With many of us restricting our enjoyment of so many social outlets, it’s become increasingly important for IPaintMyMind to mobilize efficient and impactful ways of connecting the communities we work with through our Get Art, Give Back model. This is exactly why our focus for these T-shirt releases is the nexus of art and activism. It’s where creativity and expression blend with a vision for the future for all of us, not just one stretched canvas.
Since our rebrand in 2018 we’ve launched a few pieces of merch, our original EQT shirt and hoodie, as well as our Support Chicago Schools effort. For each of those, we worked with Jason Teegarden-Downs of Delicious Design League to reassign the great art they created for their alphabet series a few years back for our Equality, Creativity, Collaboration t-shirt.
It turned out perfectly with the help of our friends at 608 Threads in Madison, WI as well as our new on-demand t-shirt fundraising store on Bonfire.com. And this year, we’ve honed in on that with our Equity, Creativity, Collaboration T’s and Hoodies and well as our black variant on the theme.
Those projects, as well as our print release with Sam Kirk and Grae Rosa earlier this year, made it clear that there was room to connect through more art releases that would give our artists, clients, schools, and supporters, something creative and impactful to be a part of, even if it’s just from your home.
As a result we’ve begun to release t-shirts and hoodies in collaboration with our artist-friends to not only help fund our work, but also to overlap with other great local organizations deserving of support. This falls perfectly into line with the Impact Advisory work our Board of Directors and leadership are engaged in right now, as we continue to work to be the type of organization we want to see in the world.
Luckily, the incredibly talented artists we work with make it increasingly easy for us to play our role as connector, and as someone who loves to take a spark and turn it into something real, we saw some cool opportunities to collaborate in a way that helps fund our FREE art programs in underestimated communities, but also helps the artists we work with earn, while giving the public cool, comfy gear to show the values we share.
As such we’ll be releasing the two projects you can read about below, as well as other fun releases that are in the works.
You can access all our Art Merch Releases by visiting our Bonfire Store or by hovering over Get Involved in our Main Menu and clicking on ‘T-Shirts & Hoodies.’
When our friend Kat Sampson, artist and Art Teacher at North River Elementary, released her RBG stickers in a limited edition, we were like, ‘you better release more of those!’ And she did! But then we got to thinking that a t-shirt version would be pretty amazing, and what better time than now to honor RBG and get out a message of democracy, participation, and encouraging everyone to VOTE!
As such, we are making 5 color versions available! Are these rad or what?!
This t-shirt will benefit two sources! 50% will fund art supplies for the kids at North River Elementary where Kat Sampson works as a Chicago Public School art teacher. The other 50% will fund IPaintMyMind’s ongoing partnership with North River, ensuring their teachers and students receive the arts education and resources they deserve!
As IPMM thought more about products that could help expand our mission, support artists, and engage our backers, Sam and I started playing around with phrases that felt emblematic of our bottom line on all of these social fever pitches. I personally have always been drawn to Peter Tosh’s concise way of boiling it all down to ‘Equal Rights and Justice.’
And you don’t have to look farther than Sam Kirk for an example.
Sam is an incredible artist who I don’t think ever sleeps. She always has multiple projects going on and IPMM has been thrilled to have her in the mix since she joined the Board of Directors last year.
As we tried phrases on for size, this one stood out, and felt not only perfect for the moment we are living, but also is perfectly in line with IPMM’s ethos since its inception. The idea was centered around finding a phrase that said it plain and that said it clearly. Then we came up with the idea of Sam’s awesome figurative work existing inside IPaintMyMind’s headline font, Noir Pro Bold and we landed on a keeper.
The result is a detailed yet bold design that represents our shared values. The t-shirt is only available here and 50% of proceeds will benefit a Black-led trans-led LGBTQ organization on Chicago’s South Side with the other 50% going to support our free art programs at IPaintMyMind. More details will be available before November 2nd.
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