Hannah Miller (she/her/hers)

Growing: the Journey to Self-Advocacy and Acceptance is graphic novel for kids that discusses self-advocacy and acceptance. I wanted to create a relatable, visual environment. I created Growing because self-advocacy is often taught too late in life. Teaching kids to stand up for themselves and others will only improve their self-esteem, communication skills, and empathy for others. Finding your voice is a big part of growing up. I am still finding my voice as a 23-year-old because open communication was not something modeled for me as a kid. I want to create characters that any kid could look at and say “they’re just like me!” There are no shortage of hurdles on the journey from childhood into adulthood. Instead of avoiding hard truths and dismissing natural curiosity, we should praise kids’ inquiring minds and prepare them for all that is ahead of them.

The goal of this series is to give kids the vocabulary to ask for help and understand they deserve to be heard. This is also a tool for guardians and teachers to start conversations about self-advocacy. One of my primary goals was to challenge myself with this project. While I have always enjoyed illustrating, it is certainly not what I am most confident in doing. Since I was a kid I have loved all kinds of cartoons, comics, and animation. I wanted to create something with tangible emotions similar to the characters that raised me.

I am a graphic designer that strives to create accessible, inclusive design. Design is a powerful tool that can be beautiful, empowering, and fluid. I believe that growing up doesn’t mean losing your creativity, humor, and curiosity. I try to bring that piece of me into all my projects.