Great opportunities to truly collaborate don’t come around too often. But when they do they are truly special.
When I met the You Are Collective for the first time we knew there was an important connection that needed to be made between the LGBTQ2IA+ community, its allies and mental health, but it took time to figure out what that would look like. We knew we wanted designed apparel we would all be proud to wear ourselves. We also knew we wanted to dedicate a portion of proceeds to a cause that meant something to the LGBTQ2IA+ community and had a close tie to the mental health initiatives of You Are Collective. The result was a thoughtfully designed collection of T-shirts, stickers, and hats of which a portion of the proceeds goes towards the local LGBTQ2IA+ and allies youth group. We felt it was important to support this group whose main focus is to create a safe space for individuals to be themselves and support each other.
I love breaking out all the colours of the crayon box for Pride-themed designs. However, this project was about more than trying to be colourful it was about making apparel that makes a statement. When we really break it down the cornerstone of Pride is equality and acknowledgement that LOVE = LOVE no matter who you are. So I decided to create a graphic that would say that with a combination of words, shapes, and colours in its most simplistic of forms. Many experiments were done before reaching a final design that incorporated a 3D multi-chromatic heart intertwined within the word LOVE housed within a box. The technique that was used to create the twisting 3D multi-chromatic heart design was something I had always wanted to learn how to do, but I needed a good reason to do it. Fortunately, this technique fits so nicely as an expression of Pride and the spectrum of identities that are part of the LGBT2QIA+ community I felt it could finally be explored.
The ALLY treatment needed to represent what an ally was in a separate way from the LOVE design. I wanted to create something that an ally to the LGBT2QIA+ community could wear with pride as a way of including them in the celebration. I often think of an ally as someone who is there standing with you in the rain on the bad days as well as celebrating with you in the sun on the good days. It is friendship and love in action; providing strength, support, and understanding when we need it most. This is why the word ALLY was set in a similar way as the LOVE graphic but within a rain of rainbows instead of a heart. It signifies the importance of the strength and support of an ally when the rain starts to fall.
The result is a collection of designs created out of love and respect for the LGBT2QIA+ community and the allies that help support it. A collaboration with an exceptional social enterprise donating a portion of proceeds to help support the well-being of LGBT2QIA+ youth, their friends and allies within the community.