25.2.20

Photo of me (Pueblo Nuevo)

This is an old photo of me taken by Bounce from the Pueblo Nuevo days. Pueblo Nuevo was a gallery and community space founded by Miguel Perez , Diana Negrin, and Plinio Hernandez in Berkeley California around the mid 2000s. This photo and others like it were promotional photos meant to spread the word about the gallery which featured many different artists who were established and just starting out.

Check out this old video from Emory Douglas' show, which I helped install along with the gallery founders.

Ain't No New Thing - Emory Douglas Teaser from Pueblo Nuevo Gallery on Vimeo.

17.2.20

Black is Beautiful 2020 - Arlan Hamilton

I first came across Arlan in 2017 through Tech Crunch. I was listening to talks about tech to understand how it was changing my hometown rapidly. That's when I heard Arlan speak about putting other Black women, people of color, women, and queer folks on. Originally from Texas Arlan was a big music fan who became tour manager and production coordinator for bands. She also was curious about tech and did enough research to earn a Masters Degree in venture capitalist funding. Once she saw the opportunities venture capitalists were missing and got to work to establish Backstage Capital.

Fast forward four years and they've invested in over 100 companies! All of them are run by Black women, people of color, queer folks, and women. Why? The big tech companies we use daily started as tiny companies that needed seed money to grow. but who gets that money is incredibly unequal. Surprise, surprise! Actually over 90% of the large Venture Capitalist are white men which unfortunately means the folks Backstage now funds were overlooked and ignored. Arlan secured over 30 million in funding to seed these people to kickstart their small companies who could one day be the next big thing. And she is one of the only queer Black women ever to do this.

She is now in demand as a public speaker, she created several podcasts, has graced many magazines and news outlets and created a company that is truly giving folks a shot who were previously being blocked. Some of the companies her company (which is now a big team) has invested in are travel, financial tech, music instrumentation, self care, facial recognition, renewable energy, and healthcare. Her company started in Silicon Valley and has grown to include programs in the Bay Area, LA, Detroit, Philadelphia, and London. If you get the emails from Backstage they also include monthly highlights of successful new companies, jobs, tips, accelerator, and all kinds of resources to get your business idea going.

And she's only 39! Big ups for being smart and betting on people who were previously ignored Arlan.

Sources: Tech Crunch, Fast Company, Backstage Capital, Medium

Wanna see more?
Jessica Matthews - Uncharted Play
Kimberly Bryant - Black Girls Code

16.2.20

Black is Beautiful 2020 - Black Love


This piece is to celebrate Black Love in all its forms. I just imagine two flowers and the words because I wanted it to be a statement that both heterosexual and queer couples could get into. Also, it could be used for family too. Either way, I want to celebrate the Black love that I've seen and continue to see. I am a mixed kid (Black, Korean, Mexican, Apache), I am in a mixed relationship, and my kids are mixed. But I can still celebrate Black Love.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am trying something new for Black History Month. Each year for the past four or five years I have been working on portraits and designs of Black folks from many different walks of life to celebrate Black folks during Black History Month. But, I didn't want to shine more light on folks who are already famous or folks we all know the story of. I wanted to work on artwork about people that not everyone is familiar with. Recognition and money wise that is not the most rewarding in terms of praise or dollars. But, I feel that the breadth of who we are as Black folks is extremely vast and folks need to know more stories. We need to hear about Black futures, young people who are alive and just starting to make history. We need to hear about Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Trans, and or gender non conforming Black folks too, which I feel even Black folks shy away from. And we need to hear about radical Black people.

BUY A PRINT HERE.

Check out some close ups here.



Did you see the previous post? See Black is Beautiful type art


Black is Beautiful 2020 - Black Is Beautiful


So I'm trying something new this year for Black History Month. Regularly I draw Black folks from many different walks of life that I feel should be honored, remembered, or studied. Last year I did larger prints of two organizations. The "Contract Buyers League" and "Camp Atwater". This year I'm trying out some type based art prints with the hopes to spread the message and hopefully to help decorate your space. Let me know what you think. The first one is the phrase I used to describe my series, its "Black is Beautiful" and it is inspired by a few things. One is hand lettering and the iron on letters b-boys and b-girls used to adorn their shirts. And the second is Ndebele painted homes from South Africa. Oh and the Adinkra symbol used next to the letter means "love".

BUY A PRINT HERE.

Why the phrase? Well, because for centuries the Eurocentric focus on beauty has permeated everything from fashion, to love, to advertising, sex, you name it. Because of it you got Black and Brown people dyeing their skin to look whiter. In the 70s (when I was born) there was a resurgence of Black pride in skin and hair in the US and I see new continuations of that with more people rocking their natural hair and being proud of who they are whether they are African, African American, or Afro Latin@. So, it's a proclamation and a reminder.

Please check out some close ups from the painting below.


Check out the post for Camp Atwater


13.2.20

Black is Beautiful 2020 - Justin Williams

This is Justin Williams, one of the fastest people on a bicycle right now. Justin is from South Central Los Angeles by way of Belize. He grew up with cycling in his blood and started racing at the age of 14. He's 30 now and has been a bit busy not only winning races but blazing a path for more Black folks and people of color to enter the very white world of cycling. After racing with many teams and trying to assimilate into this world, he decided to create his own team (Legion of Los Angeles) and just be himself. That means bringing some style the cycling world isn't used to seeing. It also means providing mentorship and a home for more to start racing. As a young man he mentioned being inspired by Rahsaan Bahati (cyclist) and is inspiring countless people young and old. People are literally coming up to him and his younger brother Cory Williams (who also races) and asking them to sign their copies of Bicycling magazine (where I first saw him).

Justin described racing by not only using your legs, but your shoulders, you head, your mind, and your whole body to win. And win he does. Justin is the 2018/2019 Road Race National Champion, the 2018/19 Crit National Champ, a 10 time National champion, the 2018 UCI Cross Country Classic, 2017 PRT Dana Point Grand Prox, 2017 B.C. Superweek Ladner Grand Prix, and the 2017 Sprint Class Grand Prix winner. Known for his speed and power Justin has raced all over the US and internationally. Besides having family support he is also sponsored by Specialized Bicycles, Shimano, Rapha, and MedTerra CBD's. Most people consider the Tour De France the pentacle of racing, but I think Justin is bringing more eyes to the "Crit" or closed circuit course where you have to be the first in shorter faster races. He is living Black history. Follow his journey.

Wanna see more? Check out:
Greg Liggins- Bmx rider

Sources: State Bicycles, Cycling Weekly, WSJ, Velo news, and Med Terra

Podcast - Business of Hype w/ Patta


Yo, if you are a small business owner and creative this podcast is really worth listening to. Doesn't matter if you're knee deep in the game or a newbie, there is game to learned here. So many of these i've listened to. Patta, Melody Ehsani, The owners of ALife, Roy Choi, Asa Akira, James Jean, Mister Cartoon, and so many more.

Interview throwback - Tandem Early Learning


This was last summer in Oakland at the Tandem Early Learning office. The cool thing about this org is that they study and encourage early literacy. They are one of many organizations nationally that do this and here in the Bay Area they go out to a bunch of school and read to kids. They also lend books to families and give them free books. So that is how a bunch of families have gotten a copy of "Furqan's First Flat Top" a book I wrote and illustrated. It was great talking with Tandem!

Support of literacy in a child's life early has been proven to help them later in school in so many ways.

12.2.20

Black is Beautiful 2020 - Carlota Lukumí

Carlota Lukumí or "Carlota La Negra" was a west African (Benin) woman who was kidnapped and sold into slavery at the age of 10 years old. Many years after being brought to Cuba and witnessing the inhuman conditions Black folks were made to work in there she secretly began using the drum to communicate messages to others in her area. Carlota and five co conspirators rose up on November 5th 1843 in Matanzas (90 km east of Havana). Their group had been toiling away in a sugar plantation owned by Julian Luis Alfonso at a time when several movements to abolish slavery were taking hold in Jamaica and other parts of the West Indies. They killed their masters, any whites they could find (including Alfonso's daughter), set fire to buildings and structures used to torture the enslaved Africans. Their revolt expanded from Triunvirato to five other neighboring plantations. Carlota is recognized as one of the only Black women to lead such a revolt. Although it was unsuccessful it sent shock waves through the white establishment as did revolts in Haiti, Brazil, and other places. I pictured her in this way because she had to be fierce and it is said that they did this with the same tools they used to cut the sugar cane with, machetes. The name Lukumi is said to come from her Benin roots and is a way to describe the Yoruba tradition of Santeria in Cuba.

Want to see more? Check out:
El Yanga (Gaspar) Afro Mexican leader of slave revolt
Queen Nanny Maroon leader in Jamaica

Sources: Afropunk, Orisha Image, LatiNegras, 

11.2.20

Video-Makiza



I was introduced to Maliza via Ana when she did a guest feature on Julieta Venegas song "Para Mi". Really great to hear and see some of the history of this group and hip hop from Chile.

10.2.20

My homies are my Heroes - Organizer piece


Yo, so I just exhibited this new painting at the "My Homies are my Heroes" show at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco's Mission District. If you're around go see it while it's up for a month. The show is curated by my Trust Your Struggle Sister in arms Nancy Hernandez and it features artwork inspired by the show's title. Some of the amazing artists featured in the show are OGs, established artists, and emergin artists such as Yolanda Lopez, Twick, Spie, Thitiwat Phromratanapongse, Crystal Clarity, Vyal One, Marina Perez -Wong, and more. Check out a few photos from the opening, but know there are many more!



Please go check it out. The opening reception was this past friday. Here is the facebook invite and here is the link to the gallery at MCCLA