Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 4/22/20- World-renowned artist Derek Hess has announced the release of his latest work, titled Medi-Teddy. Created in his signature style line drawing, Medi-Teddy features a teddy bear wearing a protective mask, and bearing his iconic angel wings, along with the text, “We Heart (love) Our Healthcare Workers.” 50% of all proceeds from Medi-Teddy product line sales will be donated to Direct Release, a charity working with public health authorities, nonprofit organizations and businesses in the U.S. and globally to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers responding to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Your distinctive, emotionally-charged artwork is a staple in the world of music and art. Tell us about your art and background.
I got started by doing silkscreened concert posters. I was studying printmaking at the Cleveland Institute Of Art while booking a club called the Euclid Tavern. I eventually dropped out of school, then I stopped booking the Euc. I was able to make a living at the artwork in 1995. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to get a body of work in the Louvre in Paris, the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, and the Grammy Museum. The work evolved out of the concert posters into many different themed directions in the fine art world.
Do you have a favorite piece?
Hemorrhage, and Heavy Heart come to mind. The Hemorrhage is about a breakup without closure and Heavy Heart is about the death of my dog, Jose. People tend to relate to them because the overall theme is about loss, and everyone has experienced loss at one time in their lives.
Tell us about Medi-Teddy. Where can we purchase your t-shirts?
I’ve been drawing “teddy angels” for several years now. I decided to just add a medical mask to it because of the pandemic. You can purchase prints and t-shirts of it on website at www.DerekHess.com
What is your goal for Medi-Teddy?
The goal is to bring attention to our frontline workers and the heroic work they are doing often times without the proper safety gear available. What I can bring to the table to the situation is my artwork. 50% of the proceeds from the sales of the Midi-Teddy goes to Direct Relief. Direct Relief is coordinating with public health authorities, nonprofit organizations, and businesses in the U.S. and globally to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers responding to coronavirus (COVID-19).
How important is “giving back” to you? Have you supported other organizations throughout the years?
I am a pretty big advocate for mental health awareness, mostly because of my own struggles with dual diagnosis. A few years ago the documentary on my life “Forced Perspective” focused on my struggles along with the book I released titled “31 Days In May”. I work closely with Mental Health America and Hope For the Day over the past few years working on different projects and fundraisers.
Do you have any additional thoughts?
Whether you purchase my “Medi-Teddy”, support other fundraisers or just give to different organizations, I just hope everyone able to help does their part. If that happens we’ll get through this.
About Direct Relief:
Direct Relief is coordinating with public health authorities, nonprofit organizations and businesses in the U.S. and globally to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers responding to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay.