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Filipino illustrator Jer Dee channels LGBTQIA+ pride in latest collab with Nike

By Ada Pelonia Published Jun 28, 2022 4:51 pm

Every artist gets hit by a slump from time to time. For Filipino illustrator Jer Dee, it was being stuck at home during the pandemic that led to his lack of inspiration to work on new illustrations for the first quarter of the year.

This prompted him to go on a vacation to La Union with his all-queer barkada. It was also during this time that he was tapped by Nike to create a set of illustrations for its latest Nike By You x Pride collection which centered on images that represent the pride of the LGBTQIA+ community.  

The illustrator recently shared on Instagram the inspiration behind his latest collection: a beach trip with friends that brought him the feeling of renewal and the local queer community who raised him to be his authentic self. 

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In an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, Dee said that what resonated the most during their trip was the sense of bliss and freedom and he wanted to channel the energy of those feelings into the collection.  

“I wanted to make them look like vignettes of a tropical vacation—a queer utopia. So for the rest of the designs, you'll see bodies of water, people taking a swim at the river, the beach, sunlight, rest, relaxation, [and] all of that,” the artist added, further sharing that he would be posting the rest of the collection’s artworks in the following days.  

When asked what the woman and the unicorn in his illustration symbolize, Dee said he wanted to make artwork that would highlight the joy of transwomen, “hence we see a trans woman holding a trans flag like a parachute, while there are unicorn clouds in the background,” explaining that unicorns were symbols tied to queerness which he wanted to incorporate in one of the images.  

The Filipino illustrator also had a previous collaboration with Nike for the Nike By You x Jer Dee collection which was released in November 2021. While that collection focused on people, movements, energy, and how cool they all look, this Pride collection puts the spotlight on a more grounded but still whimsical mood—the reason why his artworks for this collection looked like vintage photographs.  

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“I wanted them to feel real, I wanted them to radiate warmth– the same warmth that comforted me during trying times,” he said.  

Jer Dee’s latest collaboration for the Nike By You X Pride Collection was released earlier this month on June 17. The collection is now available at Nike Fort, Nike Jewel, Nike Bangkok, and Nike Mumbai.  

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