Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president way back when in 2015, artists have been simultaneously inspired and frightened by President Cheeto. Anaheim artist Rose Feduk is one of them. She has managed to raise $525 in her first month of selling “I’m with You” patches on her Etsy shop for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Feduk says she made patches out of practicality because it’s easy to produce in large amounts, and their long history as symbols of resistance within the punk community. “I wanted to make something you can wear,” she says. “That you can show people, ‘I’m with you.'”
Feduk approaches the creative process with more urgency since the election and the inauguration, asking “What can I contribute with my art to make things better?” And she’s not alone.
Cypress-based illustrator Jenny Park made a poster for a Hamilton singalong benefiting charities that protect those most targeted by Trump. “I wanted to make a poster in solidarity,” Park says. After raising $155 for the Immigration Center for Women and Children, she eventually made it free online and it made an appearance at the Women’s March in LA.
Before the current political climate, Park felt that her art didn’t really have the voice to be political. “Is that my audience? Will they take me seriously?” she says. “Now, though, the political environment is welcoming for my art,” and she hopes to do more of this kind of work in the future. For example, she’s digging into her degree in history to make a button that says “Yellow Peril supports Black Power,” and wants to make a greater effort in supporting grassroots organizations when picking where to donate to.
Along with Park and Feduk, Garden Grove’s Tiffany Le has also raised funds for worthy causes in these Trumpian times. Le’s contribution is a small sticker of her rabbit, asking people “DON’T NORMALIZE THIS.” She raised $50 with the pink sticker, dividing the funds with different orgs.
Le’s family were Vietnamese refugees. “It’s really hard to avoid being political because it’s important,” she says. “These things affect our daily lives whether we want them to or not.”
However, just like many of us, Le feels a constant exasperation that comes with the bombardment of the news headlines. “Some of my art wants to be political, but it’s really overwhelming. I need to remember to take breaks.”
The news headlines are giving us all Mean World syndrome, but as Feduk says, “There are small things we can all do,” so support your local artists in their efforts and buy a patch, sticker or download a poster.