RECAP | March Workshop: Designing for Social Change

AIGA member Woody Holliman (aka Pinko) presented the Designing for Political Change workshop at the Hey Monkey! Design + Print studio in Durham on March 25 and 26. As an active guerilla artist, Holliman wished to share the excitement that comes along with creating and displaying artwork that expresses one’s perspective and opinions regarding our current political climate.

We touched on the fact that resistance expression can take many forms; pink kitty hats, device apps, and online games are recent additions to the ways in which people are expressing their political views.

About 10-12 of us gathered on Friday evening to hear about Woody’s creative political action experiences and watch a slideshow overview of politically-themed street art from around the world. Images of work by artists such as the Billboard Liberation Front, Swoon, Black Hand, and many others helped to inspire us.

We then broke out into groups of 2-3 to brainstorm and discuss our individual ideas and the local, national, or global issues that we might want to focus on. Woody reminded us to keep our executions uncomplicated and within a comfortable skill level and promised to make a large batch of wheat paste to bring for the next day’s installation, since many of us were planning to create works on paper.

We met again at Hey Monkey! on Saturday to create or complete our designs and then traveled over to Duke’s east campus to install them in the late afternoon.

It was exciting to see everyone working on their ideas together and how the completed designs turned out once they were on the wall.

I think everyone who participated agrees that combining one’s personal opinions with creative skills is a satisfying and empowering way to express yourself as well as process whatever issues might be irritating you. You never know what positive effects there might be as a result of sharing your unique views in a visually creative way, so hopefully what we did will lead to further expression, discussion, and positive change!

The images below and throughout this post show the creation process on Saturday afternoon as well as the installation of our designs to the Duke east campus expression wall, near Main Street in Durham.



About the Author: Nancy C. Sampson is the creative entrepreneur behind The Nancydraws Shop, on, which offers art and greeting cards featuring quirky characters inspired by the cities of New York and Paris. Stay tuned, as a new resident of North Carolina, you never know when locally-based inspiration will strike!

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By Nancy Sampson
Published March 29, 2017