Stand Up

A Painter for the Polls in Downtown LA

Leading up to the November 3rd presidential election, The Standard, Downtown LA commissioned artist Johnathan Martin, a first generation Mexican American Los Angeles based artist and sign painter, to create a voter engagement piece on the 6th street mural wall. Below, Martin explains his process behind the piece, the extreme importance of this election, and how he hopes it'll inspire people to head to the polls next week.

When asked to paint the wall on 6th St., I felt like I had to create a phrase that represents the everyday working-class hustler, as well as the struggling parent, young adult, and all the minorities in America. I want to remind them we have the numbers, and we have the power to make a change.

This upcoming election is one of the most crucial presidential elections in our history. With so much at stake, it was necessary to have a message for the community to vote for our future. Everyone can agree we all look forward to a brighter day; we can make it happen if we all had the attitude and voted like tomorrow matters.


"I had to create a phrase that represents the everyday working-class hustler, as well as the struggling parent, young adult, and all the minorities in America. We have the power to make a change."

I made sure this piece was contrasting and bold with the emphasis on 'vote' and 'matters' in a classic Americana color scheme. I hope this mural encourages the surrounding community to do their civic duty and vote.

About the Artist

Aside from painting, Martin is also a touring musician who plays drums for the Los Angeles based band Levitation Room. He took a sign graphics course at Los Angeles Trade Tech College in downtown Los Angeles where he studied the trade of sign painting under the esteemed and legendary sign painter Ralph “Doc” Guthrie. He and his former classmate and friend, Abigael Perez- Rodriguez, formed a sign company under the alias 'The Sign Club' and have been painting together since they acquired the skills of the trade. 


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