Dec 16, 2021

Film Study 4 - Love Jones (1997)


Here's a film study of the film "Love Jones" by Theodore Witcher. As I learn a bit about storyboarding I am looking back to some of my old favorites for inspiration. And looking at how they were shot makes me understand filmmaking so much more. Here's the synopsis for Love Jones. I watched this film with my first girlfriend and loved it ever since then. Such a dope romantic film! All the actors and the crew did a fantastic job with this film. Here's the trailer.

Synopsis: A poet and a photographer take a chance on romance but find their ambitions and baggage could keep them from taking the relationship further. 

Did you miss the previous film study? Here it is: Whale Rider (2002)

If you love this film, check out this conversation w/the cast in 2019

Dec 9, 2021

Inspiring Artist - Gabby Zapata


I love Gabby Zapata's character work. I can't remember when I came across her but she has an incredible style, sense of color, and attitude in her work. It sings with life. Check out a few of these!

Gabby works in animation, comics, and illustration. You might have seen some of her work in films like The Legend of Tembo, Tangled, Alebrijes, and she is now a lead designer at Disney. She is from LA and both Mexican and Colombian!

If you haven't seen this before, it's a series of posts where I share and or highlight inspiring artists in a variety of fields relating to art (photography, film, animation, illustration, fine art). Check out a few of the previous ones:

La Bestia - Animated short


Dope short film by Ram TamezMarlijn Van Nuenen and Alfredo Gerard Kuttikatt!

Dec 8, 2021

Jason Wilson -Inspiring words!


This was a really inspiring interview to listen to. In it this brother talks about healing, fatherhood, being a son, hurting, opening up to his emotions, and teaching young men of color to be open to their feelings. I realized I'd seen videos of him and his students in a dojo as he teaches martial arts. But, I'd forgotten about the emotional healing he teaches as well. Def worth a listen!

NCAC : Attack on books

 I signed this statement supporting the many books that have been banned by folks who do not want to talk about race, gender, or sexuality. As two of my books have been banned and I have grown up with the knowledge of ethnic studies I know what its like. Check out the statement from the National Coalition Against Censorship!

Heres an article about one of my books that was banned.


Dec 6, 2021

Self Evident Podcast - Artwork

Yo, did some artwork for this awesome podcast! If you haven't listened to it yet please check out the "Self Evident Podcast". Especially this episode about fruit which is a love language in Asian families.

Dec 2, 2021

Look, Listen, & Learn features "One of a Kind, Like Me"


Yo, me and Laurin Mayeno's book "One of a Kind, Like Me" is featured in this online TV series called "Look, Listen, & Learn" for kids created by Val Thompson-Matson. Please check it out, they have stuff about making music, visual art, exercise, and literacy!

More on the show:

Cop the book from me here.

Nov 30, 2021

Beyond The Diaspora - Macla SJ

Peace fam, I will have some of my illustrations and paintings in this exhibit celebrating the African Diaspora in Latinx culture. Please check it out if you're in the South BAY! 

This is the last exhibit I had some artwork in:

My Homies are my Heroes by Nancy Hernandez (TYS

Thank you!!!


For all the homies and fam that thru down, shared, or sent words of encouragement-thank you! Time to chill. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 shout out to my wifey @thejoyliu for the ill book design and listening to me blab abt it! Thank you all so much!! Stay tuned......

Campaign link 

Did you catch my 2nd sketchbook tour?

Nov 29, 2021

20 Hours left! - Art of Rob Kickstarter!


In case u were holding out until the last minute, I just wanted to let you know that you have 20 hours left to back the "ART of ROB" Kickstarter campaign before it ends tonight. So please go throw down if you were meaning to. Not sure if we'll hit the third stretch goal, but we hit two already!

These two goals remain:

Nov 23, 2021

Podcast interview: w/NOT REAL ART


Whats up fam, I got a chance to be a guest on the "Not Real Art" podcast w/ my TYS sister Erin Yoshi. I wish I could embed it directly here, but please check out this LINK to listen

This show was recorded last month and I talk a bit about kids books, illustration, of course the "Art of Rob" campaign on kickstarter, and our crew "Trust Your Struggle". If you're not up on this podcast please give them a listen, Man One and Sourdough have been doing it for a minute and they just brought Erin Yoshi on as an official co-host. Here are some of the folks she's interviewed that I admire!

If you would like to hear or see more media features please check out my press page here.

Nov 21, 2021

Video: Sketch book tour 2


Sup with it fam, here is my 2nd sketchbook tour. The first one I uploaded was at the beginning of the year. And this is a more recent sketchbook. Check it out. It's fun to share sketches and process art with you all. I love seeing sketchbooks too and have kept them since I was a kid. Know of any cool sketchbook tours? Hit me up. 

Sketchbook tour 2: LINK

If you haven't yet seen my kickstarter featuring my art, this is a preview of some of the art that would be in there. It reached its goal and stretch goals are up. The link for the campaign is here: ART of ROB

Nov 20, 2021

5th Annual Social Justice Children's Bk Holiday Fair"


Hey fam, I'm excited to bring you the 5th annual "Social Justice Children's Book Holiday Fair". Every year a small team of volunteers get together and throw this event to connect you with kids book makers of many stripes. We focus on Bipoc, Lgbtq, and Social Justice minded creators and their books. Although covid is still real af, we will gather in B-Town (Berkeley, CA) masked and outdoors. So, come through, get some books, meet the creators, and spread love.

Date: Dec 5th
Time: 11am-2pm
Location: Teance
Who: Laura Atkins, Ann Berlak, Angela Dalton, Hayley Diep, Alejandra Domenzain, Girls Garage, Michael Genhart, Jill Guerra, Laneha House, Kamaria Lofton, NJ Mvondo/Multiculturalism Rocks, Innosanto Nagara, Christina Newhard, Meenal Patel, James Shields, Robert Liu-Trujillo, Justine Villanueva, PM Press, and more!
What: Not your average book fair 
Why? : Parents, kids, teachers, librarians, bk store owners, etc are hungry for these books and want to meet the people behind them.

Facebook LINK
Eventbrite LINK

If you're in the Bay Area, come through. If not, tell a friend who is in the Bay!

Video: Here's the link from last years virtual event w/ Mr Limata and Lydia Yamaguchi
Photos: Here are some photos from the past 5 years

Nov 18, 2021

Podcast Interview w/ Solo Nerd Bird

 If you have a chance, check out the Solo Nerd Bird podcast (Baltimore) where KS does revues of games, films, and interviews w/ creatives. I'm excited to be featured on the podcast where I talk about my work and my kickstarter campaign. Tune in below.... LINK

If you want to see past press Ive done go here. And if you would like to throw down on the kickstarter here is the link. Thank you 

Nov 14, 2021

Video: Thank YOU!

 BIG thank you to all of you who have sent encouraging words, shared the campaign, and contributed. I'm doing this w/o a publisher or some big company but with a lot of love and support from you so thanks!! If you have already seen my campaign for my art book please check it out, read the updates, share it, and back it. Ending soon on Nov 30th!

Campaign LINK

Campaign updates:

-Whats an art book? Who cares?

-Stretch Goals

-Lemme tell u abt this photo

Nov 9, 2021

Kickstarter Update - Lemme tell you about this picture


Let me tell you about this picture. This was in Nicole Martinez’s class at Cesar Chavez Elementary in Sacramento (2015) and it was taken shortly after the release of “I am Sausal Creek/ Yo Soy el Arroyo Sausal” written by author, healer, and former educator Melissa Reyes ( translated by Cinthya Munoz, pub by Nomadic Press). Melissa was and is awesome with kids. She wrote a story that told ecological and local history through the voice of a creek because it didn't exist. And she did it so it could be read in English or Spanish. Her story has captivated many children and families. Matter of fact, people still tell me that they love the story.

What does this have to do with “Art of Rob” or art books? When we (authors/illustrators) were invited to read I asked Melissa and Ms Martinez if I could share some of my artwork process with the kids and I’ve been doing that since then. The kids responded to it and after the initial ego boost of children saying wow to my drawings I thought of how important it is to see Black and Brown authors or illustrators come to your school and talk about their create paths. I thought about how important it is to encourage them to be creative by showing them our process. This book is about representation and encouragement.

Ever since then I have shared my sketchbook, picture books, and some process paintings and more often than not the kids are super juiced to see them. I always wanted a way to take some of that excitement and give it to them so they could take it home. If you’ve supported this campaign you are fulfilling that dream for me and helping to encourage new artists; I hope. Fingers crossed.

Whether you get Art of Rob or not, please invite BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) creatives to speak to kids in schools and libraries. That way children of color can see a reflection of themselves and other kids can see just how many types of people make stories. Also, please encourage children of all kinds, but especially children of color to explore the arts. I started doing children's books to make stories that reflected the world I see, my family, friends, and neighborhood. I didn't realize just how welcoming the teachers, librarians, bookstore owners, literacy workers, and children would be. That's it.

If you want to see an interview I did this past month with the Nerds of Color, go here. And if you haven't shared this campaign with someone yet please do. We're close to unlocking a new stretch goal, which means more pgs of art added to the book!

Previous post about Stretch Goals!

Nov 6, 2021

Kickstarter Update: Stretch Goals


If you're interested, I just made some stretch goals for this Art of Rob book campaign. One of which has already been unlocked. Check the rest out and spread the word if you want to make the book bigger. THANK YOU in advance and stay tuned.

Nov 2, 2021

Kickstarter 100% Funded! Thank You!!!


Fam, we're 100 % funded and in 3 days y'all. Thank you all for sharing, backing, and for spreading the word. I'm going to do a post about stretch goals soon but for now I just want to say THANK YOU!!!!!!!

In case you missed it, here is the link to the project!

Kickstarter Update: Whats an Art Book and who cares?


Wow, its only day 3 and my Kickstarter is almost 80 % funded! Amazing! Thank you all. Here's a bit of info to share....

What is an art book? Who cares? An art book is a tool, an escape, a resource, a push, a friend, its anything you want it to be. Of course we’re talking about paper, binding, pictures, words, etc. But it's also a way to grab attention and get kids to take a break from the screens when you need them to. You can put them on the kitchen table, on your bookshelf, home library, or in a classroom. If you can’t buy them, you can check them out at your local library. But why? Art books are a great way to encourage young creatives! There are lots of different types of art books. Here are a few:

1. Photography: "Reflections in Black by Deborah Willis"

Its a book cataloguing Black photographers from 1840-2000. It has essays, memories, think pieces, and tons and tons of photographs. Black & white, color, experimental, and more. #photography

2. Animation: "Into the Spiderverse"

This is an art of book. Whats that? Well many feature and animated films have art departments that develop the look and feel of a film from the way actors act, to the designs of their clothing. An art of book for a film that you like can expand your understanding of how it was made and who did it. This book features many departments of the film making process. #animation

3. Murals: "Maestrapiece: San Francisco’s Monumental Feminist Mural".

This book celebrates the herstory of a really huge mural painted in the Mission District of San Francisco on one of the first buildings ever dedicated to the lives of women; The Women’s Building. The book is full of old and new images, memories, and writings about how this crew of bad assess women painted this mural and why it means so much. #murals

4. Graffiti: "Piecebook the secret drawings of graffiti writers" by Sacha Jenkins and Chino BYI.

This is an ill book featuring some writing but mostly sketchbook drawings of pieces, characters, throw ups, and more by graffiti writers from the 70s to the 80s I believe. For any kid who was interested in Graffiti or street art this is a must have because it shows you a world that you wouldn’t get to see unless you were a part of the culture. #graffiti

5. Fashion: "The Sourcebook of Fashion Design".

This is a dope book featuring how to’s , writing, and tones of photographs of sketches, designs, fabric, outfits, and garments from the designer fashion industry. And I mention this because you might have a kid who loves fashion. Get them some fashion designer books! #fashiondesign

6. Architecture: The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings

This book features beautiful images of buildings of the future and some that echo the past. It spans the globe and features captions and short written pieces about the buildings. Got a kid in your life who loves architecture? #architecture

7. US History: "Celebrate People’s History" by Josh MacPhee

is a book of poster art. The art in this book features work by movement artists, groups, and more. The subject matter ranges from individual figures to historic events, places, and groups. And it talks about labor, laws, social justice, ethnic studies, and more. Because each poster has a very short reference it leaves it up to the viewer to look up what strikes them as interesting. #UShistory

8. Makers/ Builders: "Girls Garage" by Emily Pilloton

is an awesome resource for girls about how to build things. It features history, facts, and an encyclopedia about tools and lots of DIY tips on projects. One of the coolest things in it are profiles about women young and old who have built shit!! #builders

9. And lastly, I threw my book in there to illustrate the point that there are lots of different types of art books and mine is one of them. An artist sketchbook with character designs and other things. Thank you for supporting my kickstarter to make this art book a reality. Not only for me but hopefully for some young students out there.

If you're looking for any of these books please go to your local bookstore or library and ask them about these art books!!!

Also did you see this VIDEO?

Nov 1, 2021

Stuff I've been listening to - 19 (UK artists)


Greentea Peng - Dingaling (2021)

It feels like I've been listening to a lot of UK(British) artists lately from a few genres but mostly hip hop and soul. Here are a few of those artists. Hearing how they do their own thing and flip soul, hip hop, jazz, or house really trips me out sometimes. One of my biggest wishes is for more US based MCs, vocalists, and producers to collaborate with them. Got some folks I should hear? Leave a comment!

Yusef Dayes & Tom Misch - Storm before the calm (2020)

Cleo Sol - Sweet Blue (2019)

Little Simz-Backseat  (2016)

Eric Lau-Masamba (2017)

Kokoroko- Carry me home (2021)

Nayana IZ - TNT (2020)

Sault - Little boy (2020)

Andrew Ashong - Never dreamed (2013)

I wish I could tell you where everyone is from but I do not always know. And I'm trying to include artists from the past 5-10 years mostly. If we were going back in time I would include artists like Soul 2 Soul, Massive Attack, Radiohead, Loose Ends, or Sade.

Omar - I want it to be (2016)

Zilo - Show me whats mine (2021)

Blue Lab Beats - Memories (2019)

Hawk House - Chill pill (2014)

Hollie Cook - That very night (2011)

Shout out to Osunlade, Gilles Peterson, Vanessa Warren, Thinkbeat Radio, and the Colors YouTube channel for some of the gems!

The previous "Stuff I've been listening to" was about HOUSE music

Stuff I've been listening to- SOUL music

Stuff I've been listening to- JAZZ

Oct 31, 2021

My Kickstarter is LIVE!


Hey fam, thank you for continuing to rock with me. Today is the day. My new kickstarter (my first since Furqan's First Flat Top) is LIVE!!!!! Please follow the link to see the campaign and stay tuned for more updates and posts about what it is and why I'm doing it!

THE LINK >>>>>>

Oct 29, 2021

A new Kickstarter project by Me- Coming SOON


Fam, just putting you on notice that this is coming. I'm about to be posting ALOT about this, just fyi. This is a new book project and I would love your support. Plz check back in a few days because it's about to be ON. 

Oct 26, 2021

Latinxs In Kid Lit Interview


Recently me and Leticia got on Latinxs in Kid Lit to interview each other and talk a bit about the making of this picture book. Its an audio piece so go to the blog and give it a listen! Shout out to Cindy from the blog for giving us a space to talk.

A few years back some of my work was featured on Latinxs in Kid Lit:
Pura Belpre illustration
Furqan's First bilingual picture book

Oct 25, 2021

San Jose Craft Holiday Fair - Nov 26-28, 2021


I'll be vending at @sjmade's holiday craft fair this year y'all. It's the largest winter holiday craft fair in the South Bay Area and this year’s three full days from Black Friday (Nov. 26) through Small Business Saturday (Nov. 27) and ending on Sunday, Nov. 28. Know anyone who'd want to go? Tag em here or follow SJMade.

The event features over 350+ amazing makers, artists, designers, curators, workshops, food producers and creative small businesses. I've been to two of their events as a visitor and its always a good mix of people and makers. Why come to a craft fair? Gifts and goodies you can't often get at a chain or corporate store! If you're a maker there is also lots of inspiration. So mask up and come through! 

Free to get in. Santa Clara Convention Center - 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054.  Friday Nov. 26 (12 pm to 6 pm), Saturday Nov. 27 (11 am to 6 pm) and Sunday (11 am to 5 pm). More info at

This video is pre-pandemic, but posting it so you can get a vibe.

Shout out to SF Etsy, heres my post from 2019 when I was a vendor there.
Wanna see how I made it to 1k sales on Etsy? Peep

Oct 20, 2021

Pause Sticker process


 Hey this is a new sticker in a series of self care/ encouragement/ affirming stickers. Sometimes you gotta hit the pause button, or maybe you need to remind someone to do it. 

Wanna see some of the creative process? Check it out:

First I did a bunch of different versions of the same word using different font styles.  The check marks you see are from my homies and my wife telling me which ones they preferred.
I narrowed it down a bit and combined some elements to make it a more simple shape.
I decided on the color scheme and did some rough color versions. And I chose the bottom right one finally.
Then I painted in gouache. Scanned it and then brought it into Photoshop and to clean it up, moving the shadow and letters a tiny bit to make it more symmetrical. I also adjusted the color a bunch because it was tough to duplicate the screen color.

And then here's the final product. I get stickers from a bunch of different places, but one I go to often is Sticker Giant in Colorado who just shipped these to me. What do you think? Dig it? I DO!! I love how it came out and I hope others will dig them. Eventually I'll make a sticker pack of these:
"_______" one more to go!

One day I'll make a video talking about these stickers. But for now i'll just say that many years ago I made a series of paintings called "positive wall affirmations" made to serve people by offering a positive message for the home, class, office, etc. The original one of a kind paintings did ok and made some folks really happy. But the stickers are a bit more affordable, especially if you're not an art collector. 

Anyways, thanks for reading. You can get this Pause sticker here or get a sticker sheet I made a year ago for self care here as well. If you know someone who is learning to make merchandise using their art, please share this post with them.

Oct 18, 2021

Foster Power Illustration


Damn, going through old files I found this illustration I did for "Foster Youth Action" as a collaboration with Design Action Collective (Type design by Ivy Climacosa ). Foster youth in Action is an or dedicated to empowering kids of all stripes in the foster care system and working with national allies who work in the foster care as well. Check out some process for this below.

 Looking back at old work even from just a few years ago I see so many things I can improve, but I think its really important to post so you can see my growth because I'm trying to improve every day! 

Anyways, check out this piece I did for Sunrise Movement too.

Art for Cal Domestic Workers Alliance


Here are some pieces I forgot to share. I created these in collaboration with Design Action Collective and the California Domestic Workers Alliance. 

Update: Here are some recent uses of the artwork by CDWC:

Uses in 2021
Not sure if they ever used the version with type and design by Design Action, but heres a flyer they made using the art for new members. Please go to their website to check out their mission statement. They organize around domestic workers rights leading campaigns that increase awareness about workers rights and  they organize campaigns to fight for policy changes that affect real working people, most of whom are women of color! Here's their site.

Check out some of the other illustrations I did for them. 

This work is super meaningful as I have had many domestic workers in my family. My mother cleaned houses at a point in her life and so did I. I hella respect the folks who do the work whether in homes, businesses, or institutions. And I love the fact that CDWA helps them get better pay, more respect, and together they win more rights for domestic workers. Shout out to Sabiha Basrai who managed this and Riley who did the type design.

Did you catch the illustrations I did for California Environmental Justice Alliance?

Also, here is some artwork I created for them many years ago. LINK