'This Asian Pacific American Heritage month, AIGA Baltimore is spotlighting several Baltimore-based creatives of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American heritage. First up is @thecodexclub!
Andrea Chen McKinnon is a new mom, designer, actress, and owner of the codex club - which featured not just her own original illustrations- but over 50 other local artists here in Baltimore. In five years she grew the company from an Etsy into two retail stores.
I hope that this pandemic teaches us all how important supporting one another is- especially when it’s tough- we need community and empathy. Being Asian is not a virus- hate is. It’s always been important to me to feature minority and LGBT employees and makers in our stores, and it has shocked and saddened me to hear stories of people avoiding Asian American businesses and harassing Asian children and older people in public because of a virus that has affected all of us. It’s unacceptable and needs to stop. My parents came to this country to build a better life for us, and have suffered so much this year- they still haven’t been able to meet their first granddaughter yet, my baby who was born during quarantine, but hopefully will be able to soon.
AIGA plugged me into my first network of friends when I moved to Baltimore from New York- I loved being communications chair, and one of the girls from those early days ended up being my bridesmaid. I’m grateful to you guys for doing this spotlight and can’t recommend the organization enough for other designers and those interested in creative resources here in the city.'