JessyAn who is a Cambodian female art director【Members in SocialCompass】
A woman designed the logo for Angkor Cookies, a famous Cambodian souvenir.
At other times, she worked as a cameraman for NHK World’s “Side By Side”, shooting documentary programs.
Painting New Futures: Cambodia - Side by Side | NHK WORLD-JAPAN On Demand
Siem Reap in Cambodia is the home of Angkor Wat, and also a free art school. Former Japanese art teacher Kasahara…
JessyAn, the art director of Social Compass was originally hired as a Japanese interpreter.
We started working together in October 2012 and have known for 9 years now.
At that time, her basic duties included assisting her boss who could not speak Khmer, dealing with our affiliated companies in Japanese, and attending to visitors from Japan.
JessyAn had studied Japanese at Tayama School in Phnom Penh, a spirited military-style free school, and had worked for several Japanese companies.
She is very hardworking, however, she seems to have had a hard time being thought of as cheeky by some of her previous bosses.
She loves Beyonce and is interested in creative things like music and design.
Who is Jessica?
However, she has never gone to design school or learned anything about art. And although she could speak Japanese, she had no idea about Japanese culture, especially Japanese anime. Jessica is the first character she has designed.
The character is a bit creepy, like Doraemon, a bear and a clown combined. However, her boss found her cute and addictive.
The design was created under her boss’ instruction to “A character is imagined Cambodian.” However, she couldn’t figure out what the character was, unless it had Cambodian taste.
No matter how many times her boss asked her what the motif was, she just kept repeating, “I don’t know…”. He told her to think of a name or a setting, but she just pondered.
He asked her many questions, and finally, she opened her heavy mouth.
“I drew it with the image of a snowman in mind.”
The motif of this character was a snowman.
JessyAn was born and raised in Cambodia, so she had never seen real snow before. Her longing for the snow he had never seen took shape.
However, “There is no snow in Cambodia,” JessyAn said unhappily. He was convinced that the character she had created was “not Cambodian” and felt guilty that she was “lying”.
Creativity begins with a lie
In Cambodia, the only way to learn how to draw is to be given a picture and colour it so that it does not go out of the frame. The only correct answer is the one that leads to the correct answer.
The same is true for Japanese language education. If you don’t learn correct Japanese with “correct” grammar, you will not be able to communicate with others. That’s what we think.
Therefore, in Cambodia, where there is no snow, a snow character is “incorrect,” or in other words, a lie.
However, this is not the case with creativity. It is a job to materialize illogical “lies” such as ideas, intuition, and inspiration that come to us out of thin air. In the Cambodian culture, where one rarely creates something from scratch, creativity seems to be as close as one can get to creating a “lie.
In fact, in her case, it was only when that “lie” was affirmed that her talent finally began to blossom.
She has been praising her talent and works for the past nine years, and not only has she been designing and making videos in her professional life, but she now draws pictures in her private life as well.
She now truly enjoys the process of creating things.
Nine years ago, the boss seriously thought about what he could do in Cambodia, which still has the image of a developing country. He knew that he could not help so many Cambodian children, but he wanted to create a Cambodian hero, even if it was just one.
In Cambodia, where art culture has yet to spread, JessyAn is active in various fields such as video production, design, and art.
Perhaps she will become a hero for Cambodian children.