My name is Danielle, and I am the creator of Zuri & Dre.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, as I share with you, how this all came to be :).
For me & For us
I wanted to create faces that would showcase people who looked like me, and the people who were around me, in a way that would reflect my minimal design style.
Social experiment to self-published
Once I was done designing the faces (or avatars), and posted them on social media, I received so much great feedback from family, friends and colleagues. I realized I couldn’t stop there and decided to create colouring books! Along with the faces, I also included positive affirmations to help uplift whoever is looking through the books.
Where did their names come from?
I reached out to the people on my social media platforms (my design profile, as well as the Colouring Books’ profile) and I asked for name ideas in the comments. Once I picked 2 of my favourite names from the comments/suggestions, I created a poll through Instagram Stories where people were able to vote their favourites. The highest voted name, won! Cue “Zuri” & “Dre”.
2D to 3D
With the design of their faces & now bodies, I decided to turn them into 3D versions. I commissioned a 3D artist, to help bring my vision to life. I’ve always been a fan of collectible toys, so the idea of creating one of my own would be a dream come true. Once the artwork was done, I worked with a 3D printer, to create models to see if this could really work!
For now the figurines are on hold, but I hope to create them in the future 🙂
Figurines to Plushies
Collectible figurines are still on the to-do list, but first, I decided to work on the Plushies! The process of getting the right look for my vision was challenging, but completely worth it. Here’s a look at samples from different stages and suppliers.
Once the final design was chosen, after a fer weeks of back and forth changes, it was time to get things really started.
I tried crowdfunding, but it didn’t catch on too well, so I decided to focus on getting more eyes on the Plushies through social media.
What’s to come?
So many possiblities!
Now that Zuri & Dre are starting to take over the plushie world (haha—at least to me), I’ll be working behind the scenes to create new content, items (like, cushions) and one day, an animated series 🙂 — stay tuned!