Dec 28, 2014

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......

Dec 23, 2014

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!

Dec 15, 2014

"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....

Dec 12, 2014

Handstyles 8-Tupac Amaru

Great words from a great man. "Words of wisdom" was the first time I really heard Pac. 

Dig this? Check out these words from Stic Man (Dead Prez)

What is this? Handstyles! For as long as I've been drawing I've been practicing lettering. First i. the form of Graffiti, then calligraphy, graphic design, kerning, type setting, sign painting, and so many other forms. I'm not a designer or a lettering specialist, but I can hand write a few different styles and enjoy hand lettering when it's done right.

Dec 4, 2014

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 the 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.

Did you see the show "Of Love & Riots 2"?

Dec 1, 2014

#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