Duachaka Her is a Hmong-American cartoonist and illustrator from Wausau, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a BFA in Entertainment Design and concentration in Comics and Sequential Art. Duachaka creates graphic novels, illustrates picture books, and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators organization. Most of her work is inspired by aspects of the Hmong culture.
She entered the Hmong Museum 5-Year Anniversary T-shirt Contest because she thought it would be a fun design challenge to share her love for good design and the Hmong culture. With her design, she wanted every part of it to be symbolic and intentional. The overall design shows the connection between the young and old generations and that we are all part of a bigger whole.
The story behind the winning design:
My design was inspired by Hmong motifs found on our traditional fabrics. I feel those symbols serve as a universal language and art form in the Hmong culture. The design consists of two rings encircling a circle The outermost ring with the triangles represent the grandparents/older generation. The triangles symbolize mountains and serve as a form of protection and guidance to the younger generations. The ring with the snail symbols represent the parents/middle-aged generation. The snail symbolizes “family,” which is an important aspect in the Hmong culture. Parents are essential to the family and is the glue that binds the young and old generation. The innermost circle represents the children/younger generation. As the youngest generation we take everything that has been bestowed upon us and plant the seeds for the future. My hope is that the future of the Hmong will continue to blossom into something beautiful.