I started collecting images of “Vintage Affectionate Men” 30 years ago. I have been in graphic design for about 25 years. I utilize my graphic design skills and the assistance of AI applications to create my artwork. Each piece is unique and I’m unable to create the same process to have the same result.
This collection grew into something I really wasn’t aware of. I choose this subject matter, for it gives me solace. Many queer images have been destroyed due to homophobia. I connected to these images because they warmed my heart. I have never been ashamed of who I am, unfortunately, many gay or bi men don’t share the same confidence.
I created this product line to share that warmth I feel. I tend to have individuals mention that I don’t fit the stereotype of a gay man. I’m like what does that mean really? This product line is to promote the visibility of gay and bi men in their daily lives either if it’s a tumbler or phone case. It’s to break down stereotypes people have. It is to celebrate queerness. To be forced on to a different path due to society’s views, many men have morphed into some amazing characters that contributed significantly to humanity. Walt & Pete is here to commemorate those contributions.
Walt & Pete's purpose is to provide a historical perspective on queer men. This collection is devoted to Walt Whitman & Peter Doyle. It's' to promote the love and success that have always existed in our community. It’s dedicated to our unintentional pioneers. Men that defied the norms of their time.
"You've always been in good company."
Jake Smith | Founder, Artist & Designer