Art,  My Adventure

How I created #ShareYourAsianStory

It’s been 4 days since I launched the #ShareYourAsianStory on Draw A Dot, and I am so amazed by all the achievements the group has accomplished! Now I can finally write down all the things that happened in the past few weeks.

This project was not on my agenda when I was doing the 2021 planning in January. It all happened because of a talk on Clubhouse in February 2021. I still remember that day Sandra Hsu, one of the artists in the Draw A Dot community told me she had a conversation with the people over at Hate Is A Virus, and would want to see if we could collaborate with them. I said yes because I am a member of the Asian community and would want to see what kind of things we could do to stop Asian racism.

Shortly after I had a Zoom meeting with them, I was threatened by a group of white people on Instagram. It was an eye-opening experience and I learn that the Asian racism issue is quite severe in the States. After that, I decided to use 2 weeks to create a project for Draw A Dot related to this issue.

When it comes to a political project, I like to have a few more people contribute their ideas to me. When I was brainstorming this project, Sandra Hsu, Karen Koh, and Beck Hong popped up in my head. I immediately contacted them and I am so happy that they all agreed to help me out. When we had our Zoom meeting, we actually did not have a clue how to create these 3 campaign illustrations. The only thing I did was assigning each illustrator with 2 Asian American brands (6 brands in total). We also came up with the red thread idea to connect the 3 illustrations together to create a giant campaign image.

#ShareYourAsianStory Karen Koh Sandra Hsu Beck Hong Draw A Dot Marcus Kan
Illustrations by Beck Hong, Sandra Hsu and Karen Koh

Within 2 weeks, we created the campaign illustrations and came up with the concept of the #ShareYourAsianStory project! When I connected the 3 illustrations together, I was blown away by the illustrators’ talents! The campaign image is so magical and beautiful. I also reached out to Private Policy and wanted them to do an Instagram Live with us on the launch day. Both designers accepted my invitation and I decided to co-host this Instagram Live with The RepresentASIAN Project.

March 9 was the launch date of the #ShareYourAsianStory project. I still remember at 4am EST all 4 of us were chatting in our private chatroom and wondering what we should write on our own personal posts. To be honest, I was a bit nervous to show this baby to the world. I had a good feeling it would go well, but again, this is the internet so anything could happen.

At 8:30am EST on March 9, I published all 3 illustrations on Instagram to promote the #ShareYourAsianStory project. After that, I promoted the project on Instagram stories, on Facebook and on my personal Instagram account. There was no traction for the first hour. I thought I may have missed the mark. At that time I just told myself that the team and I have done our best, so let’s believe something good will happen. I then went to my usual meditation session. Magic happened after that.

When I looked at my Instagram again after my meditation, I saw brands reposted our campaign images and people left comments on the posts. People DMed me and asked me how they can get involved with this project. Many of them also reposted the project information on their stories. It was WILD.

At 1pm EST Sandra, Karen, Beck, and I did an Instagram Live and this pushed the project to a new level. In that session, we talked about the meaning of this project and our persona experience. After the live, We all received a lot of comments on our individual posts (and some comments are left by famous influencers and brands). It was a cool and surreal moment. At that point, all 4 of us realized this project is way bigger than what we initially imagined.

Later that night, when I co-hosted the Instagram Live with The RepresentASIAN Project and interviewed Private Policy, an important figure left us a comment. This message is such a big encouragement because we now know this project is on the Asian community’s radar! I am so thankful that I could end the night on such a high note, and share this cool experience with one of my closest friends in the industry. Madelyn and I have spent a lot of energy on building our own communities and on that night, both communities finally collided. It felt so good!

I wanted to use this post to thank Sandra, Karen, Beck, Madelyn, Siying, Chris, and Nick for helping me to develop this #ShareYourAsianStory project. I also want to thank all the people who have helped me to spread the words out. Lastly, I have to say a big thank you to my community. It’s challenging to create a project like this and I am so glad many people are so supportive!

I believe this is just the beginning of this project. More good things for sure are going to happen. I can’t wait to see more amazing works from the creative industries and also read their stories.

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