MILQ Q&A | MEET DANIELLE COX

We have seen the power of representation in animation and mainstream media. There's a coveted connection with identifying with the super hero or beautiful princess on the screen. It's true, the faces you see in books, magazines and even coloring books shape how you see your world and your place in it. Danielle Cox is a millennial black graphic designer that just wanted something she could relate to...she had no idea what everyone else's reaction would be.

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M: What  drew  you  into  the  graphic  design  world?  When  did  you  know  this  was what  you wanted  to  do?

D: I was your stereotypical artsy kid; I loved art class and was pretty close to my art teachers. I was always doodling, sketching, painting. I wanted to turn my art into a career but didn't know how. My mom introduced me to the world of graphic design, based on a college program, when I was nearing the end of my last high school year. I applied but didn't get accepted. It was hard, but my mom made sure that I still went to college in something else art related (arts & culture), and I reapplied the next year to Graphic Design and got accepted. 

Many  of  our  readers  are  from  the  U.S;  can  you  describe  your  experience  seeing  the representation  you  wanted  growing  up  in  Canada (toys,  cartoons,  magazines,  etc.)?

D: Canada  has  this  image  of  us  being  super  nice  &  polite,  which  is  great and true,  but  its  not  the  whole  story.  People  tend  to  forget that  we  have  issues  with  representation  here  as  well. Growing  up  I  was  made  fun  of  because  of  my  dark  skin  tone,  especially  in  comparison  to  my  mom’s  lighter  tone.  I  wasnt  comfortable  with  my  full  lips,  and  tried  to  hide  them  when  taking  pictures,  by  sucking  them  in when  I  smiled. When  youre  young,  you  dont  realize  what  you  missed or  needed  you're  just happy  with  what  you  have.  I  do  remember  being  excited  about  seeing Suzie while  watching  Rugrats, but  I  dont  remember  necessarily  wishing  to see more people  like  me.  Looking  back  at  things  now,  I  think  I  would  have  been  more  confident  about  myself,  if  I  saw  more  people  like  me.

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M: Was  your  experience  in  seeing  or  not  seeing  representation  in  your industry  what inspired  Black  Colouring  Books?  If  not,  then  what  did?

D: Subconsciously, maybe, but when I made my Black Colouring books, it was more based on me showing more of what I saw on a regular basis; with myself, family and friends. They turned into much more than I could have imagined; reaching people across the globe and bringing so many smiles to kids' faces.  

SOME OF DANIELLE'S CHARACTERS BELOW

M: What  is  the  reaction  like  to  Black  Colouring  Books?  What's  the  response  like  from people  of  color?

D: AMAZING! I'm so grateful for how people have reacted to my work and these colouring books. People of colour have been really excited about the books. 

What  can  we  expect  to  see  from  BCB  in  the  future?  Are  we  going  to  see  more  of  your characters  on  other  items  in  the  future? 

YES! I'm working on different projects right now, including: tote bags, more stickers, clothing/hats, and a few other things that aren't ready to talk about just yet ;)  

 

SHOP DANIELLE'S BOOKS BELOW!

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BLACK KINGS

Colouring Book

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BLACK QUEENS

Colouring Book

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FOLLOW DANIELLE

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