Artist David Heredia Is Drawing His Way To A More Inclusive Cartoon Universe — And Success

Photo credit: David Heredia

Dads We Love: David Heredia of Heredia Designs

How did you begin designing your multi-cultural characters?

I had moved to California from NY, and there weren’t a lot of people here from the Caribbean. I wanted to educate people about my Dominican culture; how the music was and how the people looked. I had been doing logo design for CD’s and small businesses and that’s when I began designing multi-cultural characters.

 I created prints and each print would have a flag and a unique cartoon character that would be dressed in traditional clothing and carry a traditional instrument from that country. I started off with seven countries and people just loved it. I would go to art shows and they would ask me, “Do you have my country?” That’s how it grew. Now I have 45 countries represented in the collection. I have to credit part of my success to the different organizations, such as The Boys Club of America, and the YMCA, who found the collection and wanted to display my work.

Apart from the beauty of the design, what I like is that it has an educational aspect as well.

I agree. It has educational value. It targets both adults and kids. I try to represent the people of each nation well, so I do a lot of research. The drawing is easy but the research takes the longest!

Are you drawing by hand or with a computer program?

I draw by hand first, then scan and color it on the computer. Every design is individually made.

How would you describe your style?

My biggest influence has come from graffiti. When I was in high school, I went to the High School of Art and Design. I majored in cartooning. I really developed my style there. I loved GI Joe, Thundercats, and the great cartoons of the 80’s. I definitely took that urban influence into my style, but I design it so that it’s appealing to everyone.

What current projects are you working on?

I have a short- and a long-term goal. One thing I hope to accomplish using the characters I already have is to start a children’s book series. I would like to get it into the Board of Education. Multi-cultural education is sorely needed in the school system, especially in California. Long-term, I would like to use the books to create an animated series. I think it will have a good chance! I want to get the message out there that while we may have many different flags, we may play different music and eat different foods, we have many more similarities than differences.

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