(Above) Brown Skin Ladies on iOS including a few new stickers that will be included in the next update.

Process. Brown Skin Ladies.

This blog post originally appeared on my blog, Words. All imagery was created by me. In March I released my sticker pack, Brown Skin Ladies. This is a look into my process and the motivation behind creating them.

Why?

I made these stickers for a few reasons with inspiration coming from surprising avenues.

Attempting to go on with daily activity post-election with little success.

What skills have I not utilized in a while?

At the time, I wasn’t doing much frame to frame animation in my day to day work.

Celebrating women and melanin.

At the time of its release, it was difficult to find a sticker pack consisting of people, specifically women, that look like me. Luckily I possess the skill set to challenge that. If the market doesn’t have what you want, make it.

xCode.

I wanted to get familiar with xCode and iTunes Connect. Submitting stickers is very similar in process to submitting an app, a lot of the same rules apply.

Cheaper than therapy.

A good chunk of my work was done in the days after November’s election, a time where I could use some self-love. Throwing myself wholly into this project did the trick. (For the record, I do have a professional therapist and I recommend you get one too.)


How?

Making them required no coding experience and it was an overall refreshingly straight-forward experience. The most arduous task for me was the creation of each sticker made difficult by my choice to cell animate each. You don’t need to do all that. A static still for each sticker will do.

Make them.

  1. Create your stickers. Stickers may be made in 3 different sizes, 300x300, 408x408, and 618x618 and shouldn’t exceed 500KB. Apple lays out some pretty thorough guidelines here.
  2. Create an app icon. Design something that works well in the various sizes needed. To save you some time manually making those files, just make one and have MakeAppIcon.com do the rest of the work for you.
  3. Create your App Screenshots. I highly recommend not uploading vanilla screenshots. As long as you’re not misrepresenting your stickers in anyway, have a little fun with these.
  4. Download xCode. It’s a large file and takes forever to install so some patience is needed. Once it’s downloaded and installed start loading your stickers in and seeing how they look in the simulator. Into it? If you are it may be time to publish.

Publish them.

  1. Purchase a Developer Account for the year. It’ll cost you $100 to realize your sticker dreams.
  2. Get started with iTunes Connect. Log into iTunes Connect and set up banking and taxing info so you can get your money.
  3. Build, Archive and Upload your pack to iTunes Connect. More details here.
  4. Submit to the AppStore via iTunesConnect. You’ll need to log back into iTunes Connect to submit. More details here.
  5. Wait. Apple may take a little while to approve your pack. Approval times can take up to 7 days. If you have a pack that needs to make a certain date (holiday themed etc.) you can request they expedite it here.

Celebrate.

What’s the point of completing a difficult task if there’s no celebratory dance?

It was (and still is) awesome seeing my creation live on the App Store. Download the latest version of Brown Skin Ladies here.

This blog post originally appeared on my blog, Words.