© Maimee May Illustrations

By HmongTales Staff

(Atlanta, Georgia) As a child, Maimee May recalled her love for drawing. She remembers drawing every day; on every paper surface she could find, including in her father’s cherished Laotian-to-English dictionary book that he had kept for decades. She was fascinated with love, so her favorite things to draw as a child were romantic scenes. These scenes often included a boy giving a bouquet to a girl wearing a crown. She drew everywhere she went. “At church, I’d sit next to my parents and draw on the church bulletin and tithing envelopes. I’d draw on brochures and magazines in waiting rooms,” she stated. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she wouldn’t hesitate to answer, “I want to be an artist.”

As she got older, Maimee began to explore different styles of drawing. One of these styles was one-of-a-kind realistic custom portraits she often drew for her clients. These custom portraits are often portraits of people with their deceased loved ones. She would usually draw them in Hmong clothes or wedding attire at the client’s request. Then, she took a break to attend college and start a family.

After years of focusing on her career and family, Maimee rekindled her love for drawing shortly after giving birth to her firstborn. “I picked up watercolor painting for the first time and found that I really enjoyed it.” A few years later, Maimee tried drawing on an iPad and switched to digital drawing after discovering its ease and convenience. Since then, her artwork has mainly focused on digital illustrations.

Why did she choose Hmong-inspired illustrations? She replied, “I feel passionately about preserving the Hmong culture and Hmong representation. Putting my art out there on the internet and making it available is my way of keeping my culture alive and making sure that my Hmong brothers and sisters are seen. I also want my children to have a sense of pride in who they are and why they are and never to forget what their grandparents had to go through during the Secret War.”

Since the launch of her business, Maimee May Illustrations, two years ago, she has continuously worked on multiple design projects. “I am working on kid’s t-shirt designs featuring my original Hmong-inspired drawings. In addition to that, I want to get my illustrations and designs on more products, such as totes, tea-towels, and baby blankets. Also, greeting cards have made a huge comeback, and I want to start a greeting card collection geared toward the Hmong community.”

Besides illustrating, Maimee also stated that she is a jazz vocalist and performs at local community events with her husband. In addition, she plans to complete a children’s picture book soon and release an album with her husband.

Want to connect with Maimee May? Follow her social media pages. Click here to visit her Instagram. Click here to visit her Facebook. Click here to visit her Linktree.

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