In response to COVID-19, Amplifier launched an emergency campaign with top art curators and public-health advisors from around the world looking for public health and safety messages that can help flatten the curve through education and symbols that help promote mental health, well-being, and social change work during these stressful times.I wanted to create an image to both thank the workers deemed “essential” during this pandemic, as well as bring attention to the incredible service they are performing for the rest of us. I thought that of course, the mask was a good place to start since at the time it seemed like we were all headed to wearing them eventually. The USA version was the first one I made, and more than anything I used the flag simply because I could personally attest to the sacrifice and hard work people like doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, and even sanitation workers (to name a few) had been putting in here in my own country, based on my own observance. My work tends to be pretty critical of areas that our country should tighten up, but I thought a more positive, unifying message would better serve the respect I had for my fellow working-class Americans during this time.
When I wanted to make something that would resonate with the world as a whole, I realized that modifying my design to be more global would serve the better good, so I switched out the American flag for a map of the globe in the mask. I also switched out the star in the background for a globe, and got it to a place I was happy with.
In the end, I hope the image resonates with as many people as possible, and helps spread the thanks to our essential workers at the forefront of this pandemic that are keeping the globe spinning.