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EPIC Bee was inspired by the logo for Upton Sinclair’s EPIC movement (End Poverty In California) from the 1930s. The original EPIC bee logo had the words “I Produce. I Defend.” I wrote a little about it on the Justseeds blog.

In my work as a housing activist in San Francisco, I’ve found it important to ground our work in three aspects of how we relate to housing: Protection for low-income renters and tenants, Preservation of the existing housing stock in our gentrifying communities, and Production of new permanently affordable housing. The collective work of bee colonies to protect the hive, produce honey and preserve for future generations seemed a perfect fit for illustrating the “Three P’s.”

Rather than copy the delicious Art Deco bee of the logo, I studied bee anatomy to draw my own, though I exaggerated the stinger to match the original. Did you know bees have three extra eyes on top of their heads called ocelli? I drew them in, but they’re pretty small and you can’t really tell in the print…