Local artist ‘keeps Austin weird’ with T-shirt design for COVID-19 relief campaign

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — “I just watched everybody simultaneously go through this horrible, horrible struggle,” local artist Jeremy Martinez said.

As a caricaturist pushing 10 years in Austin, Martinez has worked many live events, especially SXSW. So when COVID-19 abruptly closed such festivals this year, he, like many others, lost out on opportunities to make a living.

It’s a blow that has had devastating consequences around town.

“Watching all of my favorite venues and restaurants close down, and then watching artist-friends suffer and try to figure out how they’re gonna pay their next bill, it was a terribly frustrating thing,” Martinez said.

Frustrated but wanting to contribute, “Jeremy The Artist,” which he is known by locally, sought ways to help and give back. His searches landed him a phone call about t-shirts. Local company Outhouse Designs partnered with GSD&M asking artists to submit designs months ago for a campaign.

The design Martinez drew for the campaign (Courtesy: Jeremy Martinez)

“I designed a chupacabra, which is a Tex-Mex, Mexican folklore beast. It’s a vampire-alien creature and it’s one of my favorite things. I love folklore and monsters and cryptids, but they wanted something that represented Austin and represented me as an artist, I thought that was perfect – a creature that some people know about, that’s Texan. It’s not an armadillo or a bat, so I was just happy to come up with something I was happy to draw,” Martinez said.

It’s how Austin survives COVID-19 and comes out stronger

Every Monday, a new “Keep Austin Weird” T-shirt is released to the public. Martinez’s is the 12th. Each turns 100% profits for COVID-19 relief:

For Martinez, the feedback touched him.

It’s such a wonderful feeling, even that, they’re contributing because of me, in my favor, in support of me as an artist; also, all the profits go to all of these different charities. To be a part of something where I’m helping to contribute to small business, to the Austin Creative Alliance, to HAAM, to the Central Texas Food Bank – it’s a great feeling. I feel like as a local now, it’s something I needed to do, figure out a way to help and I’m glad just to be a part of it and hope to find more ways to be a part of it, of the solution we’re all working on.

Jeremy Matinez

If you’re interested in buying his limited-edition shirt, you can do so on the organization’s website. It’s only available until Aug. 10, at 11:59 a.m. On the same site, you can also tip, donate or get involved with groups to further the cause.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Austin-Travis County

More Austin-Travis County News

Tracking the Coronavirus

Coronavirus Cases Tracker

Latest Central Texas COVID-19 Cases

More Coronavirus Live Blogs

Trending Stories

Don't Miss