Cherubs find unique ways to stick together

Lily Dozier edits a sticker design. One of her creations appears on the water bottle. Photo illustration by Hannah Cole

Nora Fellas sits down in a busy hallway, sets her bag on the ground and grabs her purple water bottle covered in dozens of stickers, including a custom Medill one with angel wings framing the word “cherubs.”

“I like to show off my interests, opinions, style and aesthetic through stickers,” Fellas said. “I have them all over my laptop. I have them on my water bottle. I particularly like Lily’s stickers because much like the Medill period sweatshirt, they’re an inside thing for everybody in cherubs.”

A few sticker options turned into 15 when Lily Dozier decided to make the stick-on artwork for each memorable moment this summer. Dozier took to Photoshop to transform her pictures into designs that commemorate the 2019 Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute.

Lily made her first creation after seeing a lack of selections on Redbubble, an online site that puts customers’ designs onto stickers, T-shirts and coffee mugs. She started with the angel wings design and then quickly got more ideas from fellow cherubs.

While Lily was chatting with Lauren Balser, she joked about how “journalism is a reverse popularity contest” and figured it would make an amusing sticker. She quoted her joke in the font Chalkboard SE and made the sticker.

Lauren Balser covers her laptop with stickers, including Medill cherubs designs. Photo illustration by Hannah Cole

Lily captured laughable moments of students, instructors and the raccoon stationed on the Fisk Hall fire escape. Her favorite sticker features a photo of Emmet Jamieson.

“It’s a picture of Emmet smiling and underneath it, it says, ‘We don’t need Google when we have Emmet!’” Lily said. “John Kupetz said that quote because every time someone asks a question, Emmet has the answer.”

Lily said she also decided to make stickers for the instructors when they wore costumes or said funny quotes during lectures, like Kupetz’s phrase, “There’s no crying in journalism.” She once snapped a picture and created a sticker of instructor Joe Grimm during the Chicago boat trip while he waved a sailor’s hat.

“I took that one picture of Joe waving to all of us from the bridge, and I knew it would be a hit,” Lily said. “I just figured it could be fun to make stickers of the other instructors too so their students could have them.”

The instructor groups immediately bought the merchandise, at around $3 to $12 per sticker, to showcase their mentors and support their team.

Sophie Boyce bought stickers for her instructor group. She said the design could represent their group, the Grimm Reapers, and the team’s love for their favorite teacher.

The instructors said they appreciated the artwork, too.

“It’s so amazing,” Joe said. “I have never been on a sticker, and I might never be on a sticker again. I had no idea that cherubs could lead to this kind of thing. People have done stickers for cherubs before but not to this extreme degree.”

Lily managed to celebrate a summer full of experiences and laughs with stick-on decorations.

“If I saw somebody else who had a cherub sticker, I would know that they went to cherubs and remember them,” Nora said. “Every time I drink out of my water bottle, I’m going to see my cherubs sticker and think, ‘That was the best summer of my life.’”

Click here to explore Lily’s Redbubble collection.