19.4.19

Pura again


Did this painting of pioneering bilingual Puerto Rican librarian Pura Belpre several years ago for women's history month,

HERE

And it has been reused many times. This most recent one by a Latinx librarian in Oregon for a mock Pura Belpre award, which is pretty cool. If you didn't know, every year the American Library Association gives out an award to Latinx illustrators or authors of new kid lit books and it is named after Pura for all of her amazing work in storytelling and literacy. Anyways, carry on. And visit McMinnville Public library.

18.4.19

Power California - Cultural strategy

Hey folks, just got news that this new repost is out. And its designed by my wife (who did the cover illustration). It features some great resources for groups, organizers, and political activists on using artwork and cultural strategy in tandem with political or organizing work. You can download the report here. And here is a link to more information about Power California who I illustrated this poster for recently.
Here is a sample page with my artwork paired side by side with Oree Originol.

16.4.19

Sometimes it gets shelved 5- Migration

Hey yall, back with another addition of sometimes it gets shelved. These are illustrations that get shelved, never used. So, I'm sharing some here with you. The theme was migration and I recycled at least one painting I have already done pose wise. The rest were new and attempting to show some of Central American families who migrate. 

Here are some other projects that got shelved.





10.4.19

Bay Area Book Festival - Author's Pavillion

Hey, if you're around the Bay come check me out at the 5TH ANNUAL Bay Area Book Fest. I'll be hanging out in the Author's Pavillion on both days. There are some great authors, publishers, and speakers there such as Nidhi Chanani, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, Laura Atkins, Oliver Chin, Zoraida Córdova, Aya De Leon, Tongo Eisen Martin, Dani Gabriel, Justina Ireland, Ajuan Mance, Cherríe Moraga, Rebecca Roanhorse, Aida Salazar, Juliana Jewels Smith, Bryant Terry, Jose Antonio Vargas. 

Speaking of which you can catch folks like Innosanto Nagara, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, Bryant Terry, and Laura Atkins speaking on panels. Here's the schedule. There are also many story times for the kids and a children & family area. I'm excited, see y'all there!! Its free to come thru.

Follow the Festival: 



8.4.19

Daddy thoughts 18 - Reset button

Hey readers, thanks for continuing to read my thoughts on fatherhood. I last left off at "Brand New Daughter" and have been thinking about how different things are this time around.

Starting over: 
As a new dad again I feel in some ways like I'm starting over. I have a lot of knowledge and experience but also so much to learn still and the feels rather humbling. I did not intend to have such a big break in between children but life had other plans. After my son's mother and I split I realized I needed to date as an adult. I needed to go out and experience some things I hadn't as a young father. When I had my son I was only 24 years old. I was a boy myself! Now I'm a grown man with a newborn and a teenager. And this time although I don't own a home or have all of my finances worked out I feel like I know what to do.

Girl colors: 
My daughter's personality is different from my son's of course. He was often very serious as a baby unless you tickled him. And my daughter smiles all the time. One thing I've noticed again which I'm sorry to say is still such as thing is gendered colors. It is almost automatic to get clothes that are pink. Pink is a beautiful color but it sucks that this is the only marker that says female child. Why can't boys wear pink? I dress my daughter in all sorts of colors and have asked many relatives not to buy her pink clothes. I . don't hate the color. Just the idea that it means "girl" to folks. It's funny, often times I dress her in grey's and people will say "he's" so handsome or cute. Sometimes I correct them, and sometimes I marvel at how engrained we all are. Me included.

New parental improvements: 
There are some new parental improvements that I see. For one, all of the clothes I remember had plain colors or one loud image on them like a car or a pony. Now, I see much more variety in children's clothing. My wife and I have been blessed to get lots of hand me downs from friends, my god daughter, and other kids. And I see a huge improvement in kids clothing styles. Not only that, but diaper bags, bibs, place mats, etc all have gotten stylistically much better looking. The strollers are more hardcore. I remember the fancy off road strollers that you often see parents pushing and running with were astronomically expensive. There still are pricy strollers, but some of the advancements have been made more affordable. One thing tat is slightly better but still needs improvements are changing tables in men's bathrooms. When my son was a baby I always had a tough time trying to find a changing table in the bathroom. Often , I'd find a corner and change him on the floor.

Staying home: 
Right now, I am the stay at home dad. I work as a freelancer so I would be at home anyway. But my wife went back to work and is the breadwinner for our family. I feel happy to be able to take care of my daughter and record her new tricks for Mama. But, I also wish I made more money so my wife could stay home with her. Either way, it has meant more than just caring for our daughter. It has meant trying to have dinner ready, wash the mountains of kid laundry, or clean up the whirlwind of our house. All stuff women have done for ages.

Memory:
I've found that there are certain memories that come back to me about my son when he was a baby. The things he used to do. And so many times I cannot remember a certain thing he did or said and that frustrates the hell out of me. I wish my memory was better.

Anyways, thats it for now. Just some reflections on being a dad again. If you missed it, I got to speak with a dad on this podcast! Stay tuned....

2.4.19

Lil Radicals - Brooklyn

What up? Furqan's First Flat Top will be in this exhibition. Go check it out if you're in Brooklyn.

Lil’ Radicals: Multicultural and Social Justice Publications for Kids in the 21st Century
April 6 - May 31, 2019
Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 12-5pm 

Opening Reception: April 6, 4-7pm

Contact: Monica Johnson, 
monica@booklyn.org 
Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @booklynart 
718-383-9621

Lil’ Radicalsis an exhibition and celebration independently published children’s books with a focus on multicultural affirmation, social justice education, and empathy development. For reading ages 3-12, these books were either self-published or published by small and independent presses throughout New York City, across the U.S., and in parts of Canada and Europe. Works on view present a dynamic range of stylistic and narrative approaches to children’s publications that will affirm, teach, and comfort children; challenge standards; and surprise adult readers.

In recent years we have witnessed a new and exciting wave of storytelling in children’s literature in response to the wide diversity gap in children’s book publishing. Industry publishers have answered the call for diverse characters and marginalized histories, but tend to stay safely within the bounds of a conservative book market. We wanted to know, where are the diversity stories that aren’t published by the big houses? Well...we found them!

~~~ Featuring work by~~~
Abeni Moreno - Alyssa Dennis - Anthony Tucker - Antoinette Martinez -
Are Not Books - Berns Rothchild & Chris Smith - Blood Orange Press - Callaloo Cultural Literacy for Kids - Double Why - Dr. Artika R. Tyner - Flamingo Rampant Press - Fly Orr & The Lower Eastside Girls Club - Jacinta Bunnell - Justseeds Artists' Cooperative & Radix Media - Katie Yamasaki - Micheline Hess - Nicole Marie Burton - Namiyo Kubo - Phoebe Tran & Nicolette Bull - Robert Liu-Trujillo - Sari Sari Storybooks - Savory Words Publishing - Tim Fite & Daniel Saks - Tomas Moniz & Alicia Dornadic

Books on display include A Rocky Start, by South Bronx public school educator and author, Anthony Tucker, who wrote the book for his students about his own experience as a young boy. Brooklyn based artist, Katie Yamasaki’s Fish for Jimmy tells an adapted version of her own family’s story in Japanese internment camps. The Lower East Side Girls Club in Manhattan brought us a selection of their zines made for and by middle schoolers. Robert Liu-Trujillo, a Bay Area author and illustrator, contributed Furqan’s First Flat Top, a Spanish/English bilingual story of a young boy getting his first flat top haircut at a barbershop with his dad. Finally, Justice Makes a Difference,by Minneapolis based author and educator, Dr. Artika Tyner, tells the tale of a girl named Justice, who, inspired by freedom fighters, dreams of becoming a changemaker herself.

The exhibition also includes small and independent publishers, such as Sari Sari Storybooks, Bay Area publisher of children’s books in the languages of the Philippines; Flamingo Rampant, a Toronto micropress producing feminist, racially-diverse, LGBTQ positive children’s books; and Savory Words, a Deaf-centric publisher based in Maryland has two books on view: Deaf Culture Fairy Talesand Friends, a story about a deaf boy and a hearing boy meeting and learning to communicate.

The books on display are complimented by a reading tent for kids, filled with a library of books on loan from Interference Archive and other donors, and a unique display of 20th century vintage children’s books. A limited inventory of featured books will be available for purchase in our gallery.

We are hosting Saturday programming for kids and families throughout the exhibition. For the most up to date schedule:​ ​https://www.eventbrite.com/o/booklyn-17272663165. We welcome adults and children of all ages, identities, and abilities. If there is anything we can do to support your visit, please email us and let us know: hello@booklyn.org.
Lil' Radicals is organized by Monica Johnson, with research & curriculum by Olivia Siu.

Special thanksto Zoe Beloff, Richard Van Camp, Daniel Tucker, Josh MacPhee, Aimee Lusty, and Interference Archive. This exhibition draws inspiration from​ ​Social Justice Books,​ ​Stories for Free Childrenand​ ​Stay Solid! A Radical Handbook for Youth.
This exhibition is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the New York State Legislature and additionally, in part, by funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

28.3.19

ACLU 100 + Panel

Happy to say that I will be speaking on a panel (1-2pm) this Sunday with Innosanto Nagara,  Gregory Sale, and Sabiha Basrai. The panel will be moderated by Gigi Harney. We will be talking about arts and activism. BUT, thats not the only thing happening. You can hear bands play, get books and art, dance, see local artisans, live art, and hear some more great speakers on both Saturday and Sunday.

This is the Facebook event page and this is the ACLU 100 site which is part of a nationwide event celebrating the work of the ACLU and talking about mass incarceration, Immigrant and voting rights, activism, and more.  Check out the other cities they will be posted up in 

Not familiar with the American Civil Liberties Union? Go check out some of the videos they have up on Youtube regarding LGBTQ, Activist, Muslim,  and Immigrants rights.

27.3.19

Who is She 33? - Dolores Huerta

Short version: 
So this will be my only new piece for Women's History Month 2019. It's a larger illustration of Dolores Huerta featuring many symbols that represent parts of her life both big and small. Dolores is one of the most revolutionary women living. As the co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union her selfless activism and organizing helped to not only change the lives of the farm workers across California, but it continues to inspire young women and people all over the world.

It is a crime that more attention, respect, and admiration is not given to her. I just finished working on a project about her and had the chance to learn a lot more about her. But, if you're not familiar with Dolores, I highly recommend watching the most recent documentary by Peter Bratt. It will give you a good glimpse into her life. Then go check out her foundation because she is still organizing! I give Dolores and her family so much respect and thanks. Happy women's day! 

Longer Version: 
So, here is a slightly longer version but I am not going to go over her entire life just some of the words, drawings, and symbols I included. I would highly suggest watching the documentary if you are not a reader. If you're a reader go check out her foundation.

Stockton- Ok so Dolores was born in Dawson New Mexico, but she grew up in Stockton California. Although her dad was a farm worker and organizer, she was raised by her mom and siblings. There she watched her mom hold down jobs and eventually run a hotel which was not a typical thing for most women to do in the 30s. It was through her mom that she got her first feminist role model; saying that she never had to cater to her brothers. Her mother made them all work equally; which is often not the case in some Latinx families. Dolores attended school in Stockton in what was a very mixed setting, but she also experienced racism there in the treatment of students of color and her education. 

Dancing/Jazz-Dolores loved to dance and she loves music. One of her favorite genres is Jazz. She helped organize a dance, danced herself, and made time to go see musicians play live. 

Fred Ross-After working as a teacher and witnessing the conditions the children of farm workers lived in she dedicated her life to organizing. It is then that she met Fred Ross who ran the Community Service Organization (CSO). He taught Dolores about organizing and she became a bad ass at it. She was so persuasive and hard working that they soon promoted her to take policy changes to the states capitol.

Cesar Chavez-Another bad ass who worked with and was trained Fred Ross is Cesar. Cesar grew up as a child of farm workers and understood their experiences first hand. He was also a star at organizing and soon Fred was partnering Cesar and Dolores up. Cesar would also go on to be one of the most revolutionary activists of his time.

NFWA-National Farm Workers Association- Together Dolores and Cesar left the CSO and co-founded a small organization aimed at specifically organizing Latinx farm workers in Central California. They called it an association rather than a union because unions were outlawed and union organizers were being hunted. 

Huelga sign- After getting a jump from the Filipino workers AWOC (Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee) they joined forces with Dolores and Cesar to form what would become world famous as the United Farm Workers or UFW. The symbol for their flag inspired by Aztec iconography and later becoming a symbol for organizing, social justice, and Chican@ pride. The word Huelga means "strike" in both Spanish and Tagalog the languages spoken by the multicultural UFW.  

Si! Se Puede!- Dolores was a leader who often went into towns, cities, and communities to speak with folks, hear their needs, and to organize them.  She did this with wit, strength, and humility. But, if anyone ever told her she couldn't do something which both white folks and macho men of color often did, she'd say yes we can. Si Se Puede! Which is a slogan she came up with and was later used by Barack.

The Feminist fist- I included this because although Dolores was brought up Catholic in a traditional Latinx family she was brought up with some very feminist ideas. And when she met feminists on a trip to NYC to promote the grape strike of the mid 60s she gained some new ideas. At first she didn't rock with all of what they said, but then slowly she started to change her mind, incorporating them into her life. This is important, because of in el movimiento there can be sexism. Women from the Black Panther Party have spoken about this as well.

Family-So Dolores amazingly had 11 children! She now has 17 grand kids as well. So, as a movement parent she lifted up farm workers and fought for revolutionary causes. She worked tirelessly to do this for decades. But, her family life was sacrificed in many cases. She got married three times and often was away organizing. Her grown children have not held back in saying they were sometimes angry with her, left behind, or frustrated. They understand why she did what she did, but it was not easy. Somehow with little to no money (organizers don't get paid often) she raised and got help raising her kids. 

Billy club- I put that in there because she was beaten by the San Francisco Police Department. They broke her ribs and she had to be hospitalized. She has been arrested over 20 times in her life.

Why? Ok, so why did Dolores do all this work? Why sacrifice? A couple of reasons. The Mexican and Latinx workers who grew, picked, and serviced the farm lands that feed the United States were being exploited. They were being ripped off financially. Whenever possible the white farm owners undercut their pay. leaving them with not enough money to pay for proper housing (Dolores' mom often let workers stay for free because of this) , food, clothing, and/or schooling for their kids. Their kids could not attend school, they had to work in the fields to help support the family. The working conditions were horrible. Imagine bending over all day to pick fruits and vegetables without proper breaks, no drinking water, no bathrooms, or shade. Workers were . threatened if they asked for these things and fired if they attempted to form a union. They had no sick time, no benefits, no regular raises, and no support if they got ill. Lastly,  the farm owners were poisoning their workers as they worked them to death (life expectancy was in the 50's). The farm owners had their fields sprayed with harsh chemicals such as DDT known to cause cancer. Because of all this Dolores was passionate about fighting for these workers. 

Victory-And you know what? They organized among the Filipino and Latinx workers striking for years, bringing down a boycott that reached across the US . This eventually took so much money out . of the growers pockets that they forced them to the negotiating table, winning better working conditions, rights, and pay for the families. Dolores is a bad ass!

There's a lot I'm leaving out, but please check out more of the drawing and go find out more about this woman's life!   If you wanna see more women I've drawn for Women's History Month check these past examples:










19.3.19

Jambo Books Box

Hey, so I got a chance to collaborate with Jambo Books Club, a new company that has created a diverse kids books box for anyone looking to find new books. The founders have two daughters who inspired them and you can read more about their company HERE.

Check it out, some of my story time illustrations on their book boxes and a peak inside. 
If you are interested in licensing any of my artwork for your products or company please contact me at info@robdontstop.com




17.3.19

Latino Comics Expo 2019 Photos!

Hey folks, so what follows are some photos I and others took at the 2019 Latino Comics Expo in Modesto California. This is my exhibitor pass. You can find a lot more by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 



As you walked in you were greeted by several students from Modesto Junior College who showed vendors to their tables and helped out throughout the two day event. Here you can see their table, the LCE table, and some large panels of comic artwork up.
My set up!


All kinds of folks started to set up, traveling from Texas, Chile, Mexico, Los Angeles, Central California and many more places.


Here are some photos of some of the vendors! Including Cathy Camper's Lowriders in Space and Los Bros Hernandez (Love & Rockets).
On the second day I drove downtown to meet a librarian at the Modesto library. Here is the famous Modesto arc sign.


The lowriders showed up and hung out for the 2nd day too. These moving pieces of art are always breathtaking to see. I shot some details. And then..
I got to meet and pose with Cathy Camper who wrote Lowriders in Space, illustrated by Raul The Third. You can hear an interview I did with Raul here.
I also got to catch up with these guys. The gentlemen of 656 Comics who I met almost ten years ago when they brought me to Ciudad Juarez to hang out and meet their community. Read that post here.
Photo credit: Sandra Rios Balderama
Here's the view from my table and a new friend Sandra Balderama, a retired librarian.

And that was it. I met and talked to lots of great people, students, teachers, and artists, including my table mate Nicky Rodriguez who i forgot to take a foto with. I saw Breena Nunez, Isabel Qunitero, The guy who started Homies toy line, and so many more. 
Photo credit: Fredrick Luis Aldama
Here is a photo with all of the exhibitors. A very diverse group of folks indeed. BIG thanks to Ricardo Padilla of the Latino Comics Expo, professor Theresa Rojas of Modesto Jr College, and all the wonderful people that came to support, say hello, or just walk by. See you at the next one!!

Lastly, support Paul and Carlos Meyer who are running a kickstarter! They were tabling at the expo!