Shepard speaks on creativity, activism and rebellion in this new video interview from Fusion. Check it out!
“What I think is great about what’s happening now in global activism is that people can connect much more easily through social media. Now I think people that are motivated can make things happen as quickly as a corporation can.” – Shepard
As many of you know, I was faced with the challenge of a copyright infringement lawsuit over the use of a reference photograph when I illustrated my Obama HOPE poster image. One of the amazing and generous attorneys who helped me in my defense of my position was Terry Fisher, a professor at Harvard, and one of the most respected copyright attorneys in the country. Terry is teaching a Harvard course called CopyrightX that is free for online applicants. Copyright can be confusing and tricky territory for artists and designers, so learning the lay of the land from professor Fisher could be incredibly beneficial to anyone working in a creative field. Terry Fisher is a believer in copyright protections, but also in an interpretation of copyright law that is friendly to artists and their creative transformations. The only silver lining to my copyright infringement lawsuit was getting to know Terry Fisher, and through him achieving a deeper understanding of copyright principles and law. I would highly recommend professor Fisher’s CopyrightX class if the legal parameters around creativity are one of your concerns.
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My friend Richard Duardo passed away in his sleep unexpectedly a couple of nights ago. He was a very important part of the LA art eco-system and deserves a major tribute. I should have written this sooner, but I was in shock. I met Richard almost 12 years ago. I liked him immediately… he was warm, charming, funny, and most of all, incredibly passionate about art and fine art screen printing. I was very impressed that he had worked with many of my art heroes including Keith Haring, Mark Mothersbaugh, John Van Hamersveld, Mick Haggerty, David Hockney, and Chaz Bojorquez. Richard was enthusiastic about my work, and encouraged me to step up the scale and sophistication of my prints with his help. In many ways, I owe the evolution of my fine art print work to Richard’s craft and willingness to share his years of printing knowledge and range of techniques. Something I learned quickly about Richard was that he loved people and was constantly fostering artist’s relationships with each other, museums, collectors, activists, and charities. If there was an art event or a progressive gathering going on, Richard was likely to be there. If you dropped by Modern Multiples, Richard’s print studio, on a weekend, you were likely to be fed the best Tamales from Boyle Heights. Richard was kind. I will miss Richard as a friend and art comrade, but the most troubling thing for me is the loss to the art community of one of the few remaining master printers… someone who put craft before profit and always rose to the challenge of translating great art into beautiful prints. The number of artists and fellow printers Richard helped over the years is too long to list. Richard was a pleasure to work with, party with, discuss art with, and meet a bunch of great characters through. I live with the color of Richard’s prints on my walls, but the L.A. scene will be a bit more drab without his vibrant character. Thanks for the tamales man!
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I used to skate with and print t-shirts for Water Brothers crew when I lived in Rhode Island. Sid Abruzzi and the Water Bros. crew were a blast to skate and hang out with, and they facilitated, or were at least part of, most of the coolest skateboard events happening in the area. The Rhode Island skate scene owes a lot to Sid and Water Brothers. For all of us who’ve benefitted from D.I.Y. culture, let’s reciprocate with some D.I.Y. love back for some of the seminal creators of the Rhode Island skate scene. Check out the Water Brothers Kickstarter.
Check out the Water Brother’s Kickstarter campaign video and help CONTRIBUTE HERE!
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Brave New Films celebrates 10 years of exposing Fox News, Walmart, the Koch Brothers, the failures of the Military-Industrial Complex & more. Order your copy of the 10 year box set today and get access to an EXCLUSIVE featurette! Order here!
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I made this Protect the Sacred image in collaboration with National Geographic Photographer Aaron Huey in support of www.honorthetreaties.org, an organization that amplifies the voices of Indiginous communities by funding collaborations between artists and Native advocacy groups. This image also addresses the universal threats to the environment that both Native Americans and the rest of Americans face. I admire the Native American philosophy of harmony with nature and respecting and protecting the earth. Aaron and I have collaborated on several projects to benefit Honor the Treaties on both general Native advocacy and specific Treaty rights issues like the struggle for the Black Hills of South Dakota. These projects have helped to facilitate poster campaigns in more than a dozen cities and many large scale murals. Proceeds from this print go to fund the next awareness campaign by the “Honor The Treaties” artists for Protection of Sacred land, water, and air on the Reservations and beyond. You can see more art made by the Honor The Treaties group, and download all of it at high resolution, free of charge HERE.
We will be releasing a 24×36 offset print on thin paper to both sell as a signed print and to sell unsigned in packs of ten for public display of your choosing. More details soon. Thanks for caring.
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I’ve been honored to do two Time Magazine covers, one of Barack Obama in 2008 and one of an Occupy Wall Street protester in 2011. Both of these covers reflected my values and belief in the subjects at those times. However the new Mitch McConnell Time cover is not a cover I would ever do. While I appreciate Time’s irony. I don’t agree with the politics of the Republican party, or Mitch McConnell’s voting record. It’s always flattering to be referenced, even in a sarcastic way, but I take the future of our democracy, our country, and the well being of its citizens very seriously. CHANGE is right, but it is in the wrong direction. With the mid-term elections the country took a step backward. I don’t think the Republican platform of tax breaks for the rich, voter suppression, never ending war and fear-mongering, corporate welfare, sexism, and lack of empathy for the struggles of the shrinking middle class really align with the values of most Americans. In my opinion, many Americans voted against their own interests, or did not vote at all in the mid-terms. The result is that the situation for the average American will now be worse and policies that favor corporate interests and Wall Street will be the norm. The hopes for campaign finance reform, one of the only remedies to corporate and political collusion and corruption, will be more dim. Please read this article to understand the potential consequences of Mitch McConnell as majority leader.
I use my art to promote justice and the Republican agenda is the opposite of my vision of justice. Please educate yourself about the issues and the deeper dynamics behind them. I have my own issues with Obama, but the Republicans created many of the problems for the nation that they blame Obama for, and a largely uninformed populace, susceptible to misinformation, believed them. We all need to know what we are really voting for. Thanks for caring.
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I’m proud to be an executive producer on MTV’s new show Rebel Music.
I’ve also created the visuals for the show. In the second season
premiere we are pointing the lens on the struggles the Native American
community faces here on our own soil. The people featured in Rebel
Music are courageous and inspiring in their use of music and art to
push for justice and humanity. MTV has the ability to reach a huge
audience and give voices to young people highlighting the power of the
combination of music, art, and activism. If you are like me, and you’d
like to see more programming that gives voice to creative people with
great ideas questioning orthodoxy, please tune in to Rebel Music and
spread the word about it!
Exclusive premiere on MTV’s FB page, 4 pm ET/ 1pm PT, Thursday, Nov 13th.
Please take a moment to check out Rock the Casbah – an EP by Ranking Roger & Dopegrinders featuring 5 rare and collaborative tracks with Joe Strummer and the Clash. All profits from the sales will go to Strummerville – The Joe Strummer New Music Foundation. Strummerville promotes Joe’s legacy of creativity and compassion by funding music programs for underserved communities around the world, a philosophy that I shared with Joe and share with his widow Lucinda who runs the operation. Music, like art, inspires and empowers and I’m happy to support the Strummerville charity, please show your support as well! You can pre-order the EP now exclusively through PledgeMusic; it releases in December 2014, which marks the 12-year anniversary of Joe’s death. Thank you for caring, we miss you Joe!
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After creating the posters for the Black Keys shows at Madison Square Gardens in 2012, I was honored to be asked to do the LA Forum poster for the band’s Turn Blue tour. The Black Keys are one of my favorite bands and they have been making consistently great albums. Their newest, Turn Blue, rocks as always, but has a brooding, soulful, psychedelic side as well. I love the art for the album, designed by Patrick Carney’s brother Michael, so I decided I should riff off of that art and color palette for my show poster. I’m very happy with how the black, metallic silver, electric blue, and pink work together on the grey paper. Jake Bugg is excellent also, so I’m looking forward to the show.
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