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A fair for Phare creative studio

Mark Tilly / Khmer Times Share:
Some of the students’ artwork produced at the Phare Creative Studio. SUPPLIED

As the egg of Cambodia’s creative industries continues to slowly hatch, one of the country’s leading graphic design and animation groups will launch its official studio tonight at the French Institute.
Phare Creative Studio, based in Battambang, is designed around nurturing Cambodia’s artistic and creative community, through a three-year curriculum in graphic design, video and animation.
With the group celebrating its first batch of graduates and the end of last year, studio manager Coralie Baudet said it was time for the studio to forge a new creative direction.
“We decided at that time that maybe it is good to start a new entity, with a real identity about animation and graphic design,” she said yesterday.
Baudet, who has been involved with the studio for the past two years, said the studio’s main goal was to provide and nurture new artistic techniques for Cambodians by Cambodians and to provide sustainable employment for its graduates.
She said that even though Cambodia’s creative industry is still in its fledgling stage, her students were passionate about their work.
“I would say that for animation it’s still a small market, so we don’t have many competitors, but they can still work for an animation studio or for game companies or advertising, so it’s quite fine,” she said.
“What is good is that the students are convinced and passionate.”
She added that this was in some cases despite the student’s parents thoughts, who are concerned about their children’s financial prospects in a creative industry, especially within visual art.
“Visual arts is a bit more complicated, and we’re still trying to think how to modify it because it is not as interesting for the students as it’s hard for them to find money for it and not really appreciated by their parents,” she said.
Baudet said most of the studio’s work has been for the NGO and social enterprise industries, such as a video series for Handicap International on cluster munitions.
“Most of our clients are still social enterprises or NGOs and they ask to raise an issue through drawings or animations,” she said, adding that students who don’t work for the studio go on to find work within the industry, or start their own business.
“Most [graduates] are looking for a creative industry, some have opened their own businesses, like designing T-shirts, or sell illustrations.”
Communication Manager Pierre Ananou from the French Institute, who have previously used Phare’s design team for its promotion material, said they were pleased with the quality of work being produced by the studio, despite the lack of experience.
“We were really impressed by the work because you see these students who have never touched graphic design tools three years before, it’s crazy,” he said adding that hosting the studio’s launch was a natural fit.  The night will feature some of the studio’s work, as well as live illustrations and caricatures.
“Many people really appreciate what Phare is doing and it’s a great opportunity to go further with this project,” Baudet said.
Phare Creative Studio Launch will be held tonight from 6pm-8pm at the French Institute, #218 Street 184.

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