Our AAPI Heritage Month Celebration of Creative Excellence continues with Jolene Delisle, founder and head of creative at The Working Assembly, a New York City-based branding and creative agency that has worked with emerging brands such as Sanzo sparkling water, Tom’s Perfect 10, Zola and more.
Delisle was born in Seoul, South Korea to a single mother, homeless and in poverty. She immigrated to the U.S. at the age of seven by way of adoption. As she acclimated to her new home, art, language and storytellling became her refuge and her outlets for expression—as well as the foundation of her career. Outside of the job, Delisle is also passionate about applying her talents to addressing social disparities and is a fervent supporter of women and mothers. She’s also a mom of two and in her free time with her husband, refurbished an ice cream shop in upstate New York, Cherries, which will have its grand opening this weekend.
Here, Delisle shares another project she worked on that New Yorkers will be able to enjoy very soon. She and her team created the branding for this year’s upcoming Chinatown Night Market in New York City, the biggest public outreach event for nonprofit Think Chinatown, which is dedicated to empowering the community in that neighborhood.
As someone who is native to the NYC area and grew up taking advantage of public arts programs, it was important for our work within The Working Assembly to not just be for big brands but also explore ways to give back to the local community where we are privileged to live and work. In 2020, we created TWA’s Local Works, to help small and emerging businesses with pro-bono branding and creative support. This year, we turned our efforts to the mission-driven non-profit Think Chinatown. This organization works alongside local business owners, leaders, and community members to engage and empower Chinatown.
Our team at The Working Assembly had the opportunity to create the brand work for the 2022 Chinatown Night Market in NYC, which is Think Chinatown’s biggest public outreach event. It’s a monthly summer series of art and food at Forsyth Plaza at the foot of the Manhattan bridge.
The recent wave of hate crimes against AAPI people has been difficult to witness and made it more important than ever for our team to collectively support and celebrate this community, especially during AAPI Heritage Month. We wanted to create a visual campaign that bridged the history of Chinatown and was inclusive of the vibrant elderly patrons and the discerning downtown crowd. Fun elements like subway and neon street signage motifs are offset by classic Chinese illustrations of food and traditional art.
It’s vital we support these businesses that are still rebuilding after an incredibly difficult few years amidst the pandemic. Proceeds for the Night Market will go in part to the renovation efforts of Forsyth plaza to continue to be a safe gathering place for the neighborhood.