Aug 31, 2020

SOL Con 2020

Yo, I will be attending SOL Con again this year albeit virtually. I would love it if you joined us. There will be panel discussions , a virtual artist alley, and more. All you have to do is register.

SÕL-CON is intended as both a celebration of current creative minds and as a means to open doors for youth of color to learn how to express their stories through the comic book storytelling arts.

The SÕL-CON Expo Day consists of four creator roundtables featuring comics creators, multimedia artists, & scholars in conversation.

Here are the panels:
Panel A: How to Change the World with a Pen: Comics and the Future
12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. EST
Moderator, Morgan Podraza
Featuring Juan Argil, Xavier Lopez, Lexi Ramos, Jules Rivera and Maxi Rodriguez

Panel B: Creators in Conversation
1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EST
Moderator, Jennifer Caroccio Maldonado
Featuring Ness Garza, Sloane Leong, Breena Nuñez,
Cristy Road Carrera, Nicky Rodriguez

Panel C: Sustaining the Momentum: Comics & DIY Culture
2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. EST
Moderator, Katlin Marisol Sweeney
Majed Badra, Dr. Elvira Carrizal-Dukes, Ronnie Dukes,
J.M. Hunter and Robert Liu-Trujillo

Panel D: Form-ing Ideas: Creators Talk Impact of Styles and Mediums
3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST
Moderator, Peyton Del Toro:
Featuring Khaila Carr, Zalrix Franco, Lawrence Lindell, MariNaomi and Zeke Peña

Heres the flyer made by Breena Nuñez!!

Aug 29, 2020

POC POV Sticker

Here's a clear vinyl sticker of an old favorite. First I made it as a small doodle for my sticker sheet. Then I blew it up as a larger painting. And now I've shrunk it down to a sticker again with a clear backing that you can put on just about anything. "POC" means people of color, and "POV" means "point of view". Hopefully that is self explanatory.

If you want one cop it HERE.

Aug 27, 2020

Blaxican Sticker

The first time I heard the term "Blaxican" was from journalist and writer Walter Thompson. I'm not sure if he coined the term but he put together a project called "Blaxicans of LA" that made me feel seen. I grew up seeing these Black and Mexican folks, their parents, kids, and their families. It's not a secret that Black and Brown folks have been making babies for ages. From California to the South, the midwest and the East Coast.

For this image I thought it would be dope to juxtapose Papel Picado (historic Mexican art form ) with an outline of the continent of Africa where humanity originated. If you're Black and Mexican please let me know if I did this justice. If you approve please cop two. One for you and one for a friend. Thanks for reading. Just out here trying my best to make work that means something to me culturally.

3" x 3" Paper Sticker
Cop one HERE

Aug 26, 2020

Inspiration board 36

I think I've said this before but this is an inspiration board. I post them two or three times a year as a reminder and a catalogue of inspiring places, people, and things so when I'm failing to keep going I can be re-energized. I hope you the viewer get something out of them too. 

This board, top to bottom, left to right:
1. Meet Yasmin-early reader by Saadia Faruqi 2. What Kinda Music (LP) by Yusef Dayes & Tom Misch 3. Meridian Lights-Rock duo from Brooklyn 4. Never have I Ever-Hilarious Netflix Show 5. Defund The Police! Love this mvmt and attitude! 6. Float-Pixar short film about autistic boy 7. Smiles Davis feat Alice Smith-House track 8. Sam Rodriguez-Bay Area artist 9. Afro Sam-Taegeuk by Lindsey Adams 10. Esiri Erheriene Essi-Painter 11. Ragon Dickard-Illustrator 12. Fathers by Skyzoo (Brooklyn) 13. Opio- Granite earth 14. Molly of Denali-Native cartoon 15. Book designs by Margaret Armstrong 16. Breonna Taylor ptg by Amy Sherald.

If you missed Inspiration board 35, here's the LINK

What's this? This inspiration board is one of the ways I stay inspired and sane through all of life's trials, and tribulations, work, etc. I've been making inspiration boards full of films, books, music, events, people, artists, movements, and more for over a decade. Do you have an inspiration board? Please share in the comments.
Who am I? My name is Rob and I'm an artist working in kid lit, public art, and other disciplines. Go to my website, or follow me on IG or YouTube.

You can purchase my book "Art of Rob" here

Aug 25, 2020

Stuff I've been listening to 16- Protest

whats your favorite protest song recently?  

  Some ones that have been on rotation, some I came across through Pendarvis Harshaw's article about protest music, and some which I just discovered. Don't let people convince you that young artists aren't speaking on the times. Shout out people like Bambu (Native Guns) or Rebel Diaz who are always speaking on it!!

You can see the last "Stuff I've been listening to" HERE

Ayentee - Water world (Instrumental)

Dope chill beat from Berkeley's Ayentee

Aug 24, 2020

Raza Sticker

Yo, just made a sticker with this image I illustrated back in 2016. You can cop the sticker and read a bit about it

Here's the original post (editied) that I wrote with this image which was created for Inktober in 2016.

Aug 22, 2020

Celebrate A People's History!

I contributed an illustrated poster to this 2nd edition of Celebrate People's History by Josh Macphee and Feminist Press. It contains art celebrating, people, places, events, and movements for radical change in the US and internationally. Its beautifully curated and designed and is quite affirming if you feel like no progress is being made. It is also a powerful educational tool because many of the stories in it (illustrated as posters) are left out of history books. 

My piece is about the "Contract Buyers League", a group of Black home owners and faith based organizers who fought against the racist housing discrimination and theft of Black wealth in Chicago after the great migration. The book features are by Mincho Vega, Melanie Cervantes, Jesus Barraza, Zeke Peña, Miriam Klein Stahl, Cristy Road, Design Action Collective, and more. 

Here's my piece from the book:
Read more about the Contract Buyers League here.

Here's the book synopsis:

Forewords by Charlene Carruthers and Rebecca Solnit
Spanning nearly three thousand years of history—from the ancient Secession of the Plebs to the 2017 protests of the Confederate Soldiers Monument in Durham, from Sojourner Truth to Naoto Matsumura—these posters pay tribute to the long-standing human legacy of revolution, creative activism, and grassroots organizing. In this book, contemporary artists imagine and interpret often-overlooked events and figures in movements for racial justice, women's rights, queer liberation, labor organizing, and environmental conservation.

Dig this? Check out a mural I did that was in the book "Painting The Streets"

Aug 18, 2020

She Hit Me First! By Robert Mossi Alexander (Cover Art)

Yo, this is a new middle grade book written by author Robert Mossi Alexander (Can't Let Nobody Ride My Bike) that I illustrated and designed the cover for. Rob is a great writer who has written s a short and introspective piece about growing up, the cycle of violence, healing, and being a positive change. He also collaborated on the book with his daughter Lauryn Taylor Alexander who created the majority of the art for the book via chapter illustrations.

Here's the synopsis of the book from Rob:
Jamillah is an upbeat preteen who desires a better life. She longs for real friendship but seems to keep spoiling her chances by hitting anyone who comes close. She also wants a good life for her mum and sister, but every time she tries, it doesn't end well. Fortunately, she meets a classmate-who wants to be friends with her-and has a teacher, who both help her to deal with her habit of hitting people. Still, it doesn't end there-a lot more trouble, and adventure awaits Jamillah as she makes attempts to show kindness to others and to change her world for the better.An intriguing tale of self-discovery, support, and determination, She Hit Me First is a book that uses great story-telling to inspire readers to believe that no matter the circumstances, one can still create positive change in the world.

Get the book here: LINK

Here's a bit of the process of making the artwork.

color sketch

Follow Robert Mossi Alexander here at Hood 2 Higher Education

Wanna see more? Here's the last Middle Grade cover I illustrated.

Aug 13, 2020

John Jennings on Afrofuturism

This is such a great talk by John about the history of Afrofuturism and Black independent comics. I feel a sense of revitalization from this talk. Its a helpful reminder that our people have been doing this and continue to make stories with or without attention.

Aug 12, 2020

Zebra Records- Memory

Watching an old DJ Battle today got me reminiscing. I've always been a visual artist and a lover of music (Art is in my blood). But starting in the early 90s and lasting til the last 2000's I was obsessed with DJing. The height of my fascination peaked in my high school/ early college years. I spent literal hours in record stores, flea markets, my family's collections, and any records I could find. I spent even more time in my room watching vhs videos, battles, and listening to recordings of DJs trying to teach myself how to mix, scratch, beat juggle, and perform routines. I taught what little I knew to hundreds of kids too.

Here's a photo my friend Melissa took of me performing in one of the Zebra Records DJ battles. I attempted to DJ parties, events, make mixtapes, and entered DJ competition (Zebra, ITF, UC Berkeley) but I was never really that great at it. But, I had so much fun. I participated in a hip hop club started by Hodari Davis at Berkeley High and I learned so much from watching people who were truly passionate about the art of DJing, Mixing, party rocking, music, and competing as turntablists. There were many lessons I took away such as originality, stage presence, timing, innovation, cultivating community, looking for the next thing to inspire you, etc. But above all I learned about generosity, love and discipline. Doesn't matter how good you think you are, you can always improve. And what point is there in hiding your talent? Share it so the next generation can be inspired, so they can inspire you, and so on.

Shout out to Zebra Records-a pillar of the San Francisco/ Bay Area hip hop community that not only sold records and DJ equipment but created a church/community center where young people like myself could share, grow, and learn. Shout out to DJ Wisdom, Israel, Alan Corazon, and all the incredible DJs I met at Zebra such as Mista B and Teeko of 41Funk, Goldenchyld and Cutso of The FingerBangers, Nuttz, so many many. I went by "King Tres" back then btw. I still dig for new music, and I occasionally buy vinyl. Wish I still had my Zebra Records slip mats.

Here's a video of a reunion they did in 2010 w/the creators of Skratchpad (Celskiii & Deeandroid)

Aug 10, 2020

Solidarity w/ Pinxys

Just wanted to make a quick piece to show support for my Pinay, Pinoy, & Pinxy folks in the US and worldwide. Please pay attention to The Philippines and its diaspora because they are fighting against a dictator who is attacking anyone who is an activist for the people and land there.  Follow the organization Malaya Movement , Bayan, and the hashtags #JunkTerrorLaw and #OustDuterte . Read up on what "US Imperialism" means as it relates to this new law Duterte made, the theft of indigenous people's land, and the constant effort to keep the people from kicking any US puppets out of their country.

Since I was a kid I've heard US presidents use freedom, democracy, and justice as reasons for the US invasion, colonization, bombing of, and meddling in other countries. This government (doesn't matter the color of the politician) will sell you a line of bullshit through the media about how they're going over to (insert country) to free "them" while overthrowing democratically elected leaders by covert means in the same week. Because the majority of North American people are poor or working class they count on us not researching, reading, or connecting with Americans with ancestry and stories from these countries. But don't fall for it. 

Activism and wanting people's control of the land, resources, wealth, and destiny of your home w/o the US' bloody hands does not equal terrorism. 

Peep this piece from 2017 -The Lumad (Indigenous Folks in Philippines) 

Aug 3, 2020

Online Exhibition via SF Int'l Arts Fest

Peace, my crew "Trust Your Struggle Collective" will be participating in this year's San Francisco International Arts Festival which is usually a lively in person event with visual art, dance, music, etc. This year however with Covid everything is online so tune in to see a virtual exhibition of some of our individual and collective works.

Invite LINK

Aug 1, 2020

Mixed Kid Sticker

New Sticker!

What is a "mixed kid"? To me, it is a person who comes from a background with mixed heritage. They can be Black and White, Latin@ and Asian, Indigenous and American, Caribbean and Australian, so many combinations of people are in the world and we all have an interesting story to tell about who we are and where are families come from. There are mixtures of heritage within one ethnicity or skin color, and there are people whose family are from various racial backgrounds. This is for all of you. Me personally I am African American, Korean, Mexican, and Apache and this phrase means something to me.

Cop a sticker HERE

If you missed it, here is the Blasian sticker and this is the original "Mixed Kid" painting this one is based off.