As part of my promise to serve my communities, I’ve been doing some pro bono work for Black Lives Matter purposes. I’m contributing to the cause in my own way.
One of my projects during this time was for an organization called Protect OurSelves. A community-focused group founded by Kansas City activist and recording artist Royce “Sauce” Handy, Protect OurSelves has four core beliefs: defense, education, self-sufficiency, and investment. These tenets support Black communities by empowering people with the tools and strategies to decrease the reliance on groups that have historically abused their power over them. Protect OurSelves is meant to reinforce connections between people who are already doing this type of activism in their communities and neighborhoods.
As usual, I started the process on paper (technically it was an index card) to avoid falling into the trap of relying on mechanical vector shapes and to allow for greater freedom of creativity.
I immediately wanted to draw a four-sided shape to depict the organization’s four values. The shape can either be interpreted as a shelter surrounding the community or a foundation that supports the community. Either way, it concisely illustrates the concept of the organization as a whole. I also started playing around with a pattern to represent multiple communities working together as a network.
I drew inspiration from African hand-painted textile patterns and simple hand-drawn shapes to convey the grassroots nature of the organization.
Typically, I do several rounds of refinement based on client feedback, but this time was different. I was so pleased with this particular mark that I just had to sell it as-is and see it through to completion. (And I got the job delivered to the client way ahead of schedule too!) Luckily, my client was thrilled with it! And just in time for his birthday too!