Artists Send Printable Messages of Love and Gratitude with 'Windows of Hope'
By Sarah Murry
One of the most unexpected things to come out of this global pandemic is how people from all walks of life have been moved to marshall the spirits of others in their community. Whether it’s with colorful chalk art on sidewalks, care packages left on porches for delivery drivers, or the nightly outpouring of appreciation for healthcare workers — they’re showing small acts of kindness from home while the world waits out this crisis.
For those stuck indoors, windows have become prime real estate for sharing these messages of support and hope. HP has partnered with talented artists, designers, and illustrators to create a shareable gallery of colorful, illustrated posters called #WindowsofHope that will fill our windows, doors, and front porches with messages of love and appreciation.
Designed by artists from all over the world including Aaron Draplin, Laura Callaghan, Noma Bar, Jessica Hische, Kelly Malka, Kanae Sato, and notably, Shepard Fairey, these 35 original works are free for anyone to download, print, and display. Or, the digital files can be used for desktop wallpapers and video call backgrounds.
“During these weird, unknown times, with all of us isolated in place, I feel as though art has been such an invaluable connective tissue between our individual isolated bubbles,” says Malka, a California-based designer and illustrator who has worked with brands including Twitter, Pantone, and Reebok. “Art has always felt incredibly important to me, but right now, I think it’s more vital than ever.”
The Garage got a chance to talk to some of these artists about their vision for #WindowsofHope and how they’re fairing while under lockdown.
“I think art can be some kind of medicine for the soul, it helps to brighten up your day, at least a little bit,” says Dennis Schuster, a Berlin-based illustrator who goes by DXTR. He characterizes his style as “pop surrealism” which springs from his graffiti roots. His #WindowsofHope piece, called Thank You, is a tribute to the healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients on the front lines. In it, a figure in green scrubs holding a purple-snaked staff of Asclepius rides proudly astride a flying sparrow. “The scene I illustrated describes the point of defeating the virus gloriously and is praise for all the hardworking healthcare professionals out there fighting for our good,” he says. “We owe them.” These days, his work has taken on new meaning. “I prefer to work on projects that share an important message and bring positive vibes,” he says.
“These times that we’re in are giving greater clarity to my creative goals and are creating a greater resolve to make a positive difference in this world through my art.” —Jeremy Ville (aka Jeremyville)
The collaborative brothers Juan and Alejandro Mingarro behind Brosmind describe themselves as “friends, enemies, illustrators, artists, amateur tech designers, and video enthusiasts.” Yet their candy-colored cartoons — which have appeared everywhere from beer labels to music fests — project nothing but love lately. Their piece for #WindowsofHope, called Distant But Together, features a bubble gum-pink pair hugging it out. “With it, we wanted to say that there is no wall, street, road, or ocean that can separate us from our loved ones,” the duo says. Their creative process hasn’t changed much under the constraints of social isolation (they live a few miles apart) but like most working parents, they’ve become productivity ninjas. “Since we started working from our homes with our families and kids around, we’ve been forced to optimize our time. We’ve learned to get super-focused.”
Illustrator and designer Kelly Malka doesn’t shy away from weighty subjects — her work features political and social justice themes with a focus on women’s bodies, mental healthcare, sustainability, and other global issues. Her piece for #WindowsofHope is a reminder of the critical role each of us must play by practicing social distancing to keep essential workers and those with compromised immune systems safe and healthy. “Even though it’s tough staying home for this extended period of time, it’s truly the least we can do right now,” she says. “Staying in for those out there risking their well-being to keep us safe is such a small, doable gesture of gratitude to all the essential workers keeping our world afloat.” Malka explains that her work has taken on a different tone amid the pandemic. “I’ve been trying to create more art that feels communal. Right now, I’m focused on trying to illustrate emotions to help people express and feel what they can’t while isolated.”
Jeremy Ville (aka Jeremyville)
Sydney and New York
The co-founder of Studio Jeremyville with creative director Megan Mair, Jeremy Ville has created art anddesigns for iconic brands like the New York Times, Lacoste, Apple, and the Brooklyn Museum. But it’s his fans on social media who have proven the most receptive to his thought-provoking “community service announcements” that inspire followers with messages of environmental action, social change, and inner growth. His #JeremyvilleCSA project is an international art movement with more than 2,000 artworks shared via public art installations, sculptures, animation, street newspapers, and Instagram. He says that #WindowsofHope is a project that’s “perfectly aligned with our mission of giving back to the community, and our aim to bring positive change and beauty to people’s daily lives.” His piece, called Find the Sunshine in Our Mind, came to him during meditation, inspired by the idea that we all can go inwards to find a state of positivity, he says. These days, he’s holed up in Long Island, New York, where he spends time sketching in the garden, with birds chirping all around. “We can all create a garden in our minds, sit at a table, escape life for a while, and think,” he says.