The Little Emperor

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Joey Duong is an illustrator in her third year of study at Hertfordshire University. She recently printed one of the most brilliantly colourful digital tabloids we've seen, filled with her lovely drawings. Joey told us about her newspaper:

The Little Emperor was created for a university project. It involved finding a topic that we felt strongly about and creating imagery to hopefully inspire others to take interest in it. The topic I chose was based on the one child policy in China. Though the policy has recently been relaxed, I wanted to show my perception of what it's like to be an only child in a Chinese family (being Chinese myself I understand the pressures).

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This idea was mostly inspired by an article I read, reporting that parents who are too busy to look after their children will typically leave the responsibilities to grandparents who live under the same roof. This then leads to the parents worrying about the child being too spoiled, what they call in China "Little Emperor Syndrome" -- hence the title of my newspaper.

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From the age of 3, some parents choose to send their children away to boarding school so they can become more 'independent.' My main aim was to capture the sadness of this lifestyle -- for the reader to feel sorry for the child and understand the downsides to this aspect of Chinese culture.

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I don't usually base my work on sad topics, so it was a challenge for me at first. My style is quite childlike and cheerful, so I had problems trying to create work that communicates a sad topic but also trying to suit it to my illustration style.

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I enjoy using all types of media and materials, and for this newspaper I created images using a mixture of poster paint, watercolour, felt tips, acrylic and black fine liner. I then edited them on Photoshop and organised the pages on InDesign.

You can see more of Joey's bright and wonderful work on her website Crazy Pot of Pencils and buy prints of her drawings on Society6. Thank you for printing with us, Joey!

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