College Artist Corner

Popular Design Sickness

Posted by: Amiris J. Brown on: May 11, 2012

According to The Huffington Post article, Seller Offers Gun Range Targets Meant to Resemble Trayvon Martin by Gene Demby, the “… hood-clad figure holding an iced tea and a bag of Skittles [was] meant to look like Trayvon Martin” (source). That same article goes on to quote from another news source that the seller boasted that, “I sold out in two days” (source). Stories like this make me stop and ponder. Are the only people getting rich quick off of artistic expressions savvy bigot propagandists? After all, not only was I not successful in reaching my KickStarter goal to create a full tunnel mural instead of a partial one along with the funding I needed to produce a documentary, but I have had no luck in selling any of my politically inspired t-shirt designs. I thought surely I’d have some luck with a treading cause, like the 2010 Deep-Water Horizon gulf oil [leak] dubbed as a “spill” which inspired my t-shirt design “Oiled.” I ended up not having any luck at all selling that.

I often wonder if this has something to do with the stratification such causes attract, like often either being more progressive or more conservative. Whereas the more conservative the cause, the more funding it seems to obtain. This is not to say rich progressives are to blame, but rather I offer this thought as a moment for progressives to look in the mirror. A moment to acknowledge that while progressives may be more humble regarding income, we certainly possess the power of numbers in our increasing persuasiveness (as long as religion is not involved). So instead of just voting politically, people should harness the power of voting with their wallet on the type of world they wish to promote. We do currently live in a consumer driven society after all. One dollar from many is worth more than a lump sum from one rich individual, and until that is realized there will be more opportunists than actual agents of change.



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