For a few years now, Bunny and I have been dreaming about how neat it would be to be able to make our own buttons. We think buttons are fun because they're a great way to start up conversations with people about topics that might otherwise be difficult to initiate. For example:
Person: Hey cat, who's that guy on your button?
Me: Oh, this is Agostinho Neto, one of the main leaders of the struggle to force Portugal out of Angola...
Person: OMG, Agostinho Neto! I read a great poem about him by Chinua Achebe but I never knew what he looks like! Awesome, you want to go eat ice cream with me and talk about decolonization?
Me: Okay!Actually, that never happened. (Yet?) But Bunny and I have been coming up with so many button-related ideas lately that finally, a few weeks ago, we just decided to take a leap of faith and just go ahead and buy a button machine already. It was expensive - $450 for the machine and start-up button supplies - so of course Mimi (bookkeeper cat) was not happy about that. But we are going to try to work really hard with that machine and hopefully we can pay it off over the course of the next year.
First button experiment: I am kind of a history nerd and sometimes I like to poke around libraries or the internet searching for old revolutionary poster or button designs or whatever. Well last month I stumbled across the African Activist Archive website, which for me was kind of like winning a million dollars in a lottery. Well, while I looking through the old button designs with all these great activist graphics on them, I realized wow, nobody really throws away buttons. Which is probably why they tend to survive and become these great little reminders of important political movements, campaigns, and projects from the past. I got the idea that it might be a nice little experiment to make some buttons that reference specific historical events, and then leave them for people to find at certain, related sites. So the buttons would be like a starting point that could send people on this little journey of discovery (if they are the curious type). Anyway, it is a little hard to explain, we will post the results as soon as we have some material to share.
By the way, I re-drew some of my favorite button designs from the above-mentioned archive and Bunny made them into buttons, kind of like a test-run. They came out like this:
We only made 18 (3 of each, though I'm keeping a Neto button for my backpack) but if you want one just send me an e-mail telling me which one you like and also your address and I'll send you a button. "First come, first served", as they like to say in the restaurant industry.If African Activism buttons aren't your thing, we do have Pinky Show buttons for sale in our store (PinkyandBunny.com). They are really cute and they help pay for the button machine!