After facing relentless attacks from the Trump-Pence administration, the LGBTQ community hopes to see increased rights and protections with the help of a Biden-Harris administration and a slew of elected pro-equality officials in November.
To help convey this, HRC sought out illustrations from a prolific graphic designer that illustrated the themes of the magazine issue and aligned with our goals and mission as an organization.
Gregory Beauchamp, a California-based graphic designer and artist, has extensive experience in corporate advertising, but has also put a lot of effort and time into creating simple yet visually appealing artwork. HRC spoke with Beauchamp to learn more about his experiences, inspirations, and how “reaching the top of the mountain of love” helped him produce not only the artwork used on our cover, but also other parts.
Your website states that you want your artwork to be “little happy moments” in people’s lives. During your creative process, what do you do to ensure that it emanates from your work?
I always try to see my work through love, understanding and equality, positive and optimistic thoughts. For me, if I have the opportunity to create something, it’s important to fill that space with those ideals.
Beauchamp shares that he sees his works as means “to reach the top of the mountain of love”. He says there are many paths to reach the top of the mountain of love, each of his pieces being an individual path. When you do, he says, it’s a happy time.
It’s an easy way for me to stay on track. If I point my production towards a beacon, like the top of an imaginary mountain called love, then I’m free to focus on the discovery part of the creation. The beauty of the metaphor is that there are endless ways to the top and mine are just a few.
There are things that make each of us happy. Often it’s the little things. It’s the little things that help us get to the top of not just the mountain of love, but all mountains, metaphorically speaking.
He also states that the simpler something can be, the more universal it becomes. Your work is recognizable by its simplicity, but visually pleasing. How do you know when it’s simplistic enough to be universal?
Excellent question. How far can something be reduced and still have meaning? And even more, to grow in meaning, universally, across ages and cultures. In my work, I try to remove myself, my subjectivities and my definitions and I find that what remains has become elemental.
Beauchamp says “States United” is inspired by Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential victory speech at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois. In it, President Obama said, “It’s the answer given by young and old, rich and poor, Democrats and Republicans, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans. , homosexuals, heterosexuals, disabled and non-disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we were never just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
I have never heard anyone so prominent speak in such terms. It was so moving that it really marked me. It was so powerful. It made me realize that the America we are isn’t always the America we see, so I created a new map more representative of our ideals. That’s what it means to me. Maybe we’re not just the United States, we’re the United States. It feels more like a choice. We choose to be united, together.
How does your work advocate for human rights and societal issues, especially for the LGBTQ community?
I stand for love, and I hope that’s how my art helps all communities. I try to find simple ways to, once again, climb the mountain of love. If my art is about being kind to others, then that supports love. If it’s about being kind to yourself, it supports love. I never considered that to be advocacy — it’s the right thing to do. There is great satisfaction in doing something, even more so when it means something and can help change people’s perceptions of acceptance and equality.
Our latest edition of Equality magazine relates to the election and the Biden-Harris pro-equality ticket. How did this theme/topic align with the artwork you provided to HRC?
It is a piece inspired by equality. By changing the way America looks, maybe it can change the way we look at America and maybe it can change the way we look at each other. Arranging the states in a heart removes the biases of geography, leaving a space full of familiar shapes and a message of love.
The magnitude of what HRC does is absolutely represented by the coin. It is the honor that I find there. It’s being attached to an idea so huge that people need to find a way to love. The HRC has the most iconic “equals sign”. When people see it, they know what it means. It’s a highway to the top of the mountain of love.
It made me feel good when I was asked to do this partnership. That was definitely one of the reasons this piece was made. “States United” is definitely full of hope.
What do you hope or expect audiences to gather from the artwork you generously allowed to be used for the latest issue of Equality magazine?
To hope. And that love is there.