This design was inspired by several factors. Namely, the trauma. Yes, I had a traumatic childhood. I’m trying my best to move past it, but it has a daily affect on my life. I’m not gonna pretend that it doesn’t. My trauma has factored into the person I am now: very shy, quiet, sensitive to criticism, even self-loathing at times. Luckily, I’m enough of a millennial to be able to poke fun at even the most morbid of topics. So this design mockingly thanks anyone who dares compliment me for an aspect of my personality that only exists because of my trauma. Isn’t that fun?!

Visually, I took inspiration from the multi-layered and 3D typography styles I was seeing on Redbubble. For example, “YIKES” by Aliesa Fisher. This style gives both retro and moden vibes, which appealed to me. And the sheer irreverence was exactly what I was going for.

Just experimenting in Illustrator evolved my typography from layers to actual faux 3D, though it’s so subtle that you really have to zoom in to notice.