One of the most impactful moments since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, is that of Emma Gonzalez calling BS on politicians and gun laws. The 18-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is leading the fight against school violence. The teenager has become the face of a new movement of young people demanding change on gun laws.
Emma Gonzalez became a viral sensation after her impassioned speech at a Feb. 17 rally following the Florida school shooting.
People across the world heard her words that were directed at the National Rifle Association (NRA) and President Donald Trump. One of those people captivated by Emma’s passion and determination to create a safe environment for children was illustrator Lalo Alcaraz.
Lalo Alcaraz was so moved by Gonzalez and her speech that he created an illustration of her.
CREDIT: Lalo Alcaraz
“I was awed by her speech, and by all of the courage and responsibility these young people have taken on,” Alcaraz said. “I had been thinking about it for a day or so after I watched her, and then someone on Facebook nudged me and said ‘WE NEED AN EMMA CARTOON FROM YOU.'”
As soon as the image went live, people have been sharing Alcaraz’ illustration of Gonzalez everywhere.
Alcaraz admits that it took more than one attempt to capture the emotion he saw in Gonzalez that day.
“I drew a realistic version of her, and I tossed it,” Alcaraz said. “I then did a quick caricature that I hoped would capture her anger and determination, her loss of innocence — that all these kids had just gone through as well and I think it worked.”
People are sharing photos of themselves with Gonzalez’ drawing all over social media.
WE STAND WITH EMMA. DO YOU? @JeronimoSaldana does. Get your hi-res printable file and send your poster selfie to email@example.com https://t.co/oyF3NMNi4w. Illustration by @laloalcaraz for https://t.co/gbG7b6IPc6 pic.twitter.com/HIybavMWYC
— Pocho.com (@PochoDotCom) February 20, 2018
Alcaraz has posted his own photos of fans using his art in protests recently.
— Mexican Judge (@laloalcaraz) February 19, 2018
“The response has been overwhelming to say the least,” Alcaraz tells mitú. “People need a rallying image, I hope this one helps the movement.”
Even Gonzalez herself tweeted the image and loves it.
— Emma González (@Emma4Change) February 20, 2018
Alcaraz said he is very relieved and honored to know Gonzalez approved of his illustration.
As of now, the image of Gonzalez can be printed for free but Alcaraz adds that he is currently redesigning the image for a t-shirt printing after fans demanded them. He said the new image will have the Never Again hashtag, and will be available for purchase on his online Art Shop.
He also added that all proceeds from sales of this t-shirt will go towards the Never Again movement or a gun control activist group.
Alcaraz hopes the t-shirts will be ready to go by the time Gonzalez and countless more take to the streets for the March of Our Lives demonstration taking place on March 24 in Washington D.C. and across the nation.