28.12.14

Furqan's First Flat Top UPDATE 1


Hey young world! I'm about 90% finished with the all the sketches for "Furqan's First Flat Top". If you are a backer, please check your messages from Kickstarter as I sent out an UPDATE only for your eyes. Thanks for your patience. Happy New Year, Happy Holidays, blessings to you and yours. Struggle on...... http://bit.ly/FurqansFirst

23.12.14

Daddy thoughts 8-Baseball alone

So me and my son go to the local park to play baseball. Just like any other day we see kids playing basketball and fooling around. Right off the bat, a kid who was playing basketball and yelling “blood” (guy, friend, homie) asks “can I play with you guys”? “Sure” I say. We walk to the baseball diamond with gloves, tennis balls, and bat in hand. We start to play with this little boy named Dominic, who by the way he carries himself you’d think he was a teen (but he’s actually 7 or 8). We practice throwing the ball around and hitting with the bat. My son shows Dominic how to hit. I pitch to him and he surprisingly asks me to throw it faster and hits it. Another boy, Dejuan (12) comes to play with us. He knows Dominic already. We play together and one other boy comes to play who at first is much more serious and unwilling to play. His name was Anthony. Instead of throwing the ball around, we practice hitting and pretending to steal bases. My boy is having fun and so are the other kids. Eventually Anthony joins us too, adding that he’s going to bring the other boys who are on base “home” and swinging the bat confidently.

Its amazing how quickly kids can gel with each other. They don’t even have to know each others names and they’ll just make up a game; up until a certain age. These kids were al young enough that they didn’t care and were having fun. The littlest one reminds me of the kids I grew up playing around. No parents hovering around them, no rules, and just time to explore whatever. Eventually they kids begin to veer off to other parts of the park, and I think to myself “my son is fine”. He didn’t need me there to feel secure or to help him break the ice with other kids. So I picked up the bat, tennis ball, and mitts and I yelled to him “Voy a la casa! Venga cuando terminas. Ok?” To which, he yelled back “Ok”.

And that was that. For only the second time, I left him alone outside to go play by himself (he’s 10 and a half). Now, at this age I went to play by myself all the time. I would go outside my apartment and play basketball with the neighborhood kids. I would walk to the store or to a nearby burrito jointt. I would take my bike and ride for hours, just exploring my neighborhood or playing with friends. I don’t remember my mother or father ever following me to do this. In fact, many times I was home alone or they told me to just go “play”. We did live in a neighborhood with much less shootings, robberies, etc. But now that I’m a dad, I feel scared for my child and at times I almost don’t want to let him go by himself, here in hood where we live or in the burbs. There are the normal fears, like him getting into a fight with some older kids and strange muthafuckas who prey on little kids for god knows what. But I also fear cops who shoot brown kids. That kid Tamir Rice was only 2 years older than my son when he was killed. 


I walked back to our house, sat on the porch where I could still hear faint noises from the park and waited. I wasn’t terrified, but I looked at my phone to see how long he’d been gone several times. I sat there and I tried to be cool. I tried to convince myself that both he and I have to learn this lesson. Me to let go of him, and him to be self sufficient, because I learned it at such a young age. I did this as a little boy, and he can do it too, if I just let him. 20-30 minutes later he came walking back to the house and I breathed a sigh of relief, but tried to act cool asking him “como fue”? To which he replied “it was ok”. I smiled, hugged him, and told him I was proud of him. He told me about trying to hang with the big kids and how they cussed a lot. And that was it. Harder for me than it was for him. Have you as a parent ever felt this way?

Inspiration board 20


from the top, left to right: The Lesser Blessed-a great film, 4 Fathers photo journal project, Rhymes for young Ghouls-amazing/beautiful film, Illustration of James Gurney, Solidarity images like these connect the dots, Art of Hellen Jo, Cinema Fantasma-stop-motion studio based in Mexico City, Photography of the Scurlocks, Jiufen Taiwan, Art of Robert Stewart Sherrifs, 3 fifths by Tall Black Guy and 80s Baby, Iain Mc Caig character design, APE Expo 2014, Arabic calligraphy-unknown artist, B/W photography from Hong Kong-unknown photographer, Son Little's Cross my heart bangs!

15.12.14

"From Fruitvale to Florida" by Karen Seneferu

This is a powerful piece by artist Karen Seneferu .Read her words: This documentation is a tribute to Oscar Grant, Treyvon Martin, Andy Lopez, Alejandro Nieto, Renisha McBride, Akai Gurley, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamar Rice, and hundreds of Black and Brown people who have been killed by policer officers, security guards, and vigilantes. The people in the video were given the question how did you feel or think when you heard the verdict in some of these cases? Their facial expressions are their responses. The video challenges the idea of gazing out and into the eyes of others who refuse to recognize the genocide occurring in these communities by the judicial system.

Rhymes for young Ghouls-Inspiration


An incredible film worth watching....

4.12.14

Brutality over the years-We will win

1992- I remember how I felt when the Rodney King verdict came down and LA was engulfed; not in flames but rebellion. I was baffled, and without the skill or analysis to do anything about it. But I did not forget it. Like my first time being pulled over for "fitting the description" with my mom by cops-my mom knew what they were capable of even back then and told me to put my hands up in plain sight. Maybe thats why I was allowed to have "Fuck The Police"  or "Holler if you hear me" playing in my room.

I don't have any new words of wisdom and my thoughts on the current state of the state (police, city & state govt, corporations) are much better in a one on one conversation, but I hope to share with these art pieces over the years that I have been speaking on it, with like minds, and I will continue to do so, just trying to find the words and the images to express exactly how pissed off I am. If you are an artist and pissed off too, speak on it. You don't have to have the best analysis or idea, just speak on it and make your voice heard.
 
2001-"Police Brutality didn't die on 9-11" painted in West Oakland 2001 right after 9-11 for an Oct 22nd Police Brutality march, at the time the murder of Idriss Stelley was heavy on my mind and all these folks running around with NYPD on their hats/cars. J-Live's "Satisfied" was in heavy rotation.

2003-Based on a photograph taken after the murder of Timothy Thomas in Cincinatti's Over The Rhine neighborhood, I painted this image over and over again, extremely pissed off. This was around the time that the Trust Your Struggle Collective was formed. The Coup's whole LP "Party Music" was in heavy rotation, specifically "Get Up" .

2006-This was a poster illustration for TYS show All City Sacred show. A show that used fine art, illustration, sculpture, and installation to talk about oppressed people's right to rebel through demonstration, art, actions, and just existing. Was listening to Dead Prez's LP Revolutionary But Gangster a lot, specifically "Turn off the Radio" 



2013-This mural was painted after the decision not to charge George Zimmerman with the murder of Trayvon Martin-with the help of countless hands, I'm just happy I got to work on it for a few hours with my son who was now old enough to understand what had happened and wanted to help paint it. This was a collaboration with TYS , hella local artists, and Dignidad Rebelde.  Bounce, Yoshi, Scott La Rock, and Cece also repped hard by painting Oscar Grant previously. I was definitely listening to Bambu's "Like Us" still and "Rent Money".

2014-Having to continue painting is part of a long struggle for revolutionary change. As I venture more and more into the realm of children's books and publishing and less public art I hope to meet other illustrators who are not afraid of speaking on this because there are so many children being killed and children being left without parents. Rip Mike Brown, Alex Nieto, and Eric Garner, Andy Lopez, and so many more. I think I'm going to go listen to Killer Mike's speech again. Keep struggling yall, keep fighting back!We will win!

If you are seeing reports about protests in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America, Mexico-know that it is connected. Your fight is theirs and vice versa.

1.12.14

#YaMeCanse "I've had enough"

Please watch this, and please share the word. Read up, and talk about it with other people. The more folks know, the more pressure can be put on the Mexican Government to resign. In case you are wondering why? And what does this have to do with art or artists? Please click this link and follow the question. If you want to read up about the issue at hand try using the hashtags #Ayotzinapa #YaMeCanse #todossomosAyotzinapa

17.11.14

Children's portrait 34- Maya Grace

This cute little one is mixed with Mexican, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Greek, and German. She likes tigers and her favorite color is green. If you are interested in getting a portrait of your child, niece, nephew, or grandchild please CLICK HERE.

16.11.14

Some campaigns worth supporting

Cannon Busters by LeSean Thomas, a Bronx native who sets out to tell stories through the medium of 2d animation A hashtag to a movement to open doors for authors and illustrators of color to make more books about the myriad of stories still missing from mainstream bookstores and classrooms. One of the "only" magazines ever to cover specifically Asian Americans, their life, and their stories. This one in particular aimed at health. This is one of the Bay Area's last progressive voices. The more we allow newspapers to be silenced, the more there will be one voice only of San Francisco where my mother and so many other Black People grew up.

11.11.14

Hyphen magazine "Yuri Kochiyama" lettering


Hey, peep the latest issue of Hyphen magazine. There are various articles in the magazine about Revolution, Grace Lee Boggs, Yuri Kochiyama, People's Kitchen, and more. I had a chance to do some hand lettering for a piece using a quote from Yuri. Support this magazine by getting one for your coffee table, classroom, or office because there ain't too many magazines that focus on Asian American life, culture, and history like this one.

To get your copy of the latest magazine GO HERE

Psalm One- boldly go (Inspiration)

"You have no idea how much I wanted to leave this place before I saw you"
ugggh! One of my favorite raps by Psalm One with the Quincy Jones sample. Just rediscovered this song.

5.11.14

Latino USA X Hyphen Magazine

Dope to hear more about how Latino and Asian culture coincide, collaborate, and collide. The art on this soundcloud is from Shizu Saldamando

30.10.14

33 hours left for Rad Dad


In case you've missed it, i work with this magazine and i'm glad to volunteer my time for such a worthy endeavour-becoming better parents, to raise healthier children.

Inktober 14- 80 days, no justice

Thinking about the murder of brother Mike Brown and how the Ferguson Police and city depts have done their best to justify his murder by tarnishing his character. Do black folks need to riot and tear that city hall down? It has been 80 days since this young one was killed and no justice served. Thousands have protested, marched, organized, reported, and documented. Also, thinking about the legacy of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and how at the height of racist practices in the south Black folks had their own schools, hospitals, ambulances, clinics ,etc. With the panthers, they had their own armed defense too.

Inkober 13 -Umbrella for Hong Kong


Why are students in Hong Kong occupying entire highways? And what does their elections there have to do with it?

27.10.14

Latin@s in Kid Lit Guest Feature- Furqan's First


Today a blog post I wrote a few weeks back was published on the wonderful blog Latin@s in Kid Lit. It's about the social media campaign for my first self-published children's book Furqan's First Flat Top! If you are not familiar with their blog, please check them out. Not only do they invite a cool series of authors, illustrators, and book lovers to do guest posts; but they also make some pretty awesome lists of books for kids. In particular I like their list of Picture Books , The road to publishing series , and Resources for Latin@/ diverse lit

Go follow their blog and share some of what we've all been missing, more diverse books and more of a variety of Latin@ voices in children's literature.

LINK

23.10.14

Daddy Thoughts 7- Reading chapter books

The goal of reading was affirmed again last night. My son has been reading comics for the past 4 years now, reading everything from Amulet, and the Flight series to Brotherman, Ciudad 1 & 2, and Anya’s Ghost. He’s read every single Star Wars clone wars book there is and has read several other ones from Japan, Canada, and some from other places. Although we’ve found some cool ones like the Hero twins-a Mexican mythological tale about two twins from Mayan folklore its tough to find dope comics in Spanish. There are many comics featuring African American characters whether you’re looking at old classics like the Dictator of Discipline and Static Shock or the newer ones like Ajala by N.Steven Harris and the Black Comix project by John Jennings and Damian Duffy.

But the next room after walking through the doorway of comics for my son is chapter books. He reads them at school, no problem. But he reads those because he has to. It is hard to get him to pick one up and read it on his own. When we first started reading comics he didn’t want to read those on his own either. I started reading them with him. He’d read one page, I’d read another. Or I’d agree to be one or two characters, and he’d read the others. Either way, it was all about doing this together and encouraging him; which has paid off because he’ll read on his own, in the car, at school, or in the bathroom. That last part he gets from me.

But how to get him to pick up a chapter book or Young Adult novel on his own? He’s still not ready for some of the heavier titles, which are huge whether they are about young gay or bisexual teens or Harry Potter (I will introduce those as well). But we’ve started reading some chapter books together which he is starting to enjoy. One series we started to read recently is an old one entitled “Ghost Hunters” by author Cornelia Funke and illustrator Guy Francis. Last night while reading the second installment of what I’ve come to find out is a hug series he laughed at something one of the characters said. I smiled inside and asked if he could “see” the characters expression in his mind. And when he said “Yes”, that is what I had been trying to get him to experience. The joy of imagination. Some of the other books we’ve been reading so far are Alvin Ho (Asian Amer. Character) a series about a little boy who is afraid of everything. He loves the illustrations by LeUyen Pham and has read three of the books in the series by himself. And that folks, makes me very very proud. For me, the sooner he’s able to read for fun, the sooner he’ll be able to decipher the bullshit that is presented to kids and to expand his imagination!
Daddy happy. -Rob

If you're trying to get a young boy or girl to read who is reluctant, I highly recommend the Amulet Series by Kazu Kibuishi, it is a great door to another world.

22.10.14

Inktober 12- Anabel Hernandez

Anabel Hernandez is fierce, brave, and a symbol for what journalism should be-truth seeking. But why is this Mexican Journalist receiving death threats from Narco traffickers, Police, and Federal agencies? Hear her explain why in Spanish and English.

20.10.14

Inktober 11- Ramona Africa

Ramona Africa said once 
"Well what happened is, because Move tells the truth and speaks out about the injustices and racism in this system and could not be stopped, could not be bought off, could not be beat into submission the government just basically decided that they needed to exterminate Move. And they used the excuse of an eviction that Move would not leave our home under an eviction as an excuse to come out, and not arrest but kill Move people".

Why is it that Ramona is one of the only surviving members of the move family in Philadelphia? And why were they persecuted by the Philadelphia police department in the first place?

18.10.14

Jazz and Draw Feature

Some of my Jazz Portraits are featured on this site along side other great artists such as Lance Jackson, Nidhi Chanani, and many others. The pieces featured are of Oliver Nelson, Bobbi Humphrey, Donald Byrd, and Pharoah Sanders. Check out the site here:


17.10.14

Inktober 10- Ken Saro Wiwa

Nigerian activist Ken Saro Wiwa once said 
"To take away the resources of the people, and refuse to give them anything in return is to subject them to slavery. To take away the land from a people who depend solely on land for their survival and refuse to pay them compensation is to subject them to genocide." when referring to the multinational corporation Shell, Chevron,  and the Nigerian government

14.10.14

Inktober 8- Grace Lee Boggs


Grace Lee Boggs once said in an interview:
"Do something local, do something real however small and don't diss the political things, but understand their limitations. I mean, politics.... There was a time when we believed that if we just achieved political power we would solve all our problems. And I think what we've learned through the experience of the Russian revolution and all these revolutions is that those who try to get power in the state become part of the state. They become locked into the practices. And we have to begin creating new practices."

"I don't see any leaders and i think we need to rethink the concept of leaders. Because leader implies follower. I think we need to appropriate and embrace the idea that we are the leaders we've bee looking for."

check this

10.10.14

Inktober 6-Fannie Lou Hamer

Listen to what Ms Fannie Lou Hamer had to say here

Rad Dad Day 10

Here is an article/interview about the Rad Dad Magazine founder Tomas Moniz explaining how Rad Dad came to be.

Its Rad Dad Day 10, if you have the time or capacity please pass along the campaign link to friends, family, and definitely other parents.



9.10.14

Inktober 5-Huey Newton

Huey Newton (Co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense) once said:
“When we started patrolling the police many community people could not believe at first that we had only their interest at heart. Nobody had ever given them any support or assistance when the police harassed them, but here we were, proud Black men, armed with guns and a knowledge of the law. Many citizens came right out of jail and into the party, and the statistics of murder and brutality by policemen in our communities fell sharply.”   

“[When we started patrolling the police] many community people could not believe at first that we had only their interest at heart. Nobody had ever given them any support or assistance when the police harassed them, but here we were, proud Black men, armed with guns and a knowledge of the law. Many citizens came right out of jail and into the party, and the statistics of murder and brutality by policemen in our communities fell sharply.
“[When we started patrolling the police] many community people could not believe at first that we had only their interest at heart. Nobody had ever given them any support or assistance when the police harassed them, but here we were, proud Black men, armed with guns and a knowledge of the law. Many citizens came right out of jail and into the party, and the statistics of murder and brutality by policemen in our communities fell sharply

8.10.14

Some campaigns worth supporting


The Seshen-An amazing
 Bay Area bread band that infuses electronic, jazz, and soul music
 
Miss Rizos-An Afro-Latino from the DR who is promoting pride and beauty in Black Hair
Counter Pulse-A very awesome space where I've witnessed shows like "Our Daily Bread" and"Ampey"
 
And of course, Rad Dad-a magazine made by radical fathers of every hue

Inktober 4-Don't shoot or shoot back?


A question for contemplation and conversation. Thoughts?

30.9.14

Rad Dad!! Why another crowd funded project?


Quick Rad Dad: Yo! It's official, the Rad Dad magazine collective just launched a kickstarter to support the creation of three new magazines for the year of 2015! But before I get into the particulars of this I wanna talk about why I get down with this crew and why it I'm involved in another crowd funded project. Were a multicultural/background crew of dads who wanna continue to make a dope magazine that is funded by cool ass people like yourself, not the military or patriarchal bullshit. Wanna talk about our children being murdered? Rampant disrespect of our sisters and trans bredren? Wanna help us raise these babies right? Become a contributor to the mag.


Long RAD DAD: First, when I became a dad I made a commitment to my son to always be there, to always do my best, to teach, love, and to protect him in anyway I can. There are some days when I have triumphed at this amazingly and days when I've failed horribly. When you are a young father you think you are all alone out there. Sometimes you get into arguments with your partner, your parents, your partners parents, people on the street,etc. There are always people trying to tell you how to raise your child. And truth be told you $#%& up a lot. But it is priceless when you find another father willing to offer advice, not to tell what you're doing wrong but to confide in you that they screwed up too. And to tell you that it will get better and that despite of race, class, background, gender, whatever you can do it. I've been fortunate to get some good conversations with dads like this of all kind of backgrounds, rich, poor, black, white, asian, latino, transgender. I think that a lot of Tv, media, and news don't tell enough of our stories as fathers. Especially these moments when we reach out to one another and show love.

I read the Rad Dad zine as just another guy before I met Tomas Moniz or the rest of the crew. A fellow dad shared it with me. i love zines for their attitude of "do it yourself". Zine makers don't wait for funding or a publisher, or advertisements; they just make it happen. And that is what Tomas did with countless other dads for nearly a decade. Last year he got a cast of characters together to make a new form of that zine happen. He crowd funded the 3 issues we have put out in 2014, the first of which, my work was on the cover for. And now we're going to do it again.

Why crowd funding? It was explained to me when I was just a child literally that a system exists which works towards a goal, one goal. That system of Capitalism has many working and moving parts here in the US and globally which strive for money, control, and power. It enforces its control through many means and Patriarchy is one of them. Patriarchy is a disease that says women are less than. Its one which puts women down, asks men to beat, curse, and disgrace them. And it teaches men to pick up a gun instead, rape, or fuck a woman and leave-instead of raising a child, getting consent, and showing love to one's fellow human being. Now believe me, I am no saint and have fucked up before. But I believe in this magazines potential to reach parents and parents to be out there, especially young men. I believe we and the people we reach out to have something to say that goes against the system of Patriarchy and Capitalism. It ain't the end all to be all, but it is definitely a magazine that isn't going to be quiet or accept adds from cigarette companies and the National Guard, feel me? So we turn to crowd funding because we know there are people who agree with us, and we know that there are folks who could make up their own mind about parenting if they had another view point to chose from. Ok, stepping off soapbox.

Reasons to support:
1. We are pro print! Get this thing in your hands, touch, feel it, pass it on

2. We are multicultural/multi-background crew of fathers, mothers, and allies. Diversity is important.

3. We are feminists who are dads, and are fighting against Patriarchy

4. We are a collective that collaborates to put this thing together

5. Rad Dad's is not what we are, but what we aspire to be

6. We believe in Rad as in "Radical Parenting", which sometimes challenges society and grandparents.

7. We hope to continue providing a platform to talk, vent, discuss, share, and celebrate parenthood.

Spread the word y'all, especially to blogs, sites, radio programs, and places that have the ear of the people. One love!
-Rob

SHARE LINK: http://kck.st/10l0OnI

29.9.14

Collage of characters (3) 2013-2014


Been a year since I last updated a collage with characters from practice, study, finished paintings, and sketches. These characters are an effort to build my skill in storytelling by developing the look of the people I want to see in the type of stories I want to tell. Check out the characters from last year too, and those from awhile back. Onward. Enjoy!

22.9.14

20.9.14

Children's Portraits collage-Year 2


Its been over two years since I started painting portraits of my child, friends kids, and other children. As always it is a blessing and honor to have been commissioned by so many families to paint their babies. Please check out all the faces from last September last year until now.  I started these paintings as a way to reach out to parents about my efforts to self publish my first children's book and now it has succeeded in gaining funding. This year as I work on the new book, I will also be painting many new children, so look out for that. If you know of anyone who would like a painting of their child for the coming holiday season or for a gift in general please contact me at info@robdontstop.com or check out my Etsy page.


Also, check out this Family Portrait I did for Rad Dad creator Tomas Moniz and his family.
 


This year I also did a self portrait and one of my lady Joy. Here is the first year of portraits.

19.9.14

Character 83-Paikea Revisited




A couple of years ago I did this piece of Paikea-the Maori legend. This is a revisiting of that legendary figure as the actress Keisha Castle-Hughes played her in the film Whale Rider during a very emotional scene.

18.9.14

Children's portrait 33- Vida


This little one is about 3 I think, she is Vietnamese and Filipino and her name is Vida! If you are interested in getting a portrait painted of your child or someone else's child please go here and purchase it.

Soul Portrait 3- Moses Sumney


I think it was Valerie Troutt that reblogged one of Moses' songs "Dwell in the dark" and as soon as I heard this dude I made a note to pay attention. Another of my favorite songs is "Man on the moon". Check this brother out before he blows up!

12.9.14

Reading Print



This is a new illustration I created for use in places where children are. Its to promote the gospel of reading great books whether they be picture books, comics, novels, or magazines. The kids are mean to be of different ages and nationalities. Could you see this in your local library, doctor's office, classroom, or in your kids' bedroom?

Purchase print

10.9.14

656 Comic para todo / Comics for everyone

"Tine que ser divertido/ it has to be fun"! Very proud of the 656 Crew, they had what looked like an amazing gallery opening of their artwork featuring sketches and murals. And this video looks like the start of something cool. Comics for everyone or #ComicParaTodos

Setting 2


Scene two in a new series of plein air (out doors) paintings