Jun 27 2023
Behind the Graphic
The sixth season of The Paper Fold kicks off on a new network — Evergreen — and a slightly different format, but just this once. Instead of focusing on stationery within commerce, I am examining instead stationery within activism, with an admittedly personal bent.
When he was just 14, my nephew Sam Schwartz lost his first cousin, Alex Schachter, at the Parkland Massacre on February 14, 2018. In the ensuing years, both Alex’ dad Max Schachter, and Sam’s mom Gail Schwartz, my sister-in-law, have dedicated their lives to making sure no other families go through what they have. Several weeks back, Sam, now a rising sophomore at the Boston Conservatory, decided to hold a week-long sit-in outside The Capitol Building to to demand a vote on an assault weapons ban in the house and the senate, regardless of the outcome. It would all be in Alex' honor.
He needed a graphic, and that's where I came in. So, I introduced Sam and Gail to my dear friend Lindsay Henry of Inklings Paperie (Listen to her first drop into The Paper Fold here). After a few rushed emails, Lindsay brought this graphic to compelling life. Did I mention she was also prepping for *Noted, a major community event, at the same time? Everyone was thrilled with the final result.
The image did not just live online, however. With a little help from my Canva account, Sam turned it into a greeting card/invitation, which he then printed and hand-delivered to every congressperson and senator over the course of several days. Meanwhile, the graphic also took root on social media. It appeared in Laura Dern's Instagram feed; the actress and her daughter Jaya Harper even stopped by! Meanwhile on the Sunday evening of the sit-in, Sam was interviewed live on CNN by Jim Acosta.
His next interview was with The Paper Fold, but with a far different focus. I am so intrigued by the overlap between art and activism, and how a powerful image may invite tangible action and change. So listen in to hear both Sam and Lindsay discuss creating compelling imagery for this space — and how those in the maker community can dive in as well if they so choose.
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