“In 3D art, it makes sense to explore all corners of identities. If we, as a platform, wish to offer a digital version of all possible and impossible realities, then the bare minimum we can do is develop content representing valid people within the LGBTQ+ community.”
It’s almost the end of Pride Month, and Daz 3D is going out with a bundle! To celebrate and commemorate the LGBTQ+ community, we’ve developed our first ever Pride Bundle and we (and our artists) couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.
In this interview, we’re taking a behind-the-scenes look with Associate Content Producer Breanna Kilpack (pronouns: she/her; they/them) who digs into the process, inspiration, and social message behind the amazing new Pride Parade Bundle.
Hi Breanna, thanks for sitting down with us to talk more about the Pride Parade Bundle!
Hi! It’s my pleasure to, thank you for the opportunity to discuss it :).
So how did you get the idea for the Pride Parade Bundle?
I’d been thinking about how to add LGBTQ+ representation to our platform for some time, and was very excited for releasing some Pride themed products this Pride Month. Of course, I think it’s safe to say that just about everybody has had something in their lives that has been cancelled or ruined because of Covid-19.
The cancellation of Pride festivals and marches was a huge blow, primarily to the LGBTQ+ community, but also to allies and potential allies as well. I feel, very strongly, that it’s important to provide a way for people to celebrate Pride safely at home, and changing the direction to “Virtual Pride” was kind of natural for us, because Daz is pretty good at going virtual.
I also specifically planned the release to be on June 28th — the 50th anniversary of the first US Pride parade. This date also is the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots. These two dates are credited for starting the movement for LGBTQ+ equality in the US when Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman, physically protested the police officers who were raiding a haven for queer people in the community.
If you had to choose one product that’s your favorite in the bundle, what would it be and why?
I absolutely loved every single product, but my personal favorite would have to be Transgender Shapes for Genesis 8. As a genderqueer person, I felt that we really needed more non-cis representation on the store (which is especially tricky to do since we have binarily gendered figures by default).
Very cool. Can you tell us a little more about how that product came into development, or what sorts of background research were involved?
The artist DisparateDreamer and I did a ton of research and brainstorming to find out ways to express the gender spectrum, and one of the most important things to us to depict was top surgery scars. A lot of people who have gone through this procedure end up with a particular type of scarring that’s not yet seen as ‘normal’ and so are often harassed in spaces where they are shirtless, such as swimming pools and beaches. DD and I made a specific effort to include scarring at various stages of recovery that were compatible with different colors of skin tones. Trans people of color, even within the LGBTQ+ community, are often erased and we certainly didn’t want that to happen here either.
DisparateDreamer said that they really wanted to recognize the amount of courage it takes for trans and non-binary people to be able to live their real selves:
” …when I saw [those scars] on people, it seemed so inspiring and brave to fight against the stigma, the repression, everything that told them to be something-someone-else, and find their true self. It’s beautiful and I wish I could have done it more justice. The positive responses in the forum (and buyers) show me that hopefully the world is starting to see that and honor that, too, and that gives us all a bit of hope in pretty bleak times.”
Obviously, DD did an amazing job, and I’m just really proud of finally having a product that gives us a strong start into increasing gender identity representation. We’ll be doing more of this in the future.
Let’s say that I’m 100% behind Pride, but I’m SO NOT a parade/festival person. What’s a cool way I could use products in the Pride Parade Bundle in other projects and renders?
I’d say, first of all, it’s perfectly valid to not want to celebrate Pride by going to the big celebrations, because it’s not everybody’s thing. But the great thing about this bundle is even the seemingly ‘Parade-themed’ products have added versatility.
In the Pride Vehicles product, the Pride bus has non-rainbow color options and the props can be removed so that it resembles a tour bus. The boat can also have it’s props removed and be used as a regular little dinghy. The spectating and marching poses can be used for any celebration, and the couple poses aren’t parade-specific as well. The dForce Pride Flags can have shaders applied to them to resemble whatever type of cloth you might want, and the wearable presets give the “flag” more functionality for other-themed scenes.
So another related question to that — what do you think the essence of ‘Pride’ is?
Everybody interprets Pride a little differently. For me, Pride means being proud of who I am and how I identify, despite the consistent attempt to invalidate my community. We need to celebrate who we are to remind ourselves that we are just as important. It can be very dehumanizing to constantly have to fight for our rights and still be disproportionately harassed and discriminated against in every corner of the world. I believe we need to actively empower each other to keep up the fight.
On keeping up the fight: what’s your personal investment in the Pride Parade Bundle?
During development, I came out as pansexual and genderqueer to the artists who were working on the bundle. At first I didn’t think that many of them saw the message, but the next thing I knew my inbox was flooded with messages of support and volunteers. Some artists came with questions about LGBTQ+ definitions, some came out to me, others just sent love. It was an incredible experience — I was absolutely blown away by the response.
This one was a bit more heavy on the research and planning side because we wanted to make sure that we got it right — while I’m a non-cis person, I’m not transgender or a person of color so it was very important that I put in extra effort to get that representation right.
Throughout development, I experienced a ton of support from our artists, from coworkers, and from upper management. I never thought that my tech career would intersect with my passion for activism, and I feel so lucky to have been a part of this!
As do the artists we’ve spoken to. How does the Pride Parade Bundle reflect Daz 3D’s stance with respect to LBPTQ+ equality?
In general, I think our stance is that we’re working much harder to provide inclusive content. There have been plenty of recent changes in our company’s approach to content design, most of which reflect that we’re pursuing inclusivity as a more direct goal.
Some of these changes are visible; having our first charity bundle with Frontline Heroes, releasing more diverse tier-1 characters this year, making a public statement supporting Black Lives Matter, and releasing our first LGBTQ+ bundle among them. We’re really excited about this direction, and the artists are right here supporting us.
Extra support is always good :). So how can we, as individual artists, strive to make inclusive 3D art? What’s the best place to start?
I think a great to start is to make sure to be intersectional in artwork. It can be tricky balancing inclusiveness, while simultaneously avoiding exploiting other cultures. So, how do we learn where the boundaries are? Following diverse artists and listening to their themes and voices is the first step. If we want to make truly inclusive art, we should strive to support and follow people from different backgrounds than ourselves and never assume that we’re done learning.
That’s a great answer. Breanna, thank you so much for your time, and for sitting down to chat with us!
Thank you for having me! I’m so glad to have been a part of the Pride Parade Bundle.
Thanks for reading the Daz Interview Series: The Pride Parade Bundle!
See the Pride Parade Bundle for yourself (and check out how to buy the bundle at a 50% discount in the next two days!). Daz wants to give one more shout-out to our ever-talented artists and community. In Breanna’s words:
“When I first got the art for the bundle art cover, it brought me to tears. I really can’t overstate how much heart and soul was put into it. This was an amazing step forward for Daz and I’m so proud of all of the artists involved, as well as the overwhelmingly positive community response to it.”