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Art and Protest, and Extinction is Forever

June 16, 2020

Since my main gig painting murals has been postponed indefinitely due to COVID, I’ve been looking elsewhere for ways to make a living making art, and I’ve been lucky to get a few small commissions and design gigs in the interim period, like this small design for the Endangered Species Coalition. Making a living as an artist is a strange and liminal space at the best of times, and in our current predicament it’s even stranger. When you couple that with a desire to address the situation without exploiting it, you end up with a lot to consider. It’s been pretty powerful to watch the way that people are responding to and engaging with the protests against police violence in Portland, OR, where I live, and to observe the quality and power of the small, angry, handmade cardboard signs that are the most common thing being waved. I thought about setting up a screenprinting station to make some patches or print some slogans or designs from the Justseeds graphics page on placards for people to take, but I haven’t gotten around to doing it, because in part I think that people are making their own points and are pretty clear about why they’re in the street. Demanding justice for black lives takes more than art, it takes courage. It also demands a sign that isn’t precious, is compact, durable and clear, and is something that isn’t going to slow you down when you’re running from the cops. If I figure out a way to make something that suits those needs I guess I might try to take it to an event and make some prints, but for now it seems like it’s probably best to just keep showing up.

Ecology & AnimalsGlobal SolidarityInspirationPolice & PrisonsRacial Justice

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