This year has been pockmarked by global pandemic, natural disaster, economic uncertainty, and social unrest. Everyone in the world has been impacted. In March, we watched our sales drop as America became rightfully concerned about Covid-19. We quickly developed a cotton mask with a removable filter, and were able to offer it at a time when masks were in short supply. This pivot enabled us to retain all our staff and absorb financial losses in wholesale. Making masks made us feel less helpless.
Six months later, wholesale orders are starting to return, yet Covid-19 is still very present. I walked my kids in their masks to school today for the first time in 200 days. I could feel their anxiety as they bravely waited in line to enter school. Another "new normal" we'll adapt to.
As we emerge from our bunkers, many understand Covid-19 isn't going away anytime soon, and waiting this out is not a viable option for most. We have to adapt and overcome. Fortunately, we've learned masks in conjunction with social distancing and hand washing are highly effective in preventing the spread of the virus.
I am so proud of all the businesses who had to adapt this year in order to see another day. You are not alone, which is why ARTIFACT wanted to create a poster promoting solidarity and public safety, while everyone continues to lock horns with 2020, and probably 2021 too.
I've always enjoyed WPA (Works Progress Administration) style art from the 1930s and 40's - with it's simplified imagery, rich colors, and rolled sleeves. It seems highly appropriate considering the present environment.
Omaha has several creative gems who keep their head down, producing amazing work on a national level. One of my favorites is Illustrator Matt Carlson (of Plaid Mtn). In looking at Matt's work there was little doubt in my mind a love of WPA style resides in his creative DNA. I reached out to see if there was any chance he might be interested in helping me with a poster. He was interested!
Matt and I talked out about our mutual love of poster art. I shared inspiration pieces from my collection, and we discussed the tone and messaging for the ARTIFACT poster. Then, I let the wizard get to work.
When you seek someone for their unique talents, you have to give them space to do what they do. This requires clear communication regarding design requirements in the beginning - so there is minimal creative disruption midstream.
Matt's early sketches roused my excitement. It intensified as he refined each draft. It's a special feeling to be around someone who is really good at what they do. A contagious, addictive energy.
Silk-screened art posters are new territory for ARTIFACT. A numbered edition of 200 felt impactful, yet still intimate. They were printed at Ink Tank Merch in Omaha, and I am so tickled by the outcome. I look forward to working with Matt and Ink Tank on more projects.
Posters are available at artifactbags.com. Proceeds go to CDC Foundation. Below are articles containing facts in support of wearing cloth masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stay safe. Know you are not alone. United we will succeed!