Pin Design: #ElPasoStrong Poppy Pin.
Pin and backing card design in remembrance of those lost in the August 3, 2019 mass shooting in El Paso, TX and the uniting of a community.
Mi ofrenda para el gente de El Paso:​​​​​​​ $10.00 of each pin sold will go directly to the El Paso Victims’ Education Fund - a scholarship fund for the children of those shot and injured or killed during the August 3rd, 2019 shooting in El Paso, TX.
During the days after the racial-driven mass shooting at a Wal-Mart in EL Paso, TX in the summer of 2019, I spent my time drawing and designing graphics in tribute to the people affected by the event, looking for a way to ease my mind. I was taken back by the news and it hit close to home when I realized it could easily happen in my hometown where my family--all of brown skin as well--still resides,often shopping at Wal-Mart. After several  days of designing and drawing, I remembered the poppy flowers that grow in the mountains of El Paso. When I was first told of these and shown images of the flowers, I was pretty floored how wonderfully peaceful they appear in massive fields of orange color across the rough desert landscape. After a few drawings, I knew this flower would be the core of my larger creative response to the event wherein whatever I would create, I would reproduce to raise money for those directly affected in El Paso.

I played heavily with symbolism in this piece to give the end product deeper meaning. The poppy flowers that flourish across the mountainous area of West Texas symbolize strength and endurance. The star is the harmony that shines within every person born here, for the future they will cultivate, and an ode to the illuminated star that sits atop the Franklin Mountains. The Antique Gold finish symbolizes the experience of the elders and all they teach. Both flower and star are encircled to represent unity during peace and during tragedy. The back is struck with the hashtag that was adopted by El Pasoans, "#ELPASOSTRONG" (and stamped with Awake & Moving branding as well). The backing cards are printed with Metallic Gold ink to represent the sun-kissed hearts that El Pasoans have shown me. I chose to print on brown paper as a nod to my fellow brown people and a reflection of the earthy landscape of El Chuco. Finally, the pin is cast in a slightly larger-than-common size of 1.25" diameter because everything's bigger in Texas.
While waiting for pins to arrive, I put the finishing touches on my flatstock press in my home studio with the intention of the backing cards to be the first project printed. After a few iterations, I designed the front to have plenty of negative space that would allow this larger pin design to stand on it's own, emboldened by the#elpasostrong hashtag in Beastly up top. On back, I included a breakdown of the pin design's symbolism with Awake & Moving's standard info as well as a golden heart to represent my love to all who are affected--those I know and those I don't. This card also has an Easter egg that can only be seen when purchased.

With anything I create, I make extra time for picking out supplies & materials that will help limit my environmental impact. The backing card of this project is hand-pulled by yours truly on a press I upcycled with no additional power attached--straight analog. I chose French Paper Co.'s super eco-friendly Speckletone Chocolate and water-based Metallic Gold ink. Speckletone is French Paper Co.'s recycled paper line and when coupled with water-based ink,we get a finished product that is environmentally-conscious. (Small steps.) For further context, French Paper Co. is a 6-generation hydro-electric plant making some amazing papers with a limited carbon footprint in Niles, MI for over 140 years. (Big steps.)

I am extremely happy with the results and urge you to help a great cause!

Designed and printed in Austin, TX on U.S.-made paper with an upcycled DIY printing press.
For requests of my creative services, please contact me directly at:

blue73100@gmail.com
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