Meet the artist, Jessie Kwok:
Image supplied by Jessie Kwok
Jessie Kwok is an artist who works on drawing, graphic design, and calligraphy. Currently, she works as a drawing teacher and enjoys igniting children’s creativity. Most of her inspiration comes from nature. Jessie designed this year’s World Lemur Festival logo. The logo features a male and female crowned lemur surrounded by native flowers of Madagascar.
We talked to Jessie about her love of lemurs and art!
Mongabay Kids: How did you get interested in lemurs? And what inspired you to create lemur art?
Jessie: I have had a fondness for lemurs since my childhood. It all started when I watched an animal documentary on TV and was captivated by a dancing “monkey” which turned out to be a sifaka. The animal was incredibly quirky and left a lasting impression on me.
Fast forward to 2022, while studying digital art and design in college, I worked on a branding project. I wanted to create a chocolate brand that produced chocolate made from cocoa beans from Madagascar. I immediately thought of the iconic animal of Madagascar, the lemur, as the perfect logo. During my research, I discovered numerous species of lemurs, each with unique appearance and colors, which became a source of creative inspiration for me.
Image: Jessie Kwok
Image: Jessie Kwok
Mongabay Kids: How do you hope your art can help lemurs?
Jessie: I believe meaningful art can touch people’s hearts and inspire one’s creativity on how to help endangered species. I want to create more lemur art and designs, strategically shared on various social media platforms. My aim is to not only enhance their visibility but also to kindle the curiosity and concern of the audience.
Art is something that is impactful and educational. I have designed coloring sheets for children and some social media templates, which were featured in the World Lemur Festival 2023, with the intention of raising awareness and promoting a deeper understanding of these remarkable creatures.
Image: Jessie Kwok
Mongabay Kids: What advice do you have for kids who like to draw, but might feel shy about doing it because they think that their work is “not good enough” or they are not sure how to get started?
Jessie: My advice is to view and explore more works from various artists, regardless of their fame. You’ll realize there’s no such thing as not being good enough or not being perfect because drawing is a way to express your thoughts, a tool for communication, and it can be even more powerful than words.
You’ll be surprised that your artwork, besides being a form of expression, might also inspire others. For instance, my participation in the World Lemur Festival allowed many of my friends to get to know this beautiful species through my drawings. It provokes their interest in lemurs and curiosity about Madagascar.
If you’re unsure where to start, begin with the things you encounter every day, since you’re already familiar with them. It’s interesting when you take a closer look: You’ll discover many details that you might have overlooked before. The process of observation can be very intriguing! Additionally, always remember to enjoy the journey, as for me, the benefits gained from the process of creating are often more valuable than the result.
Jessie created coloring sheets for the 2023 World Lemur Festival:
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For lemur facts and activities, check out our post about the World Lemur Festival.
Visit the Lemur Conservation Network website to view the events for the 2023 World Lemur Festival. Access educational resources and learn how you can help conserve lemurs in Madagascar.