Pride Pals, is a line of educational plush dolls inspired by queer history figures. Intended to be a positive introduction to queerness for younger kids, the dolls place casual emphasis on a diverse, queer cast of characters in an appropriate, non-sexualized manner in order to help kids recognize, understand and be more comfortable in their possible queer identities as well as normalize the idea of societal queerness in the minds of all young kids.
Each doll comes with a digitally illustrated educational storybook that showcases the life and achievements of the coordinating figure the doll was inspired by. Being that queer history is not included in the curriculums of most schools–especially at the younger levels–I wanted to make sure this project filled that gap.
1. Do not compare yourself to your peers. Everyone’s development and skillset is different, but don’t feel discouraged if you feel your work doesn’t measure up to those around you. As designers, we are always growing and getting better. There will never be a point where you are done learning!
2. Don’t bash your past work. Yes, we all have projects that we look back upon and just cringe. Believe me, I have quite a few! However, those cringeworthy pieces are the stepping stones of your path to becoming the designer you are today and tomorrow. Celebrate them, revisit them, learn from them.
3. Above and beyond should be your minimum. Obviously work within your limits and make sure your health comes first, but never be afraid to do more than what is expected of you.
4. Own your brand. You’re marketing yourself as much as you’re marketing your work, so really go for it. Launch your projects, be as present as you can on as many forms of social media channels as you can - don’t be afraid to be annoying.
5. Have fun! I know that’s such a cliché, but it’s so true. If you’re not having fun while you’re making your creating your work, then honestly what’s the point?