I know of the East Bay Dragons from driving or walking by their clubhouse on E-14th st as a young man. I've never known anyone personally in the group, but I've always been aware of them and seen them riding through the town. They are one of the first Black motorcycle clubs in the US, if not the first. They were founded by Tobie Gene Levingston in 1959 and continue to ride to this day. Much like lowrider clubs they get a bad rap from media, but they do community events and try to give back. Although, just by seeing the care they put into their art is inspiring enough I think. There is a book out on them called "Soul on Bikes". I would love to see their story portrayed in a beautiful, nuanced, and truthful light either through narrative film, comics, podcast, documentary, or animation.
Katara and Toph chillin', catching up on old times. If you have children, you know who these characters are and what strength they represent as part of the Avatar series. One bends and controls water, one bends and controls earth/metal.
This is dope to me because it raises an issue that far too many people in filmmaking and those in power to green light or fund a film look over. I know you need known actresses to get people into the theater.I get it. But that is not an excuse for over 60 years worth of racist bullshit. Don't get me started, but please watch this video and share it if you agree. It's not just emotion, it is fact. And i'm glad vox did this because it challenges what has been "ok" to do for much too long.
Am I the prettiest?! Sho-Nuff! Do you remember this character? The actor that played him was Julius Carry the third. He died in 2008 unfortunately, but not before a long and extensive career acting in film and tv. The film is one of my all time favorites. The fact that I got to see a black protagonist who was into martial arts as a kid was pretty awesome. So were all the characters. But i especially loved Sho-Nuff!!
Data gliding across a zip line into the front screen door of Mikey's house. Anybody remember watching this movie as a kid? The Goonies was one of my favorite films as a kid. I loved all of the characters. There are definitely some problematic parts (Rosita) but the films search for treasure is what many kids are wishing for in this day and age of people being evicted. Anyways, whats your favorite line Data said? Do you remember which character was wearing a Purple Rain shirt?
I imagined Lisa and Naomi (Ibeyi) dancing or goofing around for this one. I first heard of Ibeyi when they released the video for "river" and was stopped in my tracks. I have to be honest, i did not love their sound at first. It grew on me. And although i missed their bay area performance, I get it now and truly love what they're bringing to music on a whole. Me and my wife will be there next time. I look forward to hearing their life's work. If you're not aware of this duo from Paris by way of Cuba, then go look them up and listen to an interview in either english, spanish, or french.
Woah!!!This is my sixth portrait illustration (youth poet poster) of an Oakland Youth Poet for Chapter 510. I painted the youth Poets in 2014 and one in 2015. Can't believe I've been so fortunate to work on these. It is truly a blessing to create artwork that is about the poets. Because each one of them has a voice, individual style, and something strong to say; they were chosen as Poet Laureate's of Oakland. As a collaboration between Youth Speaks, the Oakland Public Library, and Chapter 510 it is dope to see youth from many different backgrounds and poetry styles up there. Who knows what young person is seeing a reflection of their face or life through them? This is a shot of Tova Ricardo holding the poster i illustrated of her.
Had the pleasure of working on this poster recently for the UC Berkeley Haas institute for a fair and inclusive society. This illustration will be part of a resource guide of inclusive practices in immigration and incarceration law policy. I created the illustrations for the poster and it was designed for an event happening at the end of this month called "We Too Belong: Building Power at the Intersection of Immigration and Incarceration". It is a half day workshop/ talk about best practices to help include both immigrants and formerly incarcerated folks in the conversation about law, advocacy, the prison industrial complex, and policy. If you're in the Berkeley area on April 26th, please go check it out at 5pm in the David Brower Center. The event will host some guest speakers involved in political organizing, education, law, and social justice work. Shout out to Rachelle for bringing me on the project. Tickets
Here are some sketches of the individual people in the poster who are leaders and activists!
1. Beejus-Musician from West Oakland 2. Pete Chan-visual development artist 3.Cloth from Bhutan, part of my experience at Asian Art Museum SF 4. Traveling/Trips w/ family 5. My wife prepping for her pop up 6. Anderson Paak w/ Schoolboy Q-Am I wrong? 7. Jamel Shabazz again-A time before crack 8. Chabe Escalante-Illustrator/Character designer 9. We are King-The Greatest 10. Blaxicans of LA (Nadia) 11. If You Build it-Documentary 12. Black History Month-so much cool research (Keith Elam/Guru) 13. My son and my brother Levi-learning about video games 14. Astrophysicist 15. My son again-being silly 16. Sanjay's Super Team-pixar film by artist Sanjay Patel
Every three or four months I make a board of inspiring books, films, songs, musicians, cultural events, really anything that inspires me. These are some of my most latest inspirations. Follow the tag for more from the past.