Heck has been working with the New Jersey-based manufacturing company LongLat to produce colorful and fun face masks. More than 5,000 of them have been donated to hospitals in New York City, New Jersey and Boston.
“We’re going to have to wear masks now, it will be the new normal for quite a while,” he said. “So why not make it fun? Especially for the kids, it’ll be more enjoyable for them.”
Heck said he was approached by people online about making face masks with his art on them. Though he knew how complicated the licensing process was, he “got tired of explaining” why he couldn’t do it.
That’s when he reached out to his contacts, including LongLat, which produces Heck’s line of products. The manufacturing company “immediately said they would like to do this,” Heck said.
“I spent a couple of days doing design,” he said, “and got them into production pretty fast.”
Heck noted that another reason for his contribution was to answer Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for making more face masks at the start of the pandemic.
The masks feature 40 different pop art images for adults and children. They are reusable, washable and feature adjustable elastic loops with antibacterial coating. To purchase a mask, visit longlatinc.com.
The artist said as a result of the pandemic, all of his shows were cancelled. Heck also works on cruise ships, which have been grounded. The ensuing crisis forced him to “think outside the box.”
“It elevates what I do, and makes me feel good about what I do,” he said.
Going forward, Heck and LongLat will be donating one face mask with every purchase.