Dec 20, 2015

Childen's portrait 41-42 - Rex and Ivy

Heres a portrait of these siblings. They are 5 and 8 I think. They are Spanish, English, and Croatian. If you would like a portrait of a child/children painted as a gift to yourself or for someone else please check out my store and purchase there. Thanks!

Dec 17, 2015

Chapter 510 letter of support

As a kid, I did not enjoy reading or writing. The stories I was introduced to from elementary to high school rarely reflected my life, interests, or my cultural roots. Now as a storytellerand a father, I’m telling some of the stories I wish I’d seen coming up. The stories are about culture, pride, love for self and community, adventure, and imagination. And for me, to tell these stories, it takes a lot of long hours make-believing.
A program like Chapter 510 is helping young people write. It’s helping them make learning a reality.
I got connected with Chapter 510 from the very beginning. Right away, I knew these educators and writers were awesome and that they not only wanted to reach kids, but that they had in fact already been doing it in their own ways. Getting children of color writing about their lives. Getting books made about cool subjects like Harlem and publishing them in Oakland. We collaborated on several projects. 

  donated my drawings to Chapter 510 because they are a beautiful community-based arts project. It has been so fantastic to watch the program grow.

Now they have this sanctuary. A writing center to be, where my murals sit everyday waiting to make new friends among books, zines, artwork, and artifacts that inspire “Make Believing.” 

We need your donation and support today to open the writing center. Your money supports free writing, bookmaking, and publishing workshops for K-12 students in Oakland. Your support by sharing the campaign and spreading the word helps build awareness about the work we’re doing and allows us to find new additions to the team.
Please donate to these special folks. They are doing monumental work equipping kids like Jade and Kayla at MetWest High School with tools for change: WORDS.

All our kids, mine included, need artists and allies in the classrooms supporting teachers and bringing learning home through making and believing. 
I have so much respect for Chapter 510 and the way they support kids, artists, teachers, nurturing the cultural pulse of this city. 
Join me in supporting an awesome writing program for Oakland’s kids. 

Dec 13, 2015

Dec 11, 2015

Some great children's book lists (Sausal Creek featured)

Im so honored to be included on this LIST of awesome children's and teens books on BuzzFeed!! It was created by Innosanto Nagara , author of A is For Activist!

Check out this awesome list of Latina Heroines inspired children's books by REmezcla.
Catsuka, a French website is always putting up inspiring animation from all over the world that we just dont see in US TV or advertising markets. Check out this list of child friendly short films.

Dec 7, 2015

Sanjay's Super Team

I cannot wait to see this short. It will be the first time I get to see Sanjay Patel's work like this and it will be one of very few times when I've seen a major film company like DreamWorks or Pixar dedicate the time and promotion to a story featuring a young child of color. I think if you asked most staff they would say they just want to tell a great story, which I wholeheartedly agree with. But, I don't think they fully understand and appreciate just how much nuance, light, darkness, bravery, triumph, humanity is dedicated to white characters / children's stories. That devotion whether intentional or not teaches people about white people. But, children of color whether they are from India, Pakistan, Ghana, Tanzania, Mexico, or Cuba need to see themselves reflected in the same complexity too. And white kids need to see this as well because when you can feel for someone, understand who they are and where they come from, there is less ignorance, racism, fear, xenophobia, and prejudice that translates to laws, procedures, borders, walls, murders, etc. Listen to this interview w/ Sanjay Patel Here is the trailer for his short film "Sanjay's Super Team" which I am more excited about seeing than the film it proceeds.

Shop Discount 20%

So this code listed in the image GREAT 33 is good for 20% off your entire purchase on any of the items in my SHOP. If you were thinking of getting a portrait, custom painted switch plate, print, or affirmation (yeah, i still have those)now is the time. Happy Holidays.

 Cards, Postcards & Prints
Hand painted Switchplates

Campaigns worth supporting-Winter 2015

Chapter 510, an organization that I've worked with extensively over the past 2-3 years. They do good work for the future writers/authors of Oakland. Bay Area rap legend Lyrics Born This Jake Parker campaign is over , but you can still cop one on his site i believe. Tephlon Funk, this too is over but you can still support it by going to
Movement Generations-Eco Organizing campaign

Dec 2, 2015

Children's Portraits 39-40 - Olivia & Brenna

This is a portrait of two girls that go to my son's school. They are Olivia and Brenna. They are Irish, Czech, German, Polish, and Welsh. Theyre about 10 and 7 I believe.

If you're interested in having a portrait painted of your child or children , you can view my Etsy page

Nov 28, 2015

A Bean and Cheese Taco Birthday PRESS

Got some press in the East Bay Express for A Bean and Cheese Taco Birthday out on Arte Publico Press.

Me & My lovely Wife

These are some shots of my wife and I when we got married. Please check out the work of our photographer Andria Lo who did an amazing job capturing the light in our eyes and the love of my life. My wife's hair & makeup was done by LadySoulFly

Music by DJ Wonway

Nov 20, 2015

Email newsletter sign up

Please sign up if you would like to receive super awesome emails, not all the time.I promise!

Daddy Thoughts 11- First pair of Jordan's?

Ok before I talk about the Jordan’s let me just say that ads, advertisements and the idea that a product brings you value, status, or worth is still very prevalent. I mean, you can hear it in the rhymes of young people. When they (male rappers) brag about what it is or what makes them cool its often one or all of three things ; money, objects, and women (as if women were an object too, no?). Violent attitude too, but thats for another discussion.

The reason I bring this up is because my son came to me the other day talking about “what are those” . Parents if you’re not up on the lingo, Vine videos are viral comedy skits, dance, or phrases that kids envelop into their daily vernacular or speech. “What are those” refers to shoes mostly. Its an old thing, transformed to a new generation. Basically are your shoes a part of the normal or fashionable cannon of shoes( Don't be an outcast)? Or are they very expensive and highly sought after? NOT, are they unique (Be a Sheep!)? NOT are they made by you or someone in your extended family? And that folks, frustrates me.

I get Capitalism, I get Consumerism, I understand Imperialism, and all of that. But, I was surprised when my son basically said they make jokes on each other about each others shoes. Like, damn! That’s what I was doing at his age, lol. I should not be surprised, I should not have been caught off guard. But I was. Imagine them saying my shoes cost more than your whole outfit argument.

I sat my son down and reiterated the idea of “propaganda”. Whenever we have watched television together, I have muttered or shouted the word propaganda when a commercial comes on. Why? I wanted him to associate the word with commercials. I want him to question what they are selling him. I want him to think!! I do not want him to be a blind consumer, a cow being lead to the slaughter, or a child who feels his worth is tied into his sneakers. But damn, there it is again, generation after generation we (boys, girls, transgender kids) are sold the idea that we are less than. We are told we are poor. We are told that if we want to achieve status in this society, we must purchase. Could be a Lamborgini, a chain of diamonds and gold, the most expensive I-phone whatever (Coltan-Congo), or a pair of Michael Jordan shoes.

I’m pissed that kids still cap, diss, bag, or talk shit to each other this way, so I also told my son that his worth does not come from his shoes, it comes from inside. His morals, his actions, how he treats himself and others. I also told him that whether a person’s parent paid $150 for a pair of shoes or $20 they did the best they could and that they aren’t any less important in this world. He of course said “Daddy, were just joking!” But on the real, that is how doubt, self worth, and depression cured by American Dream gets started in an 11 year old. I should know, I thought the same about guess jeans, owning records, toys, cars, guns, etc.

Now back to the Jordan’s. He tells me, “Daddy, I think I know what I want for Christmas” . Christmas, as in “buy 3rd world manufactured shit that the corporations turn a 300% profit on” day. So I said in Spanish, “Ok, pues dime. Que quieres mijo?” And he says Jordan’s!! I had to smile because I started wanted certain types of shoes at 9 years old. My dilemma is that those shoes were designed by talented people such as Tinker Hatfield and damn they are fly. But you know I had to break down the numbers for him by telling him that those shoes cost $6 or $7 to make, and they sell them for $100-$200 depending on which number you get. I was proud in a sense though, because as twisted as it sounds it is part of Black Culture (being sold over priced shoes) , and scared at the same time.  Think of Buggin Out and Police Brutality in “Do the RightThing”.

So, I said NO! He said “ I thought you might say that”. He knows his dad. Then , he went on to ell me he wanted Run DMC shoes, to which his mom asked “do you know what he’s talking about?”. I explained of course. But all my old school hip hop fans know right? What do you think? Shell toes cost $60-70 now (also a rip off). But what would you say to your child? What would you allow or not allow? In terms of fighting the good fight, revolutionary change, how does that fit in? Leave a comment. Did you ever have a parent or political activist break down shoes and how much they charge? Who? When?
-Rob (Dad)

Nov 17, 2015

Black Comics & Arts Fest (BCAF) 2016

Mark your calendars! The 2016 BLACK COMIX ARTS FESTIVAL is at hand! More info here (subject to change and expansion): Want to vend?: Main image by two of our very special guests: DAWUD ANYABILE and BRIAN McGEE! of BROTHERMAN: REVELATION ( the upcoming graphic novel from BROTHERMAN COMICS by GUY SIMS, DAWUD ANYABWILE, and BRIAN McGEE. We will jump things off at the San Francisco Public Library on the 17th and the main grand expo will be at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in Downtown SAN FRAN on the 18th MLK DAY! 
reposted from John Jennings

Children's portrait 38- L'Leon

This is little L'Leon, just finished this portrait for his momma Lady Soul Fly, and I cannot remember how old he is now, but I know he's African American and Puerto Rican. Check out some process shots below. If you are interested in a portrait of a little one in your life, please click HERE.

Nov 15, 2015

Soul Portrait 9- Fatima (Sweden)

I think I've been hearing her name around the blogosphere for a minute. I remember seeing the cover for the Yellow Memories LP too. While installing the Of Love and Riots show my boy Bennie was playing some of her songs and I wanted to hear more of her once he told me who it was. My favorite songs are "Warm Eyes", "Do Better", and "Family".

If you're not hip, this is an ongoing series of portraits based on Soul musicians from all over the world. I did a similar series of Jazz musicians for 3 years. If you love soul, please check out the artists I mention, especially if you're unfamiliar with them.

Dig this? Check out this painting of singer Chantae Cann

SPX-Black Art Matters panel

Nov 5, 2015

Inktober drawings for sale

If you liked any of the Inktober drawings I did this past month please check out my Etsy page. I've listed some of my favorites that aren't in my sketchbook that you can purchase as original art right now. Please check them out and follow me on Etsy if you haven't already to see what kinds of goodies I port from a range of price points.

LINK to store

Nov 3, 2015

The Dream Kontinues-Documentary

  This is a dope short film about Bay Area Graff legend "Mike Dream". Thanks Pendarvis Harshaw and the TDK crew for keeping the memory alive. Dream was and still is a BIG inspiration to me. Check this drawing I did of him out.

Video: Of Love & Riots

This is a short video by the Sol Collective featuring interviews, work in progress for the show, and some footage from the opening night. The whole event was a blast and it was exciting to get the crew all back together for this rare event. The crew I'm talking about is "The Trust Your Struggle Collective formed in 2003.

Here is a post talking about the idea and theme of the show.

And if you're interested in buying artwork from the show mine is HERE, and you can hit up the other members who showed work at:

Adrian Viajero
Ben Rojas/Mincho Vega
Cece Carpio
Erin Yoshi
Miguel Bounce Perez
Nisha K Sembi
Scott La Rockwell
Shaun Burner

Nov 2, 2015

Inspiration board 23

From left to right/ top to bottom: 1. Gwen Bunn- with out a doubt , love this girl's voice 2. Al Jazeera Plus-great news/video content 3. The Vanguard doc about the Black Panther Party 4. Static Shock-the Milestone Comic 5. 80's Babies (Dee Jackson & Tall Black Guy) 6. Fist, stick, knife, gun by Geoffrey Canada & Jamar Nichols 7. Rubble Kings-excellent doc abt NYC gangs 8. Podcast sharing stories from and about a Latin@ perspective 9. Yoong Bae-A Korean contemporary artist 10. Jennah Bell's "Candied Daylight" 11. Book of Mojo animated pilot by Everett Downing 12. Brotherman Revelations by Dawud Anyabwile & Guy Sims

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.

Nov 1, 2015

Original art for sale (from Of Love & Riots)

So these are some of the pieces from this summer's "Of Love & Riots" show up in Sacramento at the Sol Collective. In case you missed it, my crew (Trust Your Struggle Collective) created all new works of art and installations for a month leading up to the final week. Many of the pieces sold, but each member was left with a few extras. These are the pieces I created that were not sold. They are all watercolor and pen on paper, ranging from 12" x 18" size framed pieces to 6" x 6". They are labeled with letters that correspond to these prices. If you're interested and/or have any questions, please email me at

All of the pieces are created with watercolor & pen

A. Puppet presidents
11" x 14" w/ frame

B. Last kiss
11" x 14" w/ frame

C. Get that fool
11" x 14" w/ frame

D. Notice
10" x 10" w/ frame

E. Grief
12" x 12" w/ frame

F. Untitled
11" x 14" w/ frame

G. Overseer
19" x 25" w/ frame

H. Last minute
12" x 12" w/ frame

Oct 31, 2015

Inktober 26- Flyers

Bridge and Nima get ready to go to the flying parade. Bridge knows what he's going to pull off today, but Nima still unsure whether a certain someone will show up today to watch.
Original drawing here.

Want this original drawing? $60 or Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
 Email me

Oct 30, 2015

Inktober 25- Chun-Li (Street Fighter)

As a kid i played video games in arcades and one of my all time favorites was Street Fighter, a game designed by Takasahi Nishiyama in the1980s for the Japanese based company Capcom. Originally it hit arcades in the states around 87. Shit really hit the fan when they released Street Fighter 2, which is when I found it. To date there are many characters, some from the original two games and many additions. Chun-Li was always one of my favorites.
Original drawing here.

If you dig this check out:
Green Turtle / Shadow Hero

and my character collage from 2015

Inktober 24- Blade

I must admit i didn't know who Blade was until I saw the film. I didn't grow up reading comics because no one I knew read them or hipped me to them. But as a father I have the joy of rediscovering them and sharing them with my son. We bond monthly over the latest or older comic. Can't wait to show him this character, then later the film. Drew this with ink and gouache.

Dig this? Check out the Pink Dread or Bruce Leroy

Oct 29, 2015


TNM Agency teaser from TNM Agency on Vimeo.

Inktober 23- Mode 2

Heres a wrinkly page from my sketch book of artist Mode 2, born in Mauritius, brought up in London, and spent much time in Paris. The first time I saw his work was on the cover of "Spraycan Art" my mom bought me when I was just a little kid doodling.  Always been a HUGE fan of his work. If you look closely at some of my paintings of figures and characters you can see where his influence snuck in. Its not intentional, but I have always looked at his work both on walls and on canvas or paper. While checking out Refa 1's "Aerosoul" art show in Oakland I actually got to meet him very briefly. Hope to work with him some day. If you haven't seen his wall paintings of characters or his erotic art, look him up!

Want this Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
 Email me

Oct 26, 2015

Inktober 22- Mike Dream

This is Mike Dream, one of the pioneers of Bay Area Graffiti Art and Bombing from Oakland California via The Philippines. I met Mike when I was just ten years old in Richmond California at Hill top mall, and the last time I talked to him I was 19 on my way to work in Berkeley California. If you ever see me at an event or out and about, ask me about him. If you are unfamiliar with his name or his work, please look him up. He is one of the huge reasons why I was inspired to be an artist, and my life (like soooo many in the bay and across the world) wouldn't be the same without his art, messages, advice, and example as a human being. Shout out to Spie, Vogue, Bam, Meut, Krash, his whole crew and all the folks who've ever painted/written his name. Shout to his lil brother, Akil, and the whole TDK family. RIP. If you are ever in Oakland California, you should visit "Dream Day" in August.

Want this Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
Got an idea for an org to donate 30% cost to? Email me

Inktober 21- Buddy Esquire

Hey, this man right here is Buddy Esquire, one of the illest artists to ever do artwork that both illustrated and supported a culture he was living in called "Hip Hop". He was a writer first and then applied those skills to design. Him, Phase 2, and Eddie Ed were some of the best artists to have designer your show flyer back in the day in the BX and NYC. I've always gravitated to his work before I even knew who he was. It has impacted me in how I see design, style, and contrast. Any kind of artist can appreciate the work he put in for the culture, I just wish he got more love while he was a live and that I sought him out while living in NYC. Much love to his family, may he rest in peace.

Want this Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
Got an idea for an org to donate 30% cost to? Email me

Oct 25, 2015

Inktober 20- Curaçao (Boys of Summer)

My son and I watched this documentary called "Boys of Summer" that we picked up from the library. He liked it so much he wanted to check it out twice. Since my son had just finished playing little league baseball for the first time this past spring he was excited to see a documentary about baseball. And I picked it out because it features boys of color playing the game. We didn't know anything about the island of Curaçao off the coast of Venezuela, but the boys look like they could be from Harlem, Oakland, South Africa, or Ecuador. If you haven't seen the film by Keith Aumont, go see it!

Want this original drawing? $60 or Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
Got an idea for an org to donate 30% cost to? Email me

Oct 24, 2015

Inktober 19- Glenn Rhee (Walking Dead)

This is Glenn from The Walking Dead, one of my favorite characters from the show. I wasn't that into it at first. In fact I didn't start watching it until last year. I have to say this, you never get to see characters like Glenn. I mean, most of US Tv watchers think of Asian Americans as intelligent but docile or weak unless they are doing some form of martial arts. So over the course of the show you not only get to see his humanity along with others, but you get to see him knock a guy out. I'm not for smacking people for no reason, but this guy had it coming. Go Glenn!

Want this original drawing? $60 or Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
 Email me

Oct 23, 2015

Inktober 18- Dead Prez

Dead Prez. Here are lyrics from two songs, one verse from M-1 and one from Stic Man.
"The cops stop you just cause you black THAT'S WAR
run your prints through the system THAT'S WAR
when they call my hood a drug zone THAT'S WAR
slum lords charge me for the rent THAT'S WAR
why they so rich and we poor THAT'S WAR
if you young and black you sell crack THAT'S WAR
the White House is the rock house THAT'S WAR
George Bush coming out his mouth THAT'S
WAR chillen on the corner with your gang THAT'S WAR
popo do the same damn thing THAT SWAR
when they murdered Amado Dialo THAT'S WAR
marching through the streets is a strategy of WAR
knowing self defense is a strategy of WAR
soldiers try to link with other soldiers THAT'S WAR
Revolutionaries gotta know the art of WAR
What about hip hop use that fuck a rap battle what about a gat battle lets
take it to the beast and see which cat tattle
Is it 'Kiss vs. Beans or P vs. Hov'
What about the real niggaz vs. the 5-0
This is M-1, DP, don't you forget
Cause you can talk talk talk but it don't mean shit
I ain't gotta pop your top to see where your brains went
This rap shit is bigger then entertainment
It's the people vs. the pigs when it all boils down
It ain't 'Pac vs. Big it;s whos getting the power
And power ain't money dog its self determination
Like taking Hot and making this the real People's Station
THAT'S WAR" -M1 "That's War" a play on Black Rob's song "That's Whoa"

"You're my brother and I love you and I wrote this for ya
If I could change anything, it's what that dope did to ya
Coming up, I looked up to being just like you
                       Same crease in my khakis tried to dress like you
You getting swole lifting weights, stocking caps with waves
I'm trying to see the world how you see it, wearing you shades
You and pops never really got along, who was right or wrong
15 years old kicked out all alone in this cold world
And I can only imagine what you was going throughCause I was so young when it happened
Mama cried like a baby that dayShe never blamed you, it was painful
Cause she knew the streets was waiting to claim you
Over time, we could see the hardness in your face
Wanted to help, but couldn't find the words to say
I guess I went into denial hoping for the very best
Stopped believing in they God cause what God would allow this?
Not in my wildest nightmares, nothing compares
To see my brother be a crack fiend for all these years
Tried to send you inspiration when you was locked in the pen
But soon as you came home you right back on that shit again
And mama say she don't feel safe with you home
She got to hide money and lock her room door when she gone
We still love you but until you find strength in yourself
And the will power to open up and accept our help
What can we do? I can't let you terrorize mom dukes
We feeling like we just gone have to turn you loose
They say in war there's no victory without causalities
But when it hits your family that's when you really see " 
-Stic Man on "Window to my Soul"

Want this original drawing? $60 or Print? $20 (includes shipping)  

Got an idea for an org to donate 30% cost to? Email me

Oct 22, 2015

Inktober 17-Aila & her sidekick (Rhymes for Young Ghouls)

I cannot stress  the value and importance of telling ones own story. If you still have not seen "Rhymes for Young Ghouls" do yourself a favor and watch this period piece by director Jeff Barnaby, starring Devery Kawennáhere Jacobs

Want this original drawing? $60 or Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
Got an idea for an org to donate 30% cost to? Email me

Oct 18, 2015

Inktober 16-Elizabeth Catlett

I saw an exhibition at MOAD (Museum of the African Diaspora) with Elizabeth Catlett's artwork. Wow, I loved her work so much. She used sculpture, printmaking, and illustration. She was born in 1915, grow up in Washington DC later ging to Mexico to study artwork there at the Taller de Grafica. I love her work because it depicts black folks with so much pride and strength. More than that she also illustrated a connection with Mexicans and Black folks. Go check out her work!

Dig this? Check out this post about her work, or Ruth Carter

Inktober 15- Hung Liu

Can't remember the first time I saw Hung Liu's work, but I thought it was beautiful. She paints in oil and uses drips, streaks, and strokes to paint with. Her paintings are of a mixture of imagination and old photographs from China. She was introduced to me by my wife who was a student of hers. Went to see her artwork in person at OMCA and was extremely inspired. She was born in 1948 in China where she studied painting. She came to the us in 1984 and her work speaks about the contrast between life here and there. Watch this video of her.

Want this original drawing? $60 or Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
Got an idea for an org to donate 30% cost to? Email me

Oct 17, 2015

Inktober 14- Tetsuo (Akira)

Tetsuo was angry. Very angry but he did not know, couldn't have any idea what was about to explode.

Want this original drawing? $60 or Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
 Email me

Inktober 13- Young dread

The young girl had been growing her hair for most of her life, now the older ones began to call her "young dread"

Want this original drawing? $60 or Print? $20 (includes shipping)  
Email me