About the project
What inspired the project?
During the 2016 campaign, Trump said that he could literally shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any supporters?
That REALLY pissed me off.
I’m a New Yorker so I have a few questions. One: Who the fuck is he shooting in this scenario? A fellow New Yorker? A fellow American? Who gets the bullet? Two: So you have a presidential candidate boasting about his ability to kill Americans and still become President??? That is beyond unpatriotic and immoral—fuck him and fuck that.
In response Edel Rodriguez, a graphic designer and fellow faculty member at SVA, put this sketch on Instagram. I saw it and immediately reached out to him to see if he wanted help realizing it.
That never materialized but it got me thinking about ways to protest Trump in the public realm—that didn’t glorify violence. Ultimately I wanted to do something that would minimize him and give people a sense of control in a situation in which it was easy to feel like they didn’t have any. Hence the original tiny trump was born and the project was officially launched on October 21st, 2018, just before the midterm elections.
Roughly a year later I was discussing the project with fellow SVA faculty member Paula Scher, who suggested they need to be smaller. Much smaller. And that’s how the tiny tiny trumps were born.
What's the point?
- Rally the troops!
- Keep progressives engaged in resisting the normalization of Trump
- Constantly remind people of his major improprieties
- Provide a way to resist Trump IRL rather than just online
- MAGA hat for the left
How many people have participated?
As of October 26th, 2020, over 6,500 people have distributed over 170,000 tiny trumps in all 50 states and even as far away as Norway and New Zealand. This statistic will be on or around the 25th of each month.
What do you want me to do?
Are any of the proceeds donated?
60% of the tips generated by this project go to the NAACP LDF (whose mission it is to "seek structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice") and to varying Democratic organizations. As long as this project runs it will make donations to the NAACP on the 25th of every month as a way of remembering George Floyd, may he Rest In Power. A list of donations is as follows:
- 6/3/2020: $500 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- 7/25/2020: $277 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- 7/31/2020: $277 to Joe Biden's Campaign
- 8/25/2020: $382.35 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- 8/30/2020: $382.35 to the Joe Biden's Campaign
- 9/25/2020: $395.61 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- 9/25/2020: $395.61 to the Joe Biden's Campaign
- 10/25/2020: $884.00 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- 10/25/2020: $884.00 to the Joe Biden's Campaign
- 11/25/2020: $153.68 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- 11/25/2020: $153.68 to Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight Initiative
- 12/25/2020: $31.21 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- 12/25/2020: $31.21 to Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight Initiative
- 1/25/2020 (scheduled): $148.50 to NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- 1/25/2020 (scheduled): $148.50 to Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight Initiative
- TOTAL DONATED: $5,044.42
Where does the rest of the money go?
In December of 2017, Brooklyn-based artist Eric Corriel started making tiny trumps by hand and they were either given away for free at protest marches or available via this website on a donation basis. While these methods had their perks, they weren't financially sustainable so in January of 2020, the artist launched an online store with the hopes of financially stabilizing the project and recouping some of the money he had put into it.
From December of 2017 to April of 2020 this project was 100% financially bootstrapped by the artist, who has a full time job and teaches art and design courses to supplement his income. While the artist's initial investment costs still have not been recouped, since April 2020, income generated from the online store and donations has been enough to make the project self-sustaining, which is something the artist is very, very happy about!
60% of the tips generated by this project are donated (see above). 100% of the rest go to the artist who in turn reinvests every cent into further growing the project.
Eric Corriel is an independent artist who’s been making work in the public realm since 2008. tiny trump is his latest art project. You can learn more about him and his work at his website ericcorriel.com or his instagram.
How to make tiny trumps
So, how do you make them?
- Draw a full-body caricature of your local authoritarian. Outline only.
- Transform that into a EPS/AI file that consists of a single, closed path
- If you have access to a laser cutter, using cardboard as your medium, test/refine the line drawing as desired
- Once the shape is finalized, get a steel rule die made with 6-12 caricature on a single die
- Get a die cutting press, a bunch of double tack mounting film, and a lot of relatively flat cardboard
- Stick the double sided tack on one side of the cardboard
- Optional: print a message on one side of the double sided tack paper using an ink jet printer
- Design stamps/slogans that measure 1.25” wide by 2” tall, like these
- Contact your local rubber stamp maker or get them made online
- Optional: Design/create a custom stamper that will stamp multiple slogans onto a single sheet of cardboard. If you don't want to do that, a simple, singular, stamp will work just fine.
- Run the cardboard through the die press
- Stamp the cut out tiny trumps with your rubber stamp
- Done. Easy.
Take a look at the assets for this project to get a sense of what’s required.
Can I make my own? Can you custom make a slogan for me?
Yes and yes! Three options:
Questions from the left
Nice free advertising project for Trump!
Any protest movement inherently draws attention to the thing being protested. So it simply isn’t possible to protest Trump without drawing attention to him. The slogans remind people of the President’s major improprieties, and so insofar as people read, they cast a negative pale over the president.
Questions from the right
What's the point?
- Keep those of us on the left engaged in protesting Trump
- MAGA hat but for the left
This is disrespectful to the President/unpatriotic!
It isn’t unpatriotic to disparage a President who doesn’t, in my opinion, uphold basic American and humanitarian values such as being president for all Americans, treating others with respect and dignity (including immigrants and minorities), doesn’t use the office of the presidency to insult people, etc.
And just as an aside, if you were able to use your free speech to insult Obama when and however you liked, then the same applies to Trump.
Do you hate/not like Trump supporters?
Nope. If you’re on the right, the first thing you should know is that this project isn’t meant to piss you off, it’s meant to rally those of us on the left.
The truth is I don’t have anything against most Trump supporters because I don’t know them. I tend to think that people have their reasons for supporting him, those reasons are varied and diverse, and without knowing someone’s reasons and where they’re coming from, it’s impossible/irresponsible to dislike/hate anyone.
Why don’t you like Trump?
I don’t like Trump on three levels.
1) Undemocratic/authoritarian tendencies
This is by far the most severe and over-arching reason, and why I and many others think he should be removed from power as quickly as possible.
- Undermines the intelligence community
- Undermines the free press
- Undermines the judicial system
- Undermines our democracy by constantly lying about political opponents
- Actively sows discord and division among the populace
- Installs family members in positions of power
- Calling for political opponents to be locked up at rallies
- Likes other authoritarian leaders
- Has hinted multiple times about being President for life
- Demands loyalty to him rather than to the country
- Calls on foreign powers to hack political candidates and accepts their help
- Not concerned about election security
- Operates his business while President, which is a clear conflict of interest
2) Unfit for the Oval Office and bad example for our children
- Never apologizes
- Lies, lies, lies about anything and everything.
- Separating families and not being able to reunite children with their parents is👌
- Okay to make fun of people with disabilities
- Picks on African Americans and other minorities
- Okay to bully people
- Zero empathy
- Doesn't write correctly (learn the freakin' language!)
- Punches down
- Insults past presidents
I’m a progressive, he’s a conservative so we’re going to disagree on policy. This is to be expected and honestly, is the least of it.
- Denies climate change
- Rolls back clean air and water laws
- Trillion dollar tax cut for the rich while cutting support for the less privileged
- I'm all for tight borders, but the wall is a 15th Century solution to a 21st Century problem🤦♂️
- and many many more...
If you’re wondering why progressives say that Trump is dangerous and unlike any other president it’s because of the first two things, not the policy stuff, which pales in comparison.
This just pisses me off–how is this helping your cause?
- Trump is very good at tiring out his opponents. He's kinda like a boxer who never gets tired. The constant policy reversals, lies, firings, scandals, promises, boasts, ambiguous comments, all make for an overwhelming news cycle that is designed to be confusing and overwhelming. It tires people out and makes them want to tune out. I get annoyed every time I hear one of my friends on the left say that they're just “tuning everything out until 2020.” This project is designed to make them not tune out.
- Seemingly everyday Trump does something to dominate the news cycle. Some of these things are small (on again, off again trade war updates, firing of a different cabinet member, announced meeting/cancellation with controversial world leaders) but some are big (taking Putin’s side in Helsinki on Russian hacking, boasting of grabbing women by the pussy, “on both sides” comment supporting white supremacists in Charlottesville). The constant stream of mini scandals overwrite the important scandals and improprieties that we should be focusing on. tiny trump slogans serve as a constant reminder of the bigger improprieties that we shouldn’t lose track of.
- The MAGA hat is simple, stands out/easy to spot, memorable, abbreviates well, and is an instant signifier of Trump support. In a way, it has become a proxy for how much support Trump has among the populous. I mean, polls on the news are one thing but if you start seeing lots of MAGA hats around/in your feeds, then you don’t need the media to know that Trump still holds sway over lots of people. Well, tiny trump is my answer to the MAGA hat and if you’re seeing it around then it’s actually working. Like the MAGA hat, seeing is believing, and the more you see it, the more you know for yourself how others are feeling.
Stop whining! Trump is President–get over it!
Yup, there's no denying that! I've been asked/told this a bunch but I don't really get the point. I think we can generally agree that one should stand up for one’s beliefs and values. Just because something is a certain way doesn't mean that one should just accept it, especially if it goes against one’s core values. So for those of us who don't like what Trump stands for (see above), it is incumbent upon us to try to do something to counter the status quo.
If you’re trying to change my mind, you’re doing it wrong
I am definitely NOT trying to change your mind about Trump or get you to vote Democrat—something I regard as well beyond my abilities, if not all together impossible. As a general rule, I tend to think that I have just as much of a chance convincing a Trump supporter to change their mind as they do mine: zero!
For what ever it’s worth, this project is primarily intended for those of us on the left.
Is there anything you like about Trump?
There is. I think he’s doing good things with prescription drug pricing, I think he, more than any other President, has identified China as the biggest threat to long-term U.S. economic supremacy and is trying to do something forceful about it, and I’m in favor of the prison reform bill that was passed under his watch.
Dos and Don'ts
As a crowdsourced project, tiny trump inherently has risks associated with it. Of course it isn’t possible to exhaustively list all the places where tiny trump shouldn’t be placed, so let this serve as an incomplete guide on what not to do:
- DO NOT put tiny trump in a crowded area where people are likely to trip or otherwise increase the chance of injury
- DO NOT put tiny trump somewhere it is likely to fly into the street, train tracks, bicycle paths, etc. where it can cause an accident
- DO NOT affix with permanent tape, staples, or other difficult to remove material
- DO NOT post on property you don’t own without permission
- DO NOT resist anyone telling you to not put it somewhere
- DO NOT resist the police
If you think someone could get hurt or it can cause an accident, don’t put it there. From a legal standpoint, the safest place to put a tiny trump is on private property where you have permission.
If you’re concerned about legality, please do the appropriate research for your locality. By participating in this project you assume ultimate responsibility for any consequences related to the placement of your tiny trumps, so use common sense and act accordingly. The artist and Eric Corriel Studios LLC, does not bear any liability for anything that happens resulting from the placement of tiny trumps.
Didn’t answer your question?