Jun 30, 2020

Mural: Black Lives

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
Adding gold
Cleaning it up
Adding gold

Almost there
Binta wanted to let em know


Dig this? Did you see this post? Police Brutality Over The Years

Jun 28, 2020

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.

Jun 25, 2020

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. 

Jun 23, 2020

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. 

Jun 22, 2020

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!

Jun 20, 2020

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.

Jun 19, 2020

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.

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".

Jun 18, 2020

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"

Jun 14, 2020

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 

Jun 7, 2020

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.

Jun 2, 2020

Inspiring Artist - Afu Chan

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

Have you seen the work of Rudy Gutierrez?

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. 

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. 

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

Jun 1, 2020

Distortion 2 Static -Bay Area Hip Hop TV Show


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!