Carrie Fisher famously said, "Take your broken heart and make it into art." You can also turn art into protest. Art, humor, and persistent passion have helped bring serious issues center stage throughout history, and protest signs are a huge part of it all. Stumped for ideas? Here's how you can make your own protest signs at home that represent both your message and individual spirit, making for a sign of the resistance with the maximum amount of impact.
We're almost one month Trump's presidency, which means our current situation could go on for another for three years and 11 months. There's a lot of work ahead of us, but keeping your sense of humor, and practicing self care, is the key to longevity in the fight to protect your rights.
Getting creative is a great way to practice self care, and you can easily do that with your protest signs by drawing inspiration from, art, music, feminist heroes, literature, and the world around you. You can also save money by making your signs at home, or using approved work created by artists for protests and printing it at home.
Here's how I did mine:
For the Women's March, I chose a "We Are the Resistance" sign designed by Los Angeles-based artist Vanessa Witter. I printed the file on my home printer using standard 8.5 x 11 paper (two sides for each sign), taped the paper to a piece of sturdy cardboard, and then taped it to a paint brush to create a handle. Voilà!
This cost me nothing (so I can give my monthly donations to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU), promoted an artist, and it was fun to do.
Printing a poster at home is fairly easy. In an email provided to Bustle, HP's Chief Inkologist Thom Brown offers tips on how to to get the best quality: First, find your inspiration. Colors, layouts, and themes that speak to you are going to be your best bets here.
You can also play with color before printing; you can adjust the color in virtually any program to make images pop when they print. You'll also want to match the paper weight to the level of ink. On most printers, you can adjust for heavy or light ink-flow. A lighter ink-flow will look better on card stock and cause less bleeding. I just used regular paper because the goal is progress not perfection, and I didn't have these tips yet.
In general, the old adage of "less is more" applies: Don't let your sign become too complicated or busy; instead, zero in on your message.
There's also plenty of advice on You Tube on how to print poster-size signs at home. If that all sounds too high-tech for you, markers, cardboard, and a funny message are just as effective. Here's one of my favorite homemade signs from the Women's March in Los Angeles. It's important to remember you'll be carrying your sign for several hours, so take that into consideration when deciding how big you want to make it. I prefer small and portable, but go with your gut.
There are also thousands of protest sign ideas on Pinterest to get your creative juice flowing. With dozens of upcoming protests, including the Scientists' March on Washington, the National Pride March, the Trump Taxes March, and the Immigrants' March, there are plenty of opportunities to gather together, and support each other. Many of these national events have a local component too. Check Facebook events and search events close to you to find one, or consider organizing one of your own.
Protesting is your constitutional right. Rolling Stone said of the resurgence of protesting as part of the political process: "Americans have been rediscovering the power of protest. They have embraced, in increasing numbers, disruption as a tactic for making their voices heard." The article goes on to say that people are looking for connections with others who feel the same way, and banding together helps us feel less alone.
With so much to fight for, it's easy to feel like an island. Consider hosting a party to make your protest signs. Ask your friends to bring markers, poster board, art, and quotes to contribute to the mix. Don't over think it. Remember, the most important thing is showing up, and it doesn't hurt to have a little fun in the process.
Image: Getty Images