Co Tich Viet (Ongoing)
[Softcover & e-book are available on Amazon Kindle. Premium Hardcover Coming Soon.]
KEY ROLES: STORYBOARD • CONCEPT & LAYOUT DESIGN • CHARACTER DESIGN • ILLUSTRATION • EDITING & PUBLISHING • COPYRIGHT
'Co Tich Viet' is a children's book series on Vietnamese folklore made out of 100% hand-paper cut art. As an educator and artist, this project holds a special place in my heart because I get to share my Vietnamese heritage with many multi-racial children out there. My original approach for this project was just using Adobe Illustrator on a drawing tablet but quickly realized this medium did not capture the mystical and playful look that I wanted to create. After browsing through my old pictures of my trip to my hometown in Vietnam for inspiration, I decided to incorporate my childhood’s favorite art mediums: watercolor and markers on recycled craft paper to portray the greenery landscape and historical symbol. The richness of texture and brush strokes not only created a dimensional effect for the characters but also created a new modernized illustration style blended with the conventional poem written by Los Angeles film director -Damien Saint Jackson.
The first book in the series, "The First King," was inspired by the "Con Rong Chau Tien" story, one of the most well-known fairy tales and folktales in Vietnam about the country's magical beginnings. Through the story with heroes, deities, and romance, we learn important lessons about great power means great responsibility and sacrifice for the greater good. The story also highlights a very important chapter of Vietnam's history, as well as the one-of-a-kind miracle birth of 100 children. 'The New Year Gift' is about the origin and symbol of the watermelon that took place during the Van Lang period. With less mystical elements, its story teaches us important lessons about staying resilient, kindness, facing obstacles, and the importance of not worrying about what people say... Your today's good deeds are the seeds of a fruitful life in the future. The tale also includes the customs and symbolism associated with the Vietnamese Tet celebration.