This story originally appeared on LX.com
This year, NBCLX decided to scrap the classic "I Voted" sticker that you get at the polls every election and try something new. So we’ve worked with artists from across the country to reimagine the “I Voted” sticker for 2020.
The latest artist to take us up on our challenge is Peat "Eyez" Wollaeger, a stencil graffiti artist from St. Louis. While the term "graffiti artist" might conjure different images to some, Wollaeger says his motivation is always to "beautify, not to vandalize."
Wollaeger created his version of an “I Voted” sticker incorporating his trademark use of the all-seeing human eye. He explains to NBCLX’s Jeremy Berg why he was inspired to participate in the project.
You can find Wollaeger on Instagram at @eyez. And to find a digital version of Wollaeger's pin – and our entire collection of artist-created "I Voted" stickers – search "LXtion2020" on Giphy. Share them on your social platforms to tell the world you voted!
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Berg: Tell me about the concept for your sticker.
Wollaeger: My "I voted" sticker is pretty simple. Instead of an 'I' I spelled "e-y-e voted." I think it's so important right now to vote. We all need to get out here. This is one of the most important elections in my life I've ever experienced. I was super honored to (participate).
Berg: Let's talk a little more about the use of the eye. What does it mean in your artwork?
Wollaeger: I'm known for my eyes. And the reason I put the eyes on the street is to wake up this world. We all have eyes. That's what connects us. If you're a living human being, even if you're blind, we have eyes. I believe eyes are powerful. It's essentially my logo, but it's also a symbol of awakening and I'm tying that into voting in the election.
Berg: As far as stenciling as an art form. What do you love the most about it?
Wollaeger: My background is commercial design. I used to do graphic design for Camel cigarettes and Coca-Cola back in the day. And I'm a full-time artist now. Prior to me stenciling I was really just doing a lot of advertising things. We live in a world where billboards are everywhere. I feel like a stencil is a way to take that back. That stuff is legal. And what I do is semi-legal, or, you know, whatever the other the other end of it. I think it gives us the ability to speak to a lot of people.
Berg: Your message to people to get out and vote: What is it? Why should people be doing this and doing this right now?
Wollaeger: You can't complain who the president is if you'd haven't voted. And I really hope you all get out there and vote because this is a very important election. And I know a lot of people that don't vote. You know, they just say, "I don't know, I don't like either candidate" or whatever. But there's got to be one that you like a little bit better and hopefully vote for change. I'm very excited about some new things happening. But at the end of the day just because you vote, it doesn't mean that that's going to make the world better. It's up to us to take it in our own hands to make it a better place.