Jul 30, 2010


Check this out! One of my favorite Jazz tunes/LP's by Archie Shepp. Just wrote about it for Muphoric Sounds. Did I mention that I LOVE JAZZ music?! To hear it and read my review of "A Blues for brother George Jackson" by Archie Shepp

Jul 22, 2010

Inspiration 4

Some inspirational things for me:My son, who just had a birthday. Kenjji Marshall's "Witch doctor" comic, Jeremy Love's "Bayou". Creature Box design company, Bare Naked Granola, the classroom sheet from a class I taught recently in Oakland,a foto of some of the kids I worked with at Youth Together, Some hand painted window calligraphy,My Crew's effort to travel to the Phillipines, A solar backpack(because im thinking of getting off the grid), The Jazz Liberatorz(France),The Makers Faire in Africa(Make tv),Justice for the family of Oscar Grant, Ms Erykah Badu, and even Will Smith who dropped some inspiring words on the Tavis Smiley show

Jul 14, 2010

Afro Surfer Dude

A piece I created as a sketch for the child of a friend of mine, that turned into something else.I redid it for the Galeria De La Raza show and I really like how it came out. I hope to be painting some murals that are a little less explained like this soon.

Jul 11, 2010

Character 9

Just got a new refill-able brush pen.Its verry nice.Did this while watching "Pressure Cooker"(a documentary about a culinary arts class of young brown youth in Philadelphia.

Jul 9, 2010

Today-July 8th, 2010 (Reflections on the feeling)

Today I felt tense, tired, fear, strength. I was captivated by the ideas of young artists in my class, and at the same time walked cautiously through downtown Oakland holding my child’s hand, past the edgy officers and resilient but frustrated people. The people have yet another example of how the larger systems of control think of us. I’m pissed too! What keeps ringing in my head is what I will do as an artist to contribute to change.

My parents and family raised me with many ideas both political and personal. I was blessed to sprinkled with game instead of being kept in the dark about what was happening around me. Neither myself or them fully over stood it all though. I’m not sure its possible to comprehend a system that is like a puzzle that never ceases to change. At the same time it brought me a lot of stress and frustration to get the idea that all of the injustice around me was by design. On purpose. The weight of the world on your shoulders is probably how that can be best described.

I often asked my father before my parents split, “what can I do?” He pointed to the little doodles that hung from my wall and filled up my notebooks and said to do what I love to do. Use that to speak. My parents both said this, and they were right. That is why I do what I do. My mom, my step dad, and so many of my family and friends Im grateful for because they support me in this life long love, dedication, endeavor, job, passion, cultural work, etc.

The things I keep thinking about today after hearing the verdict in the Oscar Grant case are reaction vs action, independence, and the future. I have seen these verdicts before, and it feels something like the twilight zone. But its not TV, this is reality.

The folks didnt tear Oakland the fuck up today. Why? I saw Jeff Chang write that “Peace workers, organizers, NOT police or Mayor Dellums or OPD are to thank for that”. But what do we do when the system of oppression shows us again how they feel...blatantly and overtly?

I think, lets think outside of the box in our tactics of reaction and Pro-activity.
I think of this like health in the body. I could take an aspirin to stop my headache, but the headache affects my entire body. The symptom has roots all over my body. My heart goes out to the Grant family. And I really just think about how many people this has happened to, how common, how symptomatic the killings are, and how I as an artist must take steps to paint not only the PAST and Present, but the future. What I see in the system of policing, and justice in the US is not an isolated area of the body. Rather a symptom much like a disease or virus that effects the entire body. Or in this case, the entire community and the cycle of life here in the states and abroad. The roots, not just the branches.

I would like to see Black folks say "screw this system" and I would like to paint pictures of how to leave it. Rescue the ones who are caught in it, don’t leave folks behind enemy lines, thousands of black folks are locked up for little more than trying to survive. And they got 20 years, life! Mesherle gets 2-4 years for murder of an unarmed man, defenseless man. Fuck this system. I feel like, I want to paint people doing revolutionary things like:

1. Planning for the realistic: Does anyone think we should boycott public transportation? I mean, ff we cannot feel safe on their Bart, AC Transit, MTA, Marta, etc why not start riding bicycles? We could get around from place to place with out supporting a system that cares nothing for our lives. For longer trips, maybe I could paint the picture of People of Color investing in each other for transportation? A POC(People of Color) taxis service for those who need help in traveling longer distances. That might support the black and brown economy.

2. Planning for the unrealistic: Who says we can’t dream? Why can’t we control our own food, clothing, shelter, medicine, education, justice? I’m taking steps to become less dependent on the system with the goal of being free of the systems constraints. Why? The money I spend is not being invested in my family properly. It is not being over seen by mindful people. Also, what I do here , because of how the US operates internationally is genocidal to people all over the world.

3. A new age of revolution. My peoples, the techniques we used to fight back 60 yrs ago, or even 20 years ago are not all valid. I’m not saying we abandon what has worked. BUT, the media, police, federal officers, lawmakers, even the president are all very skilled at keeping the masses down through extremely well thought out and organized passification, outright murder, distraction, misinformation, and obstacles. Think of the music industry and how they are scrambling to "Control" what you buy and listen to. They have been trying to prosecute people for refusing to buy when they can get it for free. If young people don’t buy what is being shoved down their throat, they are being critical and actively seeking out what they want. Being critical and active are two things that neither Time Warner or public education reinforce. Lets use some NEW + old tactics to INFORM, PREPARE, CHANGE, OVER THROW.

I was thinking of painting more people of color:

-Exercising and living healthier lives both physically and mentally. Lets face it, people of color have been the most affected by the larger systems at work and as a result we have become extremely sick.

-Growing their own damn food-not depending on the liquor store or Jack n the crack because California and New York law (for example) and international fast food do not have health in mind. They have profit in mind.

-Studying science, engineering, architecture-so we can build our future instead of waiting for someone else to when they’re good and ready. I mean, we live near freeways, power plants, industrial waste sites, and worse. Could we design and build our community without these things or with more protection from them? I think so.

-Self defense (they’re slapping us in the face. Killing a child and receiving a slap on the wrist is the same as saying your life don’t mean shit, mine don’t, my child's don’t). Well, I say training to self defend would be right the fuck on. I have seen Stic Man from Dead Prez advocate this for African peoples by example many times.

-Literacy (so many folks cannot read. We come from people who described life and passed down legacies through the power of the word which is why so many of us sing, tell jokes, rap, speak, etc. But a lot of the clues, secrets, connections and explanations have been coded in written word. For example: A food label with preservatives/chemicals=death, while a food label that is free of them/ gmo's/ and organic=life. I’m working so that my baby can read which is which.

-Healthy modes of communication/ Dialogue practice/ and conflict resolution. So many of our people don’t know how to talk to one another or how to resolve a problem. I mean young men talking to young women, and African American speaking to Asian or Indigenous folks(Latinos). This again is by design. When Africans and indigenous people were both being oppressed by Europeans in the Americas they came from different places. They didn’t speak the same language, so I imagine it was hard to communicate. Hard to organize to figure out how to unite and stop their oppression. The way we act today,500 years later it feels the same way. And, many societies were Matriarchs. RAN BY WOMEN, WITH RESPECT FOR WOMEN. The way I see some young men speak to young women, it’s as if we hate them, that shit ain’t cool. I could paint a better picture, starting with words and actions such as “greetings”, “hello”, “thank you”, “sister”, or “I care for you”. It seems simple, but it could be revolutionary in the Black and Brown community. Imagine the idols of these young men addressing the women in their life through image, respectfully.

Just some reflection on how I’m thinking of fighting back. Being proactive instead of only “reacting”. I used to be the one trying to illustrate what is fucked up only. Only talking about Injustice. I now feel the responsibility to paint what “could be”. You could give a speech with political words and analysis but my research has proven that more people listen when you tell a good story. So that’s what I’m doing, and that’s what I’m going to do. I mean, they paint African and Indigenous people as invisible. If I paint us proud, intelligent, and creative imagine what effect that will have on self esteem. Imagining.

A song I was listening to by a jazz musician/activist: Archie Shepp

Jul 5, 2010

Do you support Murals for Social Change/Exchange?

So, my crew has been on the fundraising tip since mid 2009 for this summer's mural tour. What we have done on our first tour( Mexico, Central America) and our 2nd tour(United States) is connect with organizations/ businesses, and collectives of people to exchange art and ideas. We do our best to assist these folks in maintaining their campaigns for cultural awareness, social justice, violence prevention, and legacy building. We do not have corporations behind us, we have you. You, the folks, the family, the organizers, the teachers, the musicians, the artists, the everyday hard working people who give a fuck about "changing" and "growing". The folk who not only talk, but "DO". If you have benefited, grown, or been inspired by the work we do, please show your support by donating and sending this video link to as many people, businesses, organizations, rebels, and trouble makers you know. One C.B.O. or person cant pay for it all, and neither can we...but we've had the assistance of organizations like World Up (NYC), ALAY (SF), Filipino Community Center (SF),World Bridges (SF), La Pena (Berk,CA), MVMT (NYC), Loyal Kaspar(NYC, ans so many dope organizers/artists such as like Nancy Hernandez(CA), Vanessa Nisperos(NYC), Eric Camins(NYC), Ebeneezer Bond(NYC), Susie Lundy(CA), Sarah Guerra(CA), and so many more to help us achieve this goal. We absolutely will not sit back and watch our people get brainwashed, murdered, incarcerated, or made invisible because they refuse to get in line with larger systems of oppression. We artists have a job to paint what has happened, what is going on now, and what we want to see. Your support is greatly appreciated and well painted....
-Robert "Tres" Trujillo
Trust Your Struggle Collective

Jul 3, 2010

9th Wonder-Waxpoetics

Back in 2008 I had the pleasure of doing an illustration for Waxpoetics Magazine and that illustration was of producer and professor 9th Wonder. I never met 9th but I actually got to see the brother live in Brooklyn that year this published. I also got to visit the Brooklyn downtown office of Waxpoetics which was awesome. They folded for awhile after a good run, and then the magazine made a resurgence with new print issues and some documentary material. Check them out here.

Dig this? Check out this illustration for In Dance Magazine

Jul 2, 2010


I came across Presente! in the Berkeley Public library about three or four months ago and immediately contacted them to be a contributing illustrator. I was handed a very honest, powerful, and inspiring piece written by Simon Sedillo. Below are sketches, the spread, and final illustration in color. Presente is working to inform people about the "School of Americas", and they are actively campaigning to SHUT IT DOWN!. The School of Americas(now called "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation")has trained thousands of soldiers from Columbia, Guatemala, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and other countries in torture tactics to be used against their people. More specifically these tactics are used to weaken and destroy legitimate revolutions against United States backed Puppets. Kidnapping, torture, rape, and murder of anyone whether you are a known dissenter or a suspected activist is . In many countries in Latin America, thousands and thousands of people have been "disappeared" for daring to stand up against Imperialism in their countries. Simon wrote about the history of genocidal tactics used against people of color here in the US, and he relates it to why such institutions such as the SOA need to be shut down!To see some of the other artists who have contributed to the paper like Dignidad Rebelde, click here.