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Bothell designer taps into his 'inner kid' for new project
Bothell resident Liam Robinson jumped at the chance to lend his design talent to a gender neutral brand for kids.
Quirkie Kids is a line of pink t-shirts for girls and boys with various designs for kids to choose from. The goal is for kids to embrace their uniqueness and erase gender stereotypes.
"I believe these shirts are a good step forward in helping kids feel comfortable wearing a fun color or a fun design they like without being judged," Robinson said. "Judging a child's appearance can be very damaging, and I think I could have benefited from being myself as a child rather than trying to conform to what people want me to be."
To raise the money to launch Quirkie Kids as a small business, the owner started a campaign from a fund-raising internet-based company called Kickstarter, hoping to raise $2,500 in 30 days. The campaign ends March 11.
"If the campaign gets funded, we will be adding more designs and selling our tees through our website," said Martine Zoer, owner.
Zoer is launching the collection with four designs from Robinson, including Godzilla, skull, foodchain and slime. The tees will be available in sizes 2-10 and will be printed on American Apparel t-shirts in the color fuchsia.
"Liam did an amazing job at making my vision of ‘boy designs on a girl shirt’ come alive," Zoer said. "Since I can barely draw a stick figure, I knew I needed help. I was thrilled when Liam said yes to working with me. I purposely kept my design ideas vague, as I wanted him to have creative control."
Robinson's said coming up with designs for the shirts was not easy.
"Once I started asking my inner-kid what he wanted in a design, it started to fall into place," Robinson said.
Robinson looked to movies and shows including "Ghostbusters," "The Blob" and "Tom and Jerry" for his creations.
"I started finding a lot of things from my childhood that I wanted to share with this generation," he said.
Robinson's background is in animation, but he does freelance design work when asked. Most recently, he has designed the Plants vs. Zombies 2 app icon for EAPopcap, which he works as the senior 2D animator on the Plants vs Zombies 2 mobile game.
It was Robinson's 3-year-old son that caused him to shift from his usual work and try something new.
"I'm trying my hardest to help my son find himself with as little negative outside influence as possible," Robinson said. "If he wants to wear boots and goggles to go out and play, who am I to stifle that sort of free expression? I believe these shirts are a good step forward in helping kids feel comfortable wearing a fun color or a fun design they like without being judged."
Now Robinson is hooked and already thinking of new designs.
"Martine has started something amazing here, and I want to help her realize her vision as best I can," he said. "I hope we continue; I have more ideas and I think I've improved my work process on it, so hopefully, people will get to see more designs that are even better."
For more information, visit the company's Kickstarter campaign and Facebook page: www.kickstarter.com/projects/715281789/quirkie-kids-pink-tees-for-girls-and-boys and www.facebook.com/pages/Quirkie-Kids/485173371563767.