Saturday, 4 July 2015

"Madrass" the hardcore Jamaican Reggae sticker/ emoji whatever youwanna call it


   Madrass reggae emoji was created by the need for me to express my creative designer side. I haven't drawn illustrations for years and I never even saw myself as an illustrator, but the desire to create new expressions was so strong. I couldn't just sit around and wait on my designer. So I literally put pencil to paper and started drawing the ideas in my head down on paper. It was so much fun, I could draw for hours and not even realise how much time had passed.  

Why I created this set

       I created this set as the missing link to some of the expressions in iRIE iDRIN , in other words it would complement it. It really wasn't meant to be a stand alone set. Some phrases and expressions I don't want a Rastafarian to be represented/associated with, I put those  in the Madrass reggae sticker set. I have high respect for Rasta and all they do for Jamaica and the world, so I make sure to represent them the proper way. 

Who I made this reggae emoji for

      I actually made Madrass for the hardcore rude bwoi dem who want to express themselves as they would in the real world,  but through reggae stickers. So the idea was for the rude boys who already had the iDRIN set, to have a hadcore patois sticker set to complement it.  As you can see it's kinda of grimy looking, not cute and fuzzy but gully. It's made to be used with your bredrins, your dogs, and thats why there is actually a dog character in the set. But I've realised women seem to like it too. Another thing about this set is that it's mainly in Jamaican patois, so  only a Jamaican or someone who really likes and understands Jamaican culture can appreciate it. I didn't try to water it down to try and reach a wide audience,  I kept it authentic.

My hope for Madrass reggae emoji

  I hope that Madrass reggae sticker as simple as it is will stretch the imagination of other reggae illustrators and users of reggae stickers as to what is possible.  I also hope that it will help spread the use of Jamaican patois worldwide. Thank you, and I'm grateful for this creation.

Madrass ( Madraaas) is a slang created by popular Jamaican Dancehall Artiste  Quick Cook

 download the Madrass reggae sticker set+

iRIE iDRIN the Jamaican Reggae Patois Emoji Sticker

How it all started

     About three years ago, I started my Jamaican goods website  based in Japan ( July/4/2015 current date) . I got two logos created for the site.  One with a logo that really looked classy ( in my opinion), made the "company" seem so big even though it was so small ( a good professional logo is important). I also created a Rasta man character called iDrin, because I wanted the site to have a real irie vibe. Idren means "good friend" so I just spelt it differently and gave him that name because I wanted him to create a friendly vibe to the site (See below)
       At the time when I built my website, Line messenger was becoming popular and many of my friends based here in Japan used the app. When you use Line messenger, the thing that separated it from the western based messenger Apps like WhatsAPP, were the stickers, or stamps as they call them here in Japan. If you haven't realized it yet, Facebook's "Messenger" has adopted this sticker culture because of the success its  having in the Asian markets.

       Back to the point, so one day while receiving a message from a friend containing one of Line's character stickers, the idea came to me. " Hmmm, wouldn't it be cool to have a Jamaican patios sticker?" And the idea kept coming into my mind now and then. So one day while looking at my website and the iDrin logo, it dawned on me " Hmmm, iDRIN would make the perfect character for a Jamaican patois emoji set". So at that moment I decided I was gonna start creating the illustrations for the set. At the time there was no "Creators Market" where individuals could submit their own illustrations for Line to review and have them for sale on the Line network. I just thought I'd create it and then find some way to have a meeting with officials working at Line and  just pitch them my idea.This was back in February 2104. A few weeks after I started to create the illustrations, Line announced the creators market, that was around March, early April. It was like jah guided me, gave me the idea and the faith to pursue it.

The creation process

     Once I found out how many stickers I needed to create I immediately started brain storming ideas and writing a long list of possible expressions in patois, describing them in detail. I am not actually the designer of iDRIN and that's one reason why it took me longer than I had expected to have the sticker set completed, because I had to make it fit my vision, how I see it and how I wanted it. It was a long back and forth project between me and my designer.Changing  of facial expressions , gestures, colours, words , you name it we did it until we had something I could take to people and get feedback. 
Once I got that feedback, I went back again and thought about it and did some more revisions with my designer. I talked with Jamaicans, Japanese, British,Filipinos, Brazillians, Americans, Australians and more , even showed the illustrations to babies. 

    For me, this sticker set represents; True Jamaican language and culture. It's positive, its motivational and I feel great things will branch out from this creation. I'm really thankful that Jah gave me the idea, and I am really grateful to all the people that have downloaded the iRIE iDRIN sticker set and to all the people that use it and help spread Jamaican culture. At the end of the day the goal is to spread, and represent my culture, Jamaican culture.

Bless up!!!

About Dean Jackson
I am a Jamaican that has been living in Japan for the past 8 years. I teach English and I run a Jamaican goods website called . I was pushed into design through Jah guidance and have started  a journey to represent Jamaican culture through emojis, stickers, stamps, whatever you wish to call them.  I look forward with gratitude to see what this will all lead to. Thank you.

Download here