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!

12.3.19

Stuff I've been listening to - 12

Wow, I must have listened to this song 20 times playing the bridge over and over. Gabby Wilson aka H.E.R. is an incredible musician and deserves every single praise and or accolade. These are a bunch of songs I've had on repeat recently. You can see the last "Stuff I've been listening to" HERE
Temani really gives a different style on this one. Unlike any voice i've heard recently.
This is an old one, but I've been listening to a lot of house lately. Good vibes please! Both Yvette and Spinna did their thing on this! Makes me want to dance every time I hear it.


Destani Wolf's voice is a thing to behold. I've been in the same room as her while she sang and it just lifts you off the ground. Headnodic of Crown City Rockers produced this incredibly vibe filled beat.
This entire EP is fire. Just head nod material from start to finish!
Anthony Valadez, shout out to RecordBreakin!
A group of giants! R+R=Now
Again, found them via RecordBreakin!

Podcast Interview- Papa Culture Pod!

Yo! Been listening to this laid back podcast run by two fathers. They talk about hip hop, sports, pop culture, dad fails, and dad triumphs! I was lucky enough to be a guest on their show. Check it out on Itunes, Stitcher, or whatever podcast app you listen to. 

Here is the link if you want to listen to it on your desktop. LINK

5.3.19

Latino Comics Expo - Modesto March 15-16th

This is the 8th annual Latino Comics Expo. I attended one of the first expos in San Francisco and since then, the organizers (Ricardo Padilla and Javier Hernandez) have created events in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Columbus Ohio, San Jose,  and Brownsville Texas. This is the schedule for panels and speakers.
I will be there selling my books and other goodies. Please come or invite someone you know who lives in Stanislaus county (Modesto, Turlock, Salida). If you'd like more info, please go HERE.

The LCE, has not only provided warm and welcoming environments for creators of stories and story seekers, they have also helped promote academic study of Latino Comics, animation, and film events. With their ground breaking collaboration "Sol Con" they are also bridging cultures by encouraging Black and Brown creators to join forces. Stay tuned and follow them on 


4.3.19

Rock the School Bells - Educators Conference


Peace y'all, I will be tabling at the 12th annual Rock the School Bells Conference for educators on march 9th and the Conference for youth w/ workshops on March 23rd at Skyline College in San Bruno California. Come through if you work with youth or if you have youth that you'd like to expose to some dope hip hop & ethnic studies education.


Need more information? Want to volunteer? MORE INFO

Here are some videos from past years so you can get an idea for what to expect.

Cleo Sol - Inspiration


"As the mist falls heavenly" -Cleo Sol

28.2.19

Burial of Kojo - Array release

Array is kicking off 2019 with their 22nd release,
The Burial of Kojo,directed by Ghanian filmmaker,  Samuel "Blitz" Bazawule, also known as musician Blitz the Ambassador (@blitztheambassador)



27.2.19

Coach NYM - Dope man


Hey, if you listened to STIC Man's "workout LP" you heard this brother NYM before. He was on "Let it burn" and this new LP sounds dope if you're into that fit-hop sound. No cussing on the whole LP either so you can play it with your kids. Cop it HERE

23.2.19

Curyj - Oakland (Poster)

This is a poster illustration I created for CURYJ in Oakland, which stands for Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice. Here's some of the process for this piece. This piece was created for several purposes and I worked with the staff to illustrate an image of Curyj staff and youth planting new life in the form of their organizing for justice. Having spent a little time working in juvenile justice the issues they work on are super needed as it is easy to fall into the pipeline that leads to life in prison. There are so many traps for youth of color, so it is nice to see a group of adults and youth work to pass laws, influence change in their city. and to provide connection to healing and indigenous ways. The poster also has the faces of elders who have passed away looking over the young people.
CURYJ does some important work assisting young people who've been in the juvenile justice system, and keeping kids out of the system by exposing them to healing, social justice, and organizing. To support their work please visit them HERE.

Booklandia Coloring sheets

Big shout out to bilingual book box "Booklandia" for including some of my artwork as a coloring sheet for kids in their recent book boxes. Booklandia was founded by Maceo Cabrera-Estevez in Oakland California to send picture books, middle grade, and young adult kids books to parents and educators across the world. This company is very special because it seeks to share books that feature children of all colors in English and Spanish. Check them out. Here is some more artwork.
And the original image from my bookplate!
Bookplates here

22.2.19

Video: Support Oakland Teachers



KQED Arts -Oakland Teachers Strike!!

Yo!! Yesterday marked DAY ONE of the Oakland teachers strike here in the Bay Area. Like West Virginia, LA, Denver, Chicago, and many other cities Oakland's teachers are striking to get more resources for their students, smaller class sizes, more nurses, counselors, and better pay so they can do their jobs effectively and live in the city they teach in. 

Artist and badass Thi Bui (Things we could do) organized a bunch of us local cartoonists to go to Oakland schools, interview teachers, and draw them so we could assist their fight for fair pay.

As a former after school enrichment teacher who worked in many Oakland schools and as a parent of a child that went from Kindergarten to 8th grade in an Oakland school i fully support Oakland teachers. And the more I hear about the district cheating the students out of $ for basic shit like books, pencils, usable libraries, and teachers that do not leave after one year I am furious.

Please go check out the artwork by the other artists and hear quotes direct from the teachers!

Shout out to all the Oakland organizers, parents, and union members bringing the fight to the district and the sate! Forward!


17.2.19

Camp Atwater - Black History Month

Last summer I heard about Camp Atwater-a historic piece of Black and American history. I was driving through LA listening to Code Switch. Episode "Summer Vacation" spoke about people of color in the outdoors, the damage the sun can do, and this camp. 

Camp Atwater was founded in 1921 by Dr. William DeBerry. He purchased some 54 acres of land in North Brookfield Massachusetts. That's roughly the size of two baseball stadiums! Dr. DeBerry was was part of the Urban League in Springfield (MA). The Urban League is an organization founded in 1910 in NYC to fight for the rights of Black folks in the US. DeBerry, who was also a pastor helped get a chapter going in Springfield where a sizable population of Black folks had grown. As part of the great migration of Blacks from the South to northern cities. Anyway, Black folks could not send their children to camps owned by Whites. So DeBerry founded Camp Atwater, previously called "St. John's Camp" after the local church. 

Atwater is the oldest Black owned camp for Black children in the US. They have a time slot during the summer for boys, and one for girls. Kids come, and stay in cabins. They get three meals a day, and the hang out, do activities, have fun. Atwater has offered archery, baseball, basketball, Black history, chess, creative writing, drama, fencing, fishing, football, hiking, lacrosse, martial arts, soccer, and more. Swimming stuck out to me because like the camp's Black folks often didn't have access to pools back then. Camp Atwater was set on the shore of a lake and they made sure youth knew how to swim! 

Being in existence this long makes me wonder what kind of organization, project management, bookkeeping, conflict resolution, and grit it has taken to keep it open for nearly a century! On their site you can read more about them and I highly recommend listening to the CodeSwitch episode which interviews former attendees and talks about the economic mix of kids. I would love to hear how they are welcoming or being open to transgender Black kids who don't identify as Boy or Girl. . But, BIG shout out to Camp Atwater for making building a sanctuary. And big shout out to Outdoor Afro who has reignited a long tradition of Black folks getting outdoorsy and new to the outdoors Black folks together.

If you are new to my blog, my name is Robert Liu-Trujillo. I'm a father, husband, and an illustrator from the Bay Area. I love hiking, camping, backpacking, and I even did some fishing with my grandparents as a kid. For this image I wanted to focus on some of the activities the camp has offered while also giving a feeling of being outdoors. I also have been painting and drawing images for Black history month for the last three years. To see more of them  CLICK HERE.
-Rob

Sources: Codeswitch NPR Podcast, Camp Atwater, Urban League of SpringfieldBlack Past

Word to Inkwell, someone needs to make a movie based on this camp! A documentary or narrative!

Some of my favorites from Black History Month over the years:

Elizabeth Catlett
Steve Muhammad
Roxanne Shante
Roy DeCarava
Memphis Minnie
Blake Brockington
Shine Louise Houston


9.2.19

Character 146 - Self Portrait 2019 + new branding

Hey, I've done a few self portraits over the past five years. Here's a new new one, which You'll be seeing a lot more of. 

Here's a painterly one
Here's a teen version, similar to this one

Also, I just updated my website, blog, and other social media with this new image and typography. Check it out.


7.2.19

Bookmark 5 - Story time teens

Here's a new book mark. An educator asked me to take my story time poster and make a bookmark out of it, so I did and it looks great. You can cop one here. Here are some other images of it.



1.2.19

Contract Buyers League - Black History Month

I illustrated this to contribute to a poster book called "Celebrate People's History", which will be published by Feminist Press next year. This book is being spearheaded by artist Josh Macphee and features over a hundred great artists speaking on moments of social justice and resistance, not just individuals. To find out more about the book, follow Feminist Press. Follow Josh's work at Just Seeds here.

I first came across the CBL after reading Tanheisi Coates' "The Case for Reparations" (The Atlantic, 2014); then again through Beryl Satter's book "Family Properties". The Contract Buyers League was formed in 1968 by Black residents of North Lawndale Chicago, priest Jack Macnamara, and young organizers.

Black folks have been robbed for hundreds of millions by what is known as contract lending for housing in Chicago. To buy a house you need a mortgage which you pay into over time, can renegotiate, and pay a fair price for. This can be obtained by getting a loan from a bank, by saving a large sum of money, or from wealth passed down. Black folks were consistently refused by banks , rarely had wealth passed down, and often worked many jobs to afford a down payment. In Chicago, they were also limited to where they could live after and during the great migration (1917-1960) from the Southern US to cities like Chicago (and NY, Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, etc).


Enterprising white businessmen made contracts that allowed Black folks to live in a home. But, these men bought a home for 6 or 8 thousand dollars and would sell it to Black families for double or triple that cost. If the Black families missed one payment during the first year or the 15th year the businessmen could come take the house back and flip it again to another Black family. As a result Black families worked twice or three times harder than whites to buy and live in a house. The contract owner also assumed no responsibility for repairs, licenses, or taxes. In fact, they would often require Black home owners to make additions to their homes costing them even more. As a result Black housing became worn down, they had less time to care for their kids, and this was used as a way to talk down to or label their neighborhoods "ghetto's".

So, Jack, college students, and Black residents organized. They formed the "Contract Buyers League" to stop this madness in their city.They went around helping folks understand the language written in the contracts, gathered resources, strategized in large meetings, withheld money from these thieving contract owners, and helped some 400 families renegotiate their monthly payment and contracts so that they could own their homes. How did they do it? They embarrassed the owners, picketed, faced physical and verbal violence, spoke to the media, enlisted the help of progressive lawyers, and they organized.

Note, the white businessmen had the support of not only local white residents who didn't want Black folks living near them, but the local police department, the mayor, judges, lawmakers, banks, and the US Federal government through the FHA.

Sources: To read learn more bout their work and the vicious cycle of "redlining" see: Family Properties by Beryl Satter, The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, Code Switch's podcast episode "Location, Location, Location", Tanehisi Coates article "The Case for Reparations",  articles by The Chicago Tribune's and the Chicago Reporter. And the http://contractbuyersleague.blogspot.com/

Process sketch:

Drawn with pencil, paper, photoshop, and the ipad pro

Want to see more of my illustrations from Black History Month? Click HERE



12.1.19

POC POV

This is an typographic painting I made awhile ago as a sticker first and now as a full fledged painting. POC stands for "people or person of color" and POV stands for "point of view". So it means people of color point of view. I painted this on cold press watercolor paper with gouache paint. This is all painted and drawn by by hand. 

Why? In popular media and history the POV of people of color has often been left out, ignored , forgotten, misquoted, misrepresented, or overshadowed. This initially was created to help librarians label books by authors of color but I believe it can apply in academic, professional, or home environments. Not only that, but I believe it can lead to some tough conversations about race, identity, and white supremacy.