9.7.20

VIDEO: Wexner Center for the Arts (Lettering)



Here's the second video I created for the Wexner Center for the Arts. This is a quick tutorial in calligraphy or hand lettering. There are so many different styles and fonts to choose from but this is just an introduction. Since I was a child I spent thousands of hours practicing my letters. Please share with any young artists in your life.

Did you see the last one I did about characters? Peep it HERE!

"13 Ways of Looking at a Black Boy" feat in NY Times

Just wanted to share some news about "13 Ways of Looking at a Black Boy" that I illustrated for author Tony Medina/ Penny Candy Books along with 12 other illustrators. It was included in the NY Times magazine "Wirecutter's" list of Anit-racist books for children. 
Check it out HERE

Here's a synopsis of the book in case you missed it:
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina offers a fresh perspective of young men of color by depicting thirteen views of everyday life: young boys dressed in their Sunday best, running to catch a bus, and growing up to be teachers, and much more. Each of Tony Medina’s tanka is matched with a different artist—including recent Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Award recipients.

If you'd like a copy you can purchase it from me now HERE.

Here is a list the book was included on as well: Cincinnati Library




6.7.20

Ethnic Studies Pack

Whats up fam? You can cop this pack of stickers and prints for your classroom, home, or office! I originally made the pack to help fundraise for this network of Ethnic Studies educators in Cali-follow them here on IG. But now that I was able to raise a bit of $ I'm going to continue to sell this pack.

Ethnic Studies for those who don't know is an organized curriculum of books, films, lectures, music, and culture that explore all that US and American history left out about African Americans, Latin@S, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. It now includes curriculum about Middle Eastern Americans, and sometimes LGBTQ studies as well. I'm a product of ethnic studies and i'm very proud to support ethnic studies curriculum all over the US in EVERY SCHOOL. You want a print or a sticker?


Did you see the show I made the "Ethnic studies painting" for?

4.7.20

Reading w/ Tia Chucha- July 9th

Excited to announce that I will be reading online for Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural y Bookstore in 
the San Fernando Valley (North of LA) on July 9th at 12pm. I've been a fan of writer Luis J. Rodriguez's work since I read "The Republic of East LA" which I read in the early 2000's. Luis is a poet and writer who started Tia Chucha's because there was no bookstore in this area. Tia Chucha's is also a press so it's great to be reading in their "Lil Readers" program which you can catch live on their facebook or Instagram pg.

30.6.20

Mural: Black Lives

Before/After
I painted this in collaboration w/ artist & business owner Binta Ayofemi. She came up with the design and Paint The Void commissioned it. Haven't painted a big wall (30' x 50') in a minute so it was nice to get back up on the lift. It was painted with house paint, brushes, rollers, and Montana Spray.Shout out to Nisha K Sethi (TYS) who hooked this up for me. 

Affirming Black Lives w/ the words "Reparations" and "Transformations" is a powerful statement. Despite the circumstances it felt good to collab with Binta and hear from every day folks. There were so many beautiful pieces painted in downtown and East Oakland since George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were murdered. This is not the first time I've painted a wall, banner, or painting in response to police terrorism and I know it won't be the last. But, i'm encouraged by how many more artists (OGs and youngsters) out there taking control of the narrative w/their work.

The work we all create is part of a legacy of resistance. Keep creating young artists! Marathon over sprint. And please take care of each other. We got a long way to go. 

Check out some of the process and close ups. 
Binta's sketch
Mask ready
Sketch
Adding gold
Cleaning it up
Adding gold

Almost there
Binta wanted to let em know
Done


Signed

Did you see this post? Police Brutality Over The Years



28.6.20

VIDEO: Wex Center for the Arts (Characters)



Hey, I was commissioned by Wexner Center (Ohio) to make some quick videos for kids at home during quarantine. These took awhile to do but were really fun. Check out the first of three about drawing character designs. I make lots of character designs for fun, for clients, and for stories so this is a short peek into how I come up with them. I visited Columbus Ohio and met Dionne Custer who reached out to me for this.

See some details about this year's character collage which is featured in this video a bit. Here's one of them.

25.6.20

Queer POC Collage 2020

Hey, just wanted to share some of my favorite queer activists, artists, journalists, and leaders who I've drawn and painted over the past 5 years since its Pride week. There were so many so I had to just pick a few. This is my way to show up for my queer folkers by painting you and letting folks know I support you.

Top to Bottom, Left to Right:
1. Miss Major-Activist
2. Sylvia Rivera-Activist
3. Marlon Riggs-Filmmaker
4. D'Lo-Writer/Actor
6. Jewel Thais-Williams-Healer
8. Ann Wolfe-Fighter
9. Marsha P Johnson-Activist
10. Raveena-Artist
11. Arlan Hamilton-Venture Capitalist
12. Deb Never-Musician
13. Bishop Yvette Flunder-Spiritual leaders
14. Shine Louise Houston-Filmmaker
15. Jamilah King-Journalist
16. Alvin Ailey-Dancer

Video "READY" by Meridian Lights



Shout to Brooklynites Meridian Lights for making this dope song and shout out to Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi for capturing the feeling. 

23.6.20

Children's Portrait collage (4) - 2017-2020

Here's the latest collage of children's portraits. This collage spans from 2017-2020. I definitely slowed down a bit on these portraits recently but I'm gaining steam again. These are one of a kind, hand painted portraits that I started painting in 2012 to put out the word that I was working on a children's book. 8 years and 8 published kids books later and I'm still painting these. And having fun with them since they help me sustain myself as an artist and they provide a service to you. People have commissioned these for parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, partners, and friends. 

If you'd like to commission one for yourself or as a gift to someone, follow this LINK
Thanks in advance!

Check out some of the collages from previous years. 

22.6.20

Children's Portrait 58 - Aissa

Yo, excited to share this latest portrait of Aissa. Shes a beautiful little one mixed with Black, Mexican, Argentinian, and Armenian. She loves the color pink so thts what I included here. A few years back I painted her big sister Niara! Big thanks to their momma for commissioning.

If you'd like to commission an original portrait you can do so HERE. Thank you for supporting a working artist and one of a kind hand made art vs corporate art.

Check out the last portrait of Walker here. And some process art below.






Conversation btwn Pat Cummings & Diane Dillon


Pat Cummings is a great artist and mentor. And its awesome to see and hear her talk about the art of Diane and Leo Dillon. A rare treat for those who love the work of the Dillon's!

20.6.20

Children's Portrait 57 - Walker

Here is the latest children's portrait. This one for my good friends Melinh and Malik. This young man is Malik's son and Melinh's step-son. He's in college now and a man. It was really fun painting him, trying to capture his smile and warmth. Love his wild hair!

Did you catch the last children's portraits of Cinthya's kids? See it HERE

If you would like to commission a portrait of a child or children please reach out and cop one from my store. Thanks so much for supporting one of a kind, unique, handmade art and for supporting an artist vs a corporation.

Here's some process art below.








19.6.20

Black Owned Bookstores

Peeeeace, props to all the folks hitting the streets these past few weeks and this weekend. If you're not familiar with the Movement for Black Lives check out their website and see the demands. This moment of righteous rage against police brutality which is a tactic of a much larger system/ state) is not about just marching, there are concrete demands. Take "Economic Justice" for one. The odds have been stacked against Black owned businesses for a long time and I'm excited to see people circulating a list of Black owned restaurants, musicians, artists, organizations, and bookstores people can donate to. And people have been doing it. 

I donated to my local Oakland store "Marcus Books". I sell my book there, and I order new books through them. If you are not hitting the streets because of Covid or you want a different tactic here are five reasons to support black owned bookstores today.

5 REASONS
1. They carry knowledge in the form of books and stories other stores do not.
2. They give new upcoming Black authors and scholars a path to a career in literary arts and storytelling.
3. They serve as archivists of Black history, achievements, movements, and accomplishments.
4. They serve as vital homes for more than books for musicians, organizers, students, self publishing authors, book clubs, and families.
5. They are anchors that help other Black owned businesses thrive too.

So I put AALBC-The African American Literary Book Club up first because they have been keeping a list of Black owned bookstores up for over a decade. And there are over 125 stores on the list. Connect with your local store and support them by buying books there or donating to them.

Second, I want to give some props to Noname from Chicago for starting a book club that recognizes and champions Black owned bookstores as well. Here is their partial list. Follow Noname's Book Club for more.  Please do not purchase books from Amazon! Support an actual small Black owned business rather than a mega corporation.



I'd like to add that if you're in the Bay Area there is a 2nd Black owned bookstore that specializes in children's literature. Its in Richmond California and is called the "Multicultural Children's Bookstore".


18.6.20

Daddy Thoughts 21- Father's Day Rap

Starting this one off with a new one- Skyzoo from brooklyn.

There are sooo many hip hop artists that mention their children but these are a few I actually remember.  I feel like, just with any music the song has to be dope. And second, it helps to have a positive message whether that is from a person to an absentee parent or a from a new parent to a baby or child. They all important. What about you? Which hip hop song about fatherhood comes to mind for you?
Classic from Bambu-Oakland/LA


Bru Lei from Sacramento! Rico Pabon of "Prophets of Rage" -Oakland
Xzibit- LA Nas-NYC Classic from ED OG - Boston

The last joint I wrote about was called "Other Plans"

14.6.20

Lianne and Tom Misch/Yusef Dayes


Loving this new Lianne La Havas song Also loving this album by Tom Misch and Yusef Dayes

Old Art 2 - Overall's design

1990 Was probably the year I drew these. Can't say for sure because I didn't write dates down back then. 90 was the year BBD dropped the LP "Poison". I saw them airbrushed joints they were wearing and like sooo many other kids I said "I have to get those" to my mom. So, this is how a few bigs things happened for me. 1. I met the OG Mike "Dream" Francisco RIP 2. I because OBSESSED with Graff (I was already a big Hip hop fan). 3. I began my practice/meditation/study as an artist. For brevity, I'll keep it short:
1. Mike Dream worked at Hilltop Mall in Richmond which was where it was at back then. His shop was "Shirtique" and the man, the art, and the love he showed filled me up and lead me to OGs like Spie.
2. From that moment on, I became an active student of Graffiti or "Writing". I drew, I painted walls, bombed, tagged, hung out, formed life long friendships, all that but really more so remained consistent with drawing. 
3. Overalls, lead to Mike and Graff, which lead to me pursuing artwork on my own. The key here is "on my own". No one told me to do it, my mom, family, and friends just encouraged me. The art I make is a product of all those people and encouragement. Its my job, practice, meditation, and spirituality at times.

These overalls still might look fresh! Stay tuned for more old art as I find them.

Did you see the last "Old Art" I posted? - Lynching 

7.6.20

Old Art - Lynching

2002. I was so angry back then. I remember I thought it was my job to paint art that was unsettling, enraged, angry, and screaming "Look at this!! Don't you dare look away!" I was leaving SF State University, not knowing how I wanted to express myself. Started in graphic design. That was only part of the picture. Took some fine art. Also only part of it. I was lucky to take ethnic studies classes in Black studies, Native American history, and Latin American history. That was part of it.

You can't learn about the true history of this great nation of America (US, North, South America, Canada) without getting a little pissed off because so much of what was happened here is intentionally left out. The connection to today is as clear as day. It's one of the reasons I hated reading as a child. I never met a child like me in their pages and I knew they were leaving alotta shit out.

I guess thats part of why I create stories now. To show, to be healthy, and to see.

Around this time. (Over 17 years ago) Trust your Struggle Collective was starting. I learned that art is as much about what has happened as it is "what could be". I thought I was so cool back when I painted this. How much I had to learn haha. Some people stared at the hundreds of actual beads in this mixed media piece. So many cringed and turned away.

Old sketches from 2006 "All City Sacred" a  gallery show by TYS.

2.6.20

Inspiring Artist - Afu Chan

Peace just sharing an artist who's work inspires me. Check out Afu Chan here. More of his work below.





Bilingual Book deals

Yo, peace and blessings to you admist the chaos that is Amerikkka. I have just uploaded two new deals to my shop for those that are interested in sending someone a little love via bilingual books and such. The first one is a care package of books, bookmarks, and stickers. 
PURCHASE Here

The second deal is just the books. And if you search on here you can go through and find reviews for both Furqan's First Flat Top written and illustrated by me, and One of a Kind Like Me, written by Laurin Mayeno and illustrated by me. 
PURCHASE Here

Did you see the last pack of bilingual book marks for COMICS Readers?

1.6.20

Distortion 2 Static -Bay Area Hip Hop TV Show

Legends

I remember seeing this. You never know who on the street is a part of hip hop history. Respect everyone. These cats used to bboy out there on Market st in SF all the time. Style Elements? Before I even knew who he was Doooom Rocky!

31.5.20

Kindred Journey 37 - A4BL

I remember beaming with happiness and pride when I saw a group of young Asian Americans chain themselves to a building( Police Dept)  to protest. They were bold and I remember thinking "that's what I'm talking about". Showing up and showing out with direct action. That group was A4BL or Asians 4 Black Lives, in support of Black activists and Black folks being murdered by cops. This was shortly after Mike Brown was killed. After Oscar, Rekia, Tamir, Tyisha, and Trayvon. Anyway, I won't get into the history. I've pasted their statement below. To all my young Aapi's this month I just wanted to share this with you if you didn't know. Solidarity exists. Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month. Fuck the police. 

We stand on the doorstep of the Oakland Police Department today as a group of Asians putting our bodies on the line in response to a national call to shut down institutions that perpetrate the war on Black people.  It is unacceptable that every 28 hours a Black person is killed by the police, security or vigilantes.
As Asians, we recognize the ways in which we’ve been used historically to prop up the anti-Black racism that allows this violence to occur. We are an extremely diverse community.  Some of us have been targeted, profiled, and killed by U.S. government institutions.  Many of us came to the U.S. as a result of the devastation and displacement caused by the US military and its “partners” in Asia, only to find a country uses police to devastate and displace black communities.  However, we also recognize the relative privilege that many of us carry as Asians living in the US. 
Many of our Asian brothers and sisters around the country have made powerful statements in support of ending the war on Black people and shown up to protests.  We hope that Asian communities will join us in reflecting on and continuing to practice an intentional Black-Asian solidarity, as we work toward the vision offered by organizers in Ferguson:
Source: https://a4bl.tumblr.com/

Did you catch the last one of Rocky Rivera?
Did you see this one of Bambu?


28.5.20

Kindred Journey 36 - Rocky Rivera

The majority of my community knows this phenomenal artist, but let me give you a little backstory if you're unfamiliar. Rocky started her music career officially in the mid 2000's as one fourth of the group "Rhapsodistas", then the release of her mixtape "Married to the Hustle". Since 2008 she's released a consistent catalogue of EPs, features, mixtapes with DJ Roza, and three full length albums; most recently "Rocky's Revenge". Born in the Philippines she came to the US as a child. She and her two sisters gravitated heavily to hip hop. She grew up in the San Francisco, specifically the Excelsior district. A student of journalism Rock has written for publications such as XXL, The Source, Ruckus, and was featured as part of MTV's "I'm From Rolling Stone" show where she wrote and covered hip hop stories for the magazine. Always a sharp thinker you can hear subjects ranging from religion, colorism, Pinay pride, Filipin@ history, guerilla warfare, revolutionary politics, and feminism to mob music, gold grills, knocking sound systems, and motherhood. Besides being a fierce MC that will rip any rapper and write a rhyme from multiple vantages of a story, she is a super down to earth person who lives what she spits. On any given day you could catch her rocking a show, working with youth, writing a book, attending a protest, organizing, rocking some fly fashion, or just raising her kids with her partner. As someone who always uplifts other women you'll often see her praising other women too. She is a pioneer that is paving a way and giving other young artists a voice to truly believe in and be inspired by. Ok, please go bump her music, follow, and be a part of new music and writing as a Patreon supporter.

Fav Song: GRLGNG
Sources: Davey D's Hip Hop Corner, HypeBae, East Bay Express, El Tecolote, Beatrock Music

Did you catch the last one of Deb Never?




25.5.20

Kindred Journey 35 - Deb Never

This is Deb Never, a young musician from LA, by way of Spokane Washington. Just down the block from the Cour d' Alene Indian reservation. Deb is fresh and I'm not really sure what music category to put her in yet. She sings, can rhyme a little bit, plays guitar, piano, and probably some other shit. She's a Korean American church kid who started working on music in her teens. Self described as hella awkward and nervous, she's come out of her shell to drop her first EP called House On Wheels. She lead into that with the singles "Swimming" (How I found her) and "Ugly". She just released a new project dedicated to frontline workers for covid 19 called "Intermission" and she started releasing music on Soundcloud in 2017. She dipped to LA, started releasing music, and got signed with some friends, the cats who run "We Did It" records ( Shlomo, RL Grime). Style wise, besides the moody and whatever vibes she gives off you can tell she has a sense of humor and I urge you to check her out.

Fav Song: Swimming
Sources: Complex, Red Bull, Fader, NME

Did you catch the last one of Blue Scholars?