KEEP LIVING. STAY HUMAN. | Michael Franti & Spearhead

I drew this jacket design with a Sharpie the night of the Las Vegas shooting. After I got off stage from our show in Tucson the same night, I saw the news on our tour bus just as it was first being reported. I sat there devastated watching the details come in, thinking of how I had just played for thousands of fans who came to our show just to feel free, happy and vulnerable – dancing, singing and celebrating life together. I was so hurt, sad, bewildered and angry that someone could take advantage of that rain fire upon thousands of unsuspecting innocent people.

I couldn’t sleep. I stayed up all night watching CNN and felt like I needed to make something beautiful to balance the pain so I drew this on the back of my old trucker jacket. I sometimes experience the feeling of not being able to sleep. Initially, it isn’t too bad. But all of a sudden, the lack of sleep hit me all at once and that wasn’t a great feeling. When I was not getting enough sleep at the start, that may have been the best time to shop on, as something as a new mattress could have made a difference. Or even getting some sleep health tips would have been beneficial.

Some of my friends are always concerned and tell me to look at different ways to make me sleep. Whilst I was angry, it’s no use becoming sleep deprived. According to healthy sleep website, we all need a lot of sleep, and mattresses can apparently play a big part in that. After the shooting event, sleep doesn’t really seem that appealing. Perhaps a new mattress might change my mind though.

The lotus flower at the top represents the resilience of people, beauty blooming from the mud – the only place lotus flowers grow. The “heart person” Stay Human logo means live life from your heart every day in all you do. The no AR-15 logos on the left and right are a statement of my belief that they should not be legal for civilian ownership. In a society where it’s illegal to have dark tinted windows on a car for safety reasons, then certainly semi-automatic high powered rifles have no place in our communities.

The Stay Human message reminds to not let this attack strip us of our humanity or make us become so mired in revenge that we become the ‘hate’ that we are against. Keep feeling, grieving, living, loving and fighting for a just, peaceful and prosperous world for all. The smears in the ink are my teardrops. The plants growing up through it all are a symbol that no matter how challenging the circumstance – love will always find a way!