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Pride is a chance to honor everything Dr. Martens stands for — diversity, empowerment and rebellious self-expression — and with our 2018 Pride boot, we continue to support and honor the global LGBTQ community. This year, we’ve taken it a step further, and asked four LGBTQ artists to create artwork featuring this year’s 1460 boot to celebrate Pride.

First up: Carra Sykes, an illustrator, designer and art director based in Brenham, Texas. Read on to get the story about Carra’s artistic style, why Pride month is important to her — and the inspiration behind her Dr. Martens artwork.

Tell us about yourself and your artwork in general . . . 

Hi, my name is Carra and I’ve been drawing since I could hold a writing utensil. Creating art was and is a way for me to express my imagination and my heart. It’s hard for me to go a day without making something creative.

The more work I do, the more I’m able to see a connection in style. Most of my work is bold, heavy and colorful — should be fun to look at but also make people think. I am thankful and honored to be asked to make work that’s close to my heart.

What’s a recurring or important theme in your work?

I make a lot of work based on what inspires me in the moment. Lately, I’ve been focusing on being a little more playful with my process. I’m trying to let go of my obsession with perfection.

Why is Pride Month important to you?

Oh goodness! Pride month reminds me to celebrate who I am, and to celebrate the amazing people who have paved the way for futures to have a better life. Having a national month of celebration that supports the LGBTQ+ community helps us know that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s important for people to know that they are not alone and that they matter. It encourages me to have a voice, and I’m so proud and happy to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Tell us about the work you created for us. What inspired you?

I drew up a few directions and we ended up being drawn to the self-portrait. When developing the idea, I thought of how boxers wear their gloves on their shoulders or neck after a match. These boots are bright, bold, and strong. Carry who you are, be you, be true. I thought of how Pride month builds up the strength of the community with everyone coming around to celebrate together. The more I grow to love myself, I gain more strength to fight for and lift up others in the LGBTQ+ community. Let’s celebrate!

What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?

Honestly, some of the same advice I’d give my current self: don’t let perfectionism block your creativity and personal growth.

Anything about you that would surprise people? 

This question is always hard for me because I feel like I wear my heart on my sleeve. Maybe people would be surprised to know that I played soccer for more than half of my current life, even a couple of seasons in college! I draw a lot of inspiration from sports without realizing.

Tell us about your first pair of Docs . . .

I remember wanting a pair in High School but never getting them. I think my first pair of Docs were a pair of the floral boots I bought back when I was in college. I’m not sure why I ended up going with floral because it would have been predictable for me to get the black boots. Maybe that’s why I went with floral. I don’t have them anymore because I had bought a size too small and finally realized they were too small. I’m glad to say I now own a few pairs and they are on rotation depending on my mood.

Shop the Pride boot here, Dr. Martens will be donating a portion from the sales of our Pride boot to The Trevor Project and The Albert Kennedy Trust.

Find Carra on Instagram here, and on Twitter here. Photography by Lauren Marek


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