As I’m sure many of you have heard last week, David Bowie passed away – his music had a profound impact on my life, and was the soundtrack to my early college years. When Ross shared the news last week, I thought he was kidding, to be honest – but my Facebook feed said otherwise. I spent the rest of the morning trying not to burst into tears while I got ready for work. As I went through my day, I saw the reactions of my friends on social media, and wished there was something I could do to help them, and to help myself feel better. We were all hurting.
And then I saw this tweet from my friend Josie:
I wish I had any sort of graphic design skill, I have an idea for buttons to hand out at “Lazarus” tomorrow but alas :-/ #DavidBowie
— Josie (@fangirlfeminist) January 12, 2016
I have graphic design skills. And I wanted to do something creative as an outlet for my Bowie-related feels. So I responded to Josie’s tweet, and together, we took her idea and turned it into a button. She told me she had an idea for a button with the lightning bolt from Bowie’s makeup from the Aladdin Sane cover, behind the letters RIP – and that the spaces in the R and P were Bowie’s eyes. I took that idea, and turned it into the following design:
Josie thought it was great, and so I shrunk it down into a button-sized graphic, which she printed and turned into buttons with her button making machine.
Josie came up with the idea to make more of these buttons, and sell them on Etsy to raise money for the New York Theater Workshop, which is currently running Lazarus, a musical written by David Bowie, as well as to raise money for cancer research – and I thought it was a great idea, so she’s selling the buttons we’ve made. If you want to pick up one of your own, you can get one from Josie’s Etsy store for $3.
Josie’s got a little something to share about the process, too:
Anyone who knows me knows I love buttons. I have a bag covered in them and am planning a button-covered dress to debut at New York Comic Con (or an earlier event, if I complete it before then). I got a button-making machine for my birthday, but had not yet designed or created any of my own pins by the time David Bowie died a few days later.I’m not ashamed to say I was devastated by the death of my idol, and creating this button with Beth gave me an outlet to do something with my grief. Even if nothing comes of it, even if I only sell a few, turning my grief into something proactive and positive helped me to heal. I hope it did the same for her.-Josie
And it did help me heal. Together we ended up crafting for a cause, with my design skills and her button maker. Making the design felt like a good creative outlet for my feelings, and helped me process them in a productive way, and it helped Josie as well.