for the last couple of months i’ve been focused on this design, which i sketched out by hand in the days after the pulse nightclub shooting in orlando back in june. in the week following that horrible event, i was using #keeplovingkeepfighting as a hashtag on social media, in solidarity with the victims, the orlando community and the greater lgbtq community. i drew the graphic as a visual representation of the hashtag, knowing as soon as i drew it that i wanted it to be a t-shirt design… which i originally hoped to print up to wear to our own gay pride parade here in new orleans.
well, that didn’t end up happening – it took me a lot longer than i expected to get the pen and ink design worked up properly and then a screen made so i could print t’s – and in the mean time, #altonsterling and then #philandocastille were shot and killed by police and i attended a rally first in new orleans that drew thousands to lee circle in support of #blacklivesmatter and then in baton rouge, la which turned into a super scary standoff with heavily militarized riot police. i wished again i’d had the shirt ready to wear by then, but instead i made signs to hold at both rallies that simply said “keep loving, keep fighting.”
i realized that this hashtag, this phrase, embodied the sentiment i most wanted to put out to the world in the wake of all the awfulness happening around us. and i realized that it was a sentiment that transcended many different social justice pursuits. because it is a reminder to both keep loving – ourselves and each other, taking care of ourselves and each other, with love always in our hearts – AND to keep fighting, keep persevering, keep struggling for our rights and for justice. it is a sentiment of inspiration, of hope, of strength, of resistance, of community, of love.
and so, finally, weeks later, i had made a screen and got some blank shirts and printed some up. i wasn’t even sure it was going to look right as a one-color t-shirt design, but as it turns out, i think it looks great. eye-catching. i’ve sold a few here and there via fb and word of mouth, and now the rest are up for sale in my etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/artbymags. i have both red/black and grey/black versions. $20 + s/h… while supplies last. (limited supply so don’t sleep!)
i’m working on an order for stickers with this design right now, and intend to make some 12″ x 12″ paper prints using spray paint backgrounds, so stay tuned.