Category: Misc

Activist Art Techniques

For my Artist Activist CoConspirators – a pdf of techniques:

Activist Art



In 2012 I fell in love with tablets. Lightweight enough to travel easily to organizing meetings (including those held in parks or tents) they also paired beautifully with projectors.At the time I was part of a group projecting political art onto buildings, an alternative style of street art. But I was still creating the art itself on a very expensive cumbersome setup. I was teaching ad hoc classes to people interested in graphics but the hardware was a barrier, both financially and physically. So toward the end of 2013 I began a 6 month experiment to see how far I could take art created on tablets.

It was an adjustment, I had to detach from years of expectations about what was possible and how to do things. But I was immediately impressed with just how much IS possible on a setup that cost a fraction of my other working environment. For the curious – I tried all the graphics Apps I could find, Artrage and SketchBook Pro were my favorites until I discovered ProCreate. While I did find that a ‘smart stylus’ (aka Bluetooth) was a must have, I also LOVE the ability to use my fingers. This one little tweak had long been missing from digital art, and tablet use gave it back to me.

I chose illustrating Twitter hashtag topics for my learning curve experiments. There were several reasons, but the one important to graphic artists is that I knew I wasn’t willing to give up the use of layers. Channels and masks (small sob) I could bear to live without, but not layers. Fortunately layers are very available in tablet art apps.

Looking back on these I can see the progression of comfort with the tools, the resulting pieces definitely got better over time. I’d estimate it took 4 months before I had anything I was pleased with (the Jonathan Ferrell portrait, 6th one below). But I got there and what a joy it is to paint digitally “en plain air”! Print quality is great at A4 and can be pushed up to A3+ without too much loss for most things. But the best part is knowing that the tools for creating digital fine art have become so much more accessible. This under $1000 setup can’t do everything I’m used to, but at a fifth of the cost it’s pretty amazing.

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Moral Monday


After my arrest for participating in Moral Monday a conservative hate group published the mugshots and other identifying details of the people arrested. Their intent was to doxx and intimidate, but I used the mugshots they were kind enough to gather in an art piece.

The digital version was printed in greyscale

Then mounted onto a 36″x48″ wood panel and overworked with brushed pigments.

Other Moral Monday pieces that used similar methods:

vote  education

choice environment

Projector Tagging

The people who run our cities dont understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit… The people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff…. Any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you, its yours to take, rearrange and reuse. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

― Banksy


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