hi y’all! long time, no update. i know, i know – i kinda suck at keeping up with this site. but truth be told, ever since my brain surgery last fall, i have been fairly blocked creatively and haven’t really been doing much art-ing. i’m trying to bust out of that inertia so hopefully i’ll have more to report soon.
but for now, i just wanted to make a quick post to tell you about this cool thing that happened recently. backstory: i’ve been on etsy since 2006, which is a really long time. and i’ve been selling stickers and t-shirts with my original designs for many of those years. but only recently have a few of my designs gotten interest from outside organizations wanting to license them! i’m pretty protective of my work and won’t just license my designs to anyone – so far i’ve only done it a few times and to non-profits whose missions i support and believe in.
in 2018 i licensed my “educate agitate organize” design to the davis-putter scholarship fund in louisville, ky, who made t-shirts to give out to their donors and recipients. it was really cool to have one of my activism-themed designs going back to the louisville community that took such good care of me in the post-katrina years. i didn’t know about dpsf before they approached me but turns out they are a really cool organization that supports young social justice activists. check them out!
and then earlier this year i got a query from planned parenthood of south texas about my “keep loving keep fighting” design. the first time they contacted me, they wanted to use the red design as-is for their e-newsletter around valentine’s day. so i said yes. and then they got back in touch with me last month because they wanted to make stickers to give out to their clients who come in for services. so we worked together to modify my design to fit their branding. i kinda love it in pink!
so if you know anyone in south texas who uses planned parenthood for their health services, tell ’em to go get their free sticker!
other than that, not much going on. i’ve been playing around with my teespring store trying to update it but in the process accidentally erased everything, so it will be a minute before i get it all sorted again. i’ll make a new post when i do. til then, hope everyone is doing well and getting ready for the summer!
remember when we all used to blog? well i’m gonna try to get back in the habit and stop relying on facebook so much.
in the last few days i have become aware of a few calls for art to inspire folks to get out to vote in the presidential election in november. which is, you know, kinda important. and i fully believe in the power of art to inspire, motivate and galvanize enthusiasm for the election.
I’m reaching out to ask you to join an army of artists, designers and creatives. Similar to the work we did in 2008 for the Obama campaign, I have hope that together we can inspire other artists and designers to express a single message we desperately need to hear. UNITE. IF WE UNITE, we can secure this election for a Biden/Harris victory and move past 45, and begin to heal this country. Whether you are a progressive activist, a part of the exhausted majority, or an ideal moderate, we need to all UNITE. We need to once again illustrate a word and begin the process of letting things manifest themselves. Let’s once again unleash our collective creativity.
i plan to create at least one design, if not more, and i just love the idea of a grassroots visual uprising to bring people together to defeat the fascist in the white house. i encourage you to do so too!
the second comes from a new nola local organization, creative community league, seeking designs for a GOTV postcard campaign. here’s the post directly from facebook:
CALLING ALL ARTISTS: $100 for a winning Get Out The Vote (GOTV) postcard design
November elections are right around the corner! In an effort to support local Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns, Creative Community League will offer FREE GOTV postcards to advocates and allies working in Louisiana.To support local artists, Creative Community League invites artists and creators to submit a design for a 4×6 postcard. From the submissions, three designs will be chosen. Artists of winning designs will be awarded $100 each. Deadline to submit a design is August 30. Designs should be full-color, 3 1/4” W x 3 3/4” H, and 300 dpi. Please send the image as a pdf to Amanda Sanfilippo at email@example.com.
Launched in 2020, Creative Community League is an initiative that utilizes cultural strategies for movement building, supporting artists, storytelling, and other dynamic community engagement in moving reproductive and sexual awareness into creative spaces. Creative Community League is funded by the Packard Foundation. Visit us on Facebook at Creative Community League. For additional questions or if you would like a FREE order of 50 GOTV postcards, email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
sounds like a cool idea and i’m excited to hear about the new local effort. i’ll see if can come up with something.
the third i just learned about this weekend while attending netroots nation at home, this year’s all-virtual iteration of the annual progressive activist gathering that i’ve always wanted to go to but never managed to afford. this year on a whim i decided to apply for a scholarship as even their reduced covid-affected rate was more than i could handle financially, and surprisingly, they approved me!
it was a great experience, i learned a ton, and i was able to take part in several design-related panels/trainings, amongst so many others. during one of the diy design sessions, i decided to post in the chat about the above UNITY call for art, and was immediately approached by a woman from people for the american way (PFAW), who recently launched their own national “art the vote” campaign with the theme of enough of trump. they’ve enlisted several big name artists like shepard fairey, carrie mae weems, jeffrey gibson, tatyana fazlalizadeh, ed ruscha, deborah kass, and others, and launched a kickstarter to fund billboards in key swing states featuring these artists’ works.
the kickstarter page explains that if they reach their goal – and they did, in fact they quadrupled it! – they will expand beyond the 12 artists they started with into other states. and so while i don’t see an explicit call for art on a grassroots level, i don’t see why folks shouldn’t use this theme to make your own version to spread wherever you live or online. i’ll update here if i learn anything more.**
so, there you have it. some inspiration. i frankly wanted to write this all down mostly for myself, so i’d remember to use these prompts to make something. it’s been hard over these last five months to feel inspired, frankly. but it’s time to get back to it, for my own mental health. i’ll show you whatever i come up with – you show me yours!
**edited 8/18 to add: upon reading the social media toolkit on the enough of trump website, i did find their “get involved” details:
Want to submit your own artistic entry? Make your own post on Twitter with whatever art you’d like – a drawing, song, poem, anything!
Make sure to tag @peoplefor AND use both #EnoughOfTrump and #ArtTheVote in your post so we can find your entries – and we might retweet you!
(When you submit content to PFAW, you grant PFAW permission and a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to post or display your content on PFAW’s website and any other PFAW media platform. Content you submit must be your own original work and not the work of a third party.)
i really don’t know. i am HORRIBLE about updating here. really – if you’ve stumbled across this page and think you might be interested in what i do, please don’t rely on this website for your means of information about me! it’s been MONTHS since i updated here. (scroll down to the bottom of this post and i’ll list the other ways you can follow me more in real-time.)
but just cuz i don’t update here regularly doesn’t mean i haven’t been doing stuff. let’s see… since the “educate agitate organize” shirt design, i made a “dyke witches don’t play” button on a whim, and then i made a more generic “witches don’t play” sticker with the best hashtag ever – #youVEXweHEX. and then i even cut a stencil so i could print off a few tshirts of the “dyke witches” design so my friends could have them to wear at voodoo festival.
yeah, they are kinda silly but in these past few months, what with the protest and outcry about the kavanaugh hearings and every crazy thing 45 does and the midterm elections, i’ve just really been feeling the power and fierceness of the witches in my life and wanted to make a little something for them/us. i mostly have given the buttons and stickers away and sent them out to my patreon supporters, but maybe at some point i’ll sell a few. i do have a few tshirts on hand of the “dyke witches” design and both designs are up on my teespring store for sale.
the other big development is that in a completely surprising turn of events, i’ve been experimenting with abstract expressionist painting in my living room. small canvases for now, cuz my living room is really small (!), but i put a dropcloth down and work on several canvases at once… and it’s been really fun! and i did post a few pics on social media and folks seem to like them! i haven’t gotten to the point of feeling comfortable enough with this style to want to sell anything yet, but well, the holidays ARE coming up so maybe that’s the perfect time to try to get rid of everything that’s piling up in my living room studio! stay tuned for announcements about that.
i’m trying to get myself together for the holidays, but it’s so hard when my day job gets so much busier at this time of year too. at this point, i only have one holiday market scheduled and it’s not even in new orleans – it’s in chico, california on december 1st! i’m traveling out there to visit my best pal and her partner, and they signed me up for this bazaar at an artist’s studio. so i’m trying to figure out what to bring out there, what i can fit into one suitcase. more on that when i have more of the details.
i guess that’s it for now. but if you want to follow my art adventures in a more timely fashion, please follow me on: facebook, instagram, and/or patreon. oh, and etsy.
i literally whipped this up last night after a very long day of work and finished it this morning before i went to work. i wanted to have SOMETHING that i had created for this big immigration-themed protest tomorrow, though i’m now realizing i won’t have time to cut it as a stencil and make any posters. but i will try to print at least one out on my fancy new large format color printer and see what they look like, just so i can have one to carry.
this one above is the rectangular version, the original version. but then when i went to put it up on facebook as my profile pic, i realized it needed to be square so i stretched it out and made a low-res square version as well (below). i think it actually looks better as a square but for printing purposes i think the rectangle will probably work better.
if i can figure out how to upload a high res file to my website, i will offer it as a free download. stay tuned. feel free to snatch and/or share one of these versions for online use. i’d appreciate credit or a link back to this site or my fb or insta profiles, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
i have no idea, but here we are. which also means, it’s almost black friday, small business saturday, cyber monday, and giving tuesday. i have not traditionally participated in any of the thanksgiving weekend consumer bonanzas, as either a buyer or a seller, and have only become aware of giving tuesday recently. i certainly advocate the latter – seriously, check out the link and please do give to local nonprofits and organizations that serve your community – but you won’t be seeing any crazy sales from me this weekend or throughout the holiday shopping rush.
why? a) because it takes a lot of time to administer these types of things online, and between my pet biz being busier than ever and going on a weeklong vacation the week AFTER thanksgiving, i simply don’t have time to deal with it. also, b) because i don’t have a ton of inventory and i desperately need to actually make money on what i do have, to make up for all the money i’ve spent making the things. i basically can’t afford to run a sale. and c) because i keep my prices low already, year-round. i don’t do that retail trick of bumping my prices up high and then lowering them only for sales. maybe that’s bad business and why i don’t really end up making much if any money off my art/design “hobby,” but i just can’t feel good about charging higher prices for things. i try to have a fair price that makes me some money but doesn’t gouge you, my supporters. so my shirts are still $20, while most retailers now charge between $22-$28. i prefer that my stuff is accessible to more folks at a reasonable price. so sorry, no black friday or cyber monday sales at artbymags.
all that being said, i have been in the throes of restocking my etsy shop so i actually have something to sell this holiday season. at the moment, i have a good amount of resist shirts (mens/unisex as well as women’s, most in black but a few in white) and keep loving keep fighting shirts (mens/unisex only right now). and i just finished printing a short run of sister resister shirts in both mens/unisex and women’s. there’s a few other odds and ends (still have some not gay as in happy shirts in red and grey) and ) and i’m fantasizing about reprinting some of my older designs at some point (like the rocket ship, old school turntable, and fleur de lis skull) but i’ll have to sell some of what i’ve got to afford to do that.
there’s still lots of stickers available for purchase for next to nothing (they make great stocking stuffers) and there’s a couple of paintings and hopefully some prints coming soon. maybe some yard signs if i have the time to make ’em.
and i’m still tossing around the possibility of doing a little backyard holiday sale, maybe december 9th or 10th? we’ll see how things are going and if i still have a fair amount of inventory by then. might have to be later, closer to christmas. but i do have lots of one-offs, new old stock, and oops shirts for the bargain bin, and i have a bunch of paintings and prints that are stacking up around here that could use a new home. so stay tuned. i’ll try my best to announce it on all social media ahead of time.
and lastly, i’ve been spending a lot of time pondering what to do with my patreon account. i’ve had it going now for 2 years and i’ve had a loyal group of about 15-20 folks who’ve been giving me $5 or $10 a month to help support my artistic pursuits, which has allowed me to have start-up funds for things like sticker runs and runs of tshirts, and has helped me buy equipment like my 4 color screen printing press and just last week a new wide format inkjet printer so i can print film transparencies. but i feel constantly guilty cuz i haven’t been so great at sending out rewards to my patrons, as my output has been low these past 6 months or so as i try to build up my screen printing capability by slowly outfitting my home studio with equipment and supplies, and as my pet biz has gotten busier. some days i feel so guilty i just want to delete it, be done with it, while apologizing profusely to my patrons and refunding some of their money. but instead, because so many of them have told me they don’t expect anything in return and are happy to be supporting me, and because it is really truly helpful financially and also motivational, i’m thinking maybe what i need to do is instead double down on my patreon – refresh it, retool it, rethink the rewards portion of it, and publicize the hell out of it to get more supporters. i’m not really sure which way i’ll end up deciding to go, but i can’t really do anything with it til after the holidays. but it’s on my mind and i’m trying to figure out how to keep using it to help further my creative endeavors while also offering some kind of value to those who support me.
i guess that’s it for now, from me. just wanted to make a little pre-holiday-madness update to let y’all know what’s going on with art by mags. happy thanksgiving everyone!