I just finished painting one of my largest murals in LA. This “Defend Dignity” mural is meant to inspire sensitivity toward our fellow human beings and the planet itself. The central image, one of three that I created for the WE THE PEOPLE series, is a portrait of Maribel Valdez Gonzalez who is a Texan of Mexican descent. I collaborated with photographer Arlene Mejorado, who works on immigrant’s rights, to create this image as a symbol of hope, dignity, and humanity. The bleeding lotus is a symbol of the beauty and fragility of our planet. When I met Raphael, the building owner, he explained that he is not only an immigrant whose family had to start over from nothing after the revolution in his native Iran, but his family now runs one of the largest eco-friendly textiles companies! Raphael also supported the WE THE PEOPLE Kickstarter campaign two years before we met, so I was overjoyed to realize how well this mural aligned with his philosophies and mine.