The Artist: Eric Lee (Brooklyn, NY)
Born and raised in Boston, artist and graphic designer Eric Lee always knew he wanted to move to New York, and it’s no surprise. Eric’s tireless creative energy fits perfectly within the bustle of his adopted home of Brooklyn, and you’d be hard-pressed to find something about the city he doesn’t love (seriously, he even created a playing card series celebrating the rats, pigeons, cockroaches, and bodega cats that call the city home).
The Design: "State Of Mind"
Eric’s “State Of Mind” design is an ode to the subtle, everyday scenery of the City. It is his celebration of the mundane, yet beautiful moments that keep him falling in love with New York over and over again.
Revolving around a lyric from Nas’ quintessential Illmatic album, it evokes the feeling of a walk across the Manhattan Bridge into the City. Eric sets the scene: Hip-hop plays in your headphones. A crowd of people rushes around you all with somewhere to go. Out of the corner of your eye, framed by a hole in the padlock-covered chain-link fence, you catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty’s torch, and you feel a little bit more inspired for the rest of your day.
The Charity: Send Chinatown Love
In March 2020, as the ripple effects of pandemic-related lockdowns took their toll on small businesses across the City, one area was hit particularly hard. In Chinatown, restaurants and other businesses were shuttering or due to racism and xenophobia, weeks before the government-mandated closures. Adding to the pain - an overwhelming majority of these operations are cash-only, immigrant-run microbusinesses that could not qualify for PPP or other government relief loans.
Eric chose Send Chinatown Love because it was born to help these businesses that are the heart and soul of the Chinese community in the City. The organization provides an easy-to-implement digital platform that gives over 7,000 Chinatown restaurants (who otherwise wouldn’t have one) a web presence and online ordering capability. By creating a digital community for Chinatown’s restaurants, the organization hopes to bring economic relief and future sustainability to this overlooked immigrant community.