The Trump Administration is doubling down on authoritarian executive orders–most recently with a blatantly unconstitutional Muslim travel ban that prompted wide-scale, spontaneous demonstrations in airports across the nation this weekend. It’s easy to lose hope in the face of such reactionary barbarism, but local Hawaii artist Napua Ahina, a member of the Hawaiian Comic Book Alliance, saw inspiration. It took her a few days of frantic drawing, but the result is a striking but still fun call to arms for anyone who supports civil rights for everyone.
This afternoon I chatted with Ahina about the print, her decision to donate her profits from it to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and how people can order it.
MAUITIME: Why did you do this print?
NAPUA AHINA: I did this print for several reasons. On the surface level, I love comic books and superheroes. On a personal level, I’m a strong supporter of human rights and civil liberties. Seeing all the love and support that came through the Women’s March, especially at a time when a lot of people are terrified and despairing, is what really inspired me. A classmate of mine knitted a pussy hat for her daughter and both of them participated in the march. The photos of her and her daughter really uplifted my spirit and I wanted to keep that feeling alive.
MT: Why are you donating your profits from the sale of this piece to the ACLU?
NA: It wouldn’t feel right for me to profit off of this. So I immediately decided that all profit (minus printing and shipping cost) should go to a worthy cause… one that is well-established, nonprofit as well as non-partisan and directly supports American liberties. There are a lot of worthy causes, especially some that are more directly related to women’s rights and advocacy, but the ACLU seemed like the most logical choice for this.
MT: What’s your background as an artist?
NA: My background was actually graphic design and web development for retailers. But in recent years I’ve switched gears to being a digital artist who specializes in the comic book genre. It’s definitely a more creative atmosphere. My work is mainly as a colorist and in collaboration with other artists. Basically, other artists do black & white drawings and I add the colors and special effects. But every once in a while I’ll do my own digital illustrations. Most of the projects I work on are with the amazingly talented local artists of the Hawaiian Comic Book Alliance. The alliance publishes Hawaii-made comics and features popular local characters, like Pineapple Man.
MT: How can people get this art?
NA: The artwork will be professionally printed this weekend. Prints will be 8″ x 10″ on matte card stock and signed. If anyone is interested in getting a print they can contact me directly on my Facebook page or through Facebook messenger. For $10 you’ll get a print and I’ll ship it anywhere within the U.S. Additional prints can be purchased for an extra $5 each and they will all be shipped together. And, again, all profit will be donated to ACLU.
For more information go to Facebook.com/napua.ahina.
Image courtesy Napua Ahina