmall Luk’s Fight at Wudang and the Eve of the BattleMartial HouseSword and SpearDestroyerMy PursuitGreat Stealer 13Knowing YouMad DogSecurity GuardStory of Big-Nose BoyHillfire and Five Affairs. to name but a few. 

Ma continued to move companies until 1989 where he began his own company Jonesky Limted and from that format he realsed Storm Riders that has now been adapted into two films and still published to this day. Ma has also hosted numerous art expo’s of his work.

Check back tomorrow for another amazing artist!

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Queenie Chan

Queenie Chan was born in Hong Kong, and migrated to Australia when she was six years old. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems, and her first published work was a 3-volume mystery-horror series called “The Dreaming” for LA-based manga publisher TOKYOPOP. To date, it has been translated into multiple languages.

She has since collaborated on several single-volume graphic novels with best-selling author Dean Koontz, as prequels to his “Odd Thomas” series of novels. After that, she worked on “Small Shen”, the prequel to Kylie Chan’s “White Tiger” Chinese fantasy series, followed by “Fabled Kingdom”, a 3-book fairy-tale inspired fantasy adventure.

Currently, she is working on her next project, a series of non-fiction children’s graphic novels called “Women Who Were Kings”. It will be a collections of biographies about the lives of famous historical queens from all over the world.

Check back tomorrow for another amazing artist!

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Rudy Nebres

Rudy Nebres was born in the Philippines where he met some DC editors and eventually moved to U.S. to work for DC on Tales of the Unexpected and other minor titles. Later he found more success at Marvel working on titles like ConanKull, Dr. Strange and the over sized black and white comic book Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. Since his early success he has also worked with Neal Adams at Continuity Comics and on the Cross Gen line among others.

Check back tomorrow for another amazing artist!

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Stacey Hayashi

Stacey T. Hayashi is a Hawaii-based serial entrepreneur and founder of the successful PainaGirl family of websites, which includes Hawaiian Wedding Shop. A former software engineer before starting her own companies, Stacey is one of the earliest pioneers in the development of internet-based businesses focused on the manufacturing and distribution of Hawaiian products, and brings a formidable set of planning and operational skills to both her technology-based businesses as well as the multitude of social and advocacy enterprises that she devotes her time to.

She is also a fashion designer, designing and manufacturing contemporary Hawaiian wedding dresses since 2002, but it was her interest in Japanese American and Hawaii culture that led to the development of a multimedia project celebrating the heroism and cultural significance of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and members of the Military Intelligence Service. 

Her historically accurate manga Journey of Heroes, which she wrote and published in 2012, is internationally-acclaimed, garnering media attention in the US, Japan, Italy and France. In addition to her manga, she has executive produced two films (short narrative and documentary) about Herb Yanamura, Military Intelligence Service linguist, and the Battle of Okinawa, which screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2015. She is currently screenwriter and executive producer for the unnamed 100th/442/MIS origins film project for the 442nd RCT Foundation.

Check back tomorrow for another amazing artist!

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Chanz Mikaere

Chanz Mikaere created a graphic novel which depicts kapa haka performers as superheroes. It depicts eight Te Arawa women who are performers and who whakapapa to their chosen superhero ancestor.

Chanz is a unique talent – she is sacred, interconnected and intricate – the culmination of eons of inter-generational relationships – a rare, genetic hybrid of feisty indigenous stock – Te Arawa, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Hine and Ngati Pahauwera. She is a native Mama – arguably the highest qualification available internationally; attained through a lifelong apprenticeship to which her majors have been in determination, resilience and courage. She is ‘formally qualified’ as a Master of Maori Visual Arts; a degree conferred by Massey University, NZ.

Her portfolio documents her stellar career development and drive.  Her visual and poetic creations are top quality; well conceptualised, well executed – world class. Her work is sought after by educationalists, exhibition houses, conference co-ordinators, therapists, storytellers and revolutionists – her appeal is wide and varied – because it is engaging – it sparks conversation, debate, discussion – it is creative fuel for thinking and feeling people.

Chanz is a rare talent – gifted and courageous in equal measure.

Check back tomorrow for another amazing artist!

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Sanctuary

Sanctuary is the first platform to provide online-reading for Māori Graphic Novels. We created Sanctuary to visualise the tales shared to us by kaumātua (elders) and pass these on in a way that we felt would be compelling to others. “

Check back tomorrow for another amazing artist!