Living With HOPE: An Interview With Anthony Burrill

Over the past decade, we’ve worked with HOPE not hate to help them defeat extremism and spread their message of optimism, from changing the face of the organization to reflect their true grassroots identity to running mass voter registration and GOTV campaigns, and working with the organisation to take down neo-Nazis in the U.S.

In their latest project, organised by Blue State Digital, HOPE not hate has collaborated with graphic artist, print-maker, and designer Anthony Burrill to produce an exclusive series of screen prints marrying the organisation’s progressive message with Anthony’s unique style. These 100 prints are now available via HOPE not hate’s shop as part of their end-of-year fundraising campaign; all funds raised from the sale of the prints will go towards HOPE not hate’s campaign to defeat the far-right.

We caught up with Anthony to find out more about his creative process and what inspired him to participate in this project.

BSD: ­What inspired you to make this print?

AB: There’s so much happening in the world today to be concerned about, with the rise of the far right, Trump, and how divisive politics has become. I’ve made this print for HOPE not hate because I wanted to add my voice and make a positive statement. I think the phrase “Live With Hope” is something that we should all strive to do in these difficult times.

BSD: How did you approach the design process?

AB: I try and say as much as I can using as little as I can, stripping back the choice of words and sentiment to its essential. The colours for the print are based on the existing branding of HOPE not hate, but I use yellow a lot in my work anyway; it’s one of the best colours there is. It’s very strong, and I think that when it’s used in combination with another bright colour, like red, then it’s hard to miss.

BSD: Tell us about the process you went through to make these prints.

AB: The initial part of the process was thinking about what I wanted to say, and then reducing that down as much as possible. Once I’d decided on the phrase I was going to use, I worked on the simple layout. I thought that the type sat nicely in a circle, so after that it’s working out the typography, preparing the artwork for screen printing, making the screens, and going through the whole screen printing process. I like the tactile nature of prints that you get from screen printing. They feel very precious, like something you’d want to hold and look at for a while.

BSD: What do you hope to achieve from the work?

AB: I wanted to make a new statement about the importance of being hopeful — to get a positive message out there and create more dialogue around these difficult subjects. Things can eventually get better, so I think that living with hope is the best thing that we can do.

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