Happy New Year to all you beautiful freaks!
Our resolutions have been made and we're looking forward to bringing more art into our lives, revamping the site (including getting back the comment forums), and also doing some good. For this last goal, we were inspired by the philanthropic work of tattoo artist Mike Mendes
whose Love Everyday organization
seeks to increase poverty awareness and inspire people to get involved and make changes in our communities and beyond. The cause also serves as a reminder to be grateful and appreciate what we have in our own lives, and "pass on the positive mental attitude."
Love Everyday raises money through endeavors like their Clothing for a Cause
and New Threat apparel
sales. [At the moment, t-shirt orders are temporarily on hold.] All of the proceeds directly go to helping people on the streets with food, clothing, blankets, etc. (particularly those in Toronto but in other communities as well). Mike also does non-profit art workshops as well as educational talks & discussions for other charities, youth groups as well as schools.
Here's a clip from an interview with Mike on what inspired him to create Love Everyday and where it has taken him:
How did you go about starting Love Everyday?
Love Everyday originally just started as an outlet for my art. I was
selling T-shirts I designed at concerts, events, music festivals like
Warped Tour and Wakestock, and online through the web site. After
traveling a bit and seeing cases of poverty all over the world, as
well as right in my own city, I decided to try to do something about
it. I started helping out people on the street with all the proceeds
from the shirts. After spending a lot of time with a lot of people on
the street, I guess I just developed pretty strong relationships with a
lot of them and it just motivated me to keep getting more involved. I
started doing non profit art workshops and talks with youth groups
& schools. Now Love Everyday has led me all over the world, helping
out a little bit here & there and it's been a pretty wild adventure.
Any particular events that stand out from the adventure so far?
Seeing the incredible amount of poverty in Venezuela was a huge deal
for me. Families living in alleys and sheet metal shacks, with their
kids running around clothesless. It was pretty heavy. I went around and
gave out bags of Love Everyday shirts to kids in these areas and it got
to the point where I ran out of clothes to give. A little girl was
still tugging at me asking where my shirt was for her. I ended up
giving away the clothes I was wearing and some clothes I brought just
to last me for the trip. Somewhere during my time lost in South
America, between getting stranded there with no clothes, missing
flights, being registered as a missing-person, and getting chased by
wild dogs and someone with a machete, I realized my life can get pretty
hectic at times but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Where are you located right now?
I'm in Vancouver for a bit right now working on some things with
Love Everyday, then probably off to California. I also tattoo at Dark
Day Studios here in Vancouver on Main St. I'm incredibly lucky to have
a trade that allows me to just drop down anywhere in the world and
work. My tattooing sort of supports my wanderlust and helps Love
Everyday get around.
We can spread the love online by posting the Love Everyday
site on Facebook or inviting others to the Love Everyday FB page
, and offline, bring our kindness to the streets.