Jun 28, 2022

2 Sticker Packs Revisited


These stickers took over a year to complete and when I did I made them into sticker packs which are fun! My. lovely wife helped me redesign these recently for fun. Check em out eh? They make great gifts for interns, college students, or your team at work.

Affirmations Pack: This pack is all about reminders to take care of your self. It's about affirming needs with 6 phrases: Pause, Breathe, Rest, Focus, Step Forward, and Grow. Get a pack here.

Multicultural Pack: This pack is filled with phrases and words to identify. Black folks and people of color. In it are the following phrases: Black Is Beautiful, Raza, Blasian, Mixed Kid, Blaxican, and Poc Pov. Get a pack here.

Dig this? Check out this sticker sheet for self care

Seattle Urban Book Expo Aug 14th

5th Seattle Urban Book Expo video roster from Jeffrey L Cheatham II on Vimeo.

Check this out. I'm happy to share that I will be a vendor at the 5th annual Seattle Urban Book Expo this year in Seattle Washington. If you have family, friends, or colleagues in that area please let them know about this event which will feature writers kid lit, fiction, writing groups, and educators.  For more information visit their website HERE.

Here's an interview w/ the founder of the Expo: Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II

Dig this? Check out some fotos from the last Social Justice Children's Book Holiday Fair  I co-organize in the Bay Area.

Jun 21, 2022

Stuff I've been Listening to 21 - (Raps)


What up tho? This is not a playlist of all time greatest rap songs, my favorite rappers, or even the best raps to come out in the past 6 years. These are just a few songs that I remember playing over and over by various MCs. Mostly in the US and the UK. 

Every year I upload a bunch of songs or podcasts that I'm listening to. Because music is such a big inspiration for me as an artist I do this pretty frequently. Theres so much music coming out compared to when I was a teen. I'd say DJs are still the best way to hear the good shit. Going to festivals is good. So is checking out playlists on streaming services.

Some folks I'd like to mention that you might have passed up because they're got enough buzz are Freddie Gibbs x Alchemist-Babies & Fools, Nipsey Hussle-Double Up, Nas-Speechless, annnnd, what are you listening to rhyme wise? Like, you play it on REPEAT type shit.

Ok if you missed some of the previous playlists like this I made feel free to check out some of them here:

That's it fam. If you missed this hip hop documentary, check it out. Its the legendary Souls of Mischief!

Mini comic 2 - "Ride Again"

This is a new mini comic I debuted at the Toronto Comics & Arts Festival (TCAF) 2022 called "RIDE AGAIN". Get a copy here 

It's an embarrassing story about being bullied or getting jacked. I'm sure there are kids who were champion boxers at 9 years old. I was not. I'd been in 1 on 1 fights but not against 4 or 5 older kids. Anyways, the point of the story is to ride again and thats exactly what I did. Hopefully you can relate as a bike rider or as a kid growing up.

If you missed 1st mini comic I did check it out: TIME

Jun 11, 2022

Gift Box Feature 2- Los Amigos Books (Chicago)

Continuing with this series shouting out some of the companies that have shown me love, here is another Gift/Book box that has featured some of my stuff in it. "Los Amigos Books" which is a family and Latina owned business based out of Chicago. They sell books and book subscriptions that specifically focuses on Spanish and bilingual children's books! They started as a pop up shop and they now have a booming online store and a brick and mortar storefront in Chicago. 

This an image from one of their subscription based book boxes featuring some of my book marks and stickers alongside some great books for ages 7-9. More info here

This is a shot of their Instagram which shows the grand opening of their shop in the Berwyn neighborhood of Chicago. Pull up on them if you're in the area. If not, get books for your kids, classroom, or friends online. Thank you to owner Laura for including my work in these beautiful boxes!

If you're a gift/book box owner, or you have a store (online/brick and mortar) and would like to get some of my merch into your store give me a holler. Did you catch the post about the last book box that featured my merch? Here it is: Get The Bag 

Jun 10, 2022

Black Thought + Danger Mouse


Loving this new music from Black Thought and Danger Mouse! This video is dope and this new song is fresh.

Feeling this? Check out Stuff I've been listening to (Remixes)

Jun 9, 2022

TCAF 2022- I'm a vendor!


Hey folks, I'm excited to announce again that I will be a vendor this year in person at the 2022 Toronto Comics & Arts Festival!  If you're planning on visiting the event please come by my table and say hello. I'll be at table #224 on the second floor. If you'd like to get more info please go to the website for the event: Event LINK.

If you know someone in the Toronto area, please invite them to the show which will have vendors, workshops, panel discussions, etc. There will also be an online festival with vendors and programming so check that out.

Here are some fotos from 2019 (this year will be masked up)

photo via Fantagraphics 

Check out this video:
If you just want to see what its like inside skip to the 5 min mark

Jun 7, 2022

Jun 6, 2022

School visit at Bella Vista in Oakland


Two weeks ago I read at a local Oakland school called Bella Vista, and here are some photos from the reading which had over 100 kids, parents and teachers. Photo credit.

This was a tough one because the crowd was big so I had a mic and walked around with a student to show the kids the pages of the book in between reading. Since 2012 I've done 1-10 school, library, or event readings with my books. Sometimes by myself and sometimes with an author.

I've spoken to pre school, elementary, high school, and college students. If you'd like me to come speak to your students give me a holler. 

Dig this? Check out this visit to Columbus Ohio where I tabled at SOL Con and read to a local school. LINK

tbt - Ceasfire characters


This is a throwback to these characters I drew inspired by real life people in the documentary film "The Interrupters". If you haven't seen it I would highly recommend it. This came out many years ago and I painted these awhile ago. As an outsider I have no idea if its gotten worse or better in Chicago, but I know the gang violence was HEAVY. Heavy like LA in the 80s/90s. And I just loved seeing these folks highlighted who had been in the life out there trying to make a change n the midwest.

Peep the individual Characters:
Recent interview w/ Ameena

Here's a TED talk Eddie gave

Soapbox: Do not fall for the line that gang violence is completely on those who bang. If you do not talk about structural racism, the history of violence in this country, Capitalism (because it is tied to $$$), and Patriarchy you are not seeing the full picture.

Jun 5, 2022

Soul Portrait 10 - Amber Mark


A quick ink drawing on paper of singer songwriter Amber Mark. I'm new to Amber but I love her song "Competition" and "Love me right". I don't know much about her backstory but it sounds like she spent time in the US and Europe. Support her music here.

Whats this? This is a series of portraits I started several years ago for fun practice. I draw or paint portraits of Soul musicians I like. The last one was of Fatima from Sweden. Check it out here

Jun 4, 2022

Sketchbook pg


Here's a pg from a 2021 sketchbook I finished. I think I was checking out an old Rockwell ptg and trying to do a version of that for fun. This is done w/ ink and watercolor.  I love drawing in sketchbooks. Been doing this since I was a kid. Check out this sketchbook tour I made earlier this year.

Dig this? Check out this blog interview w/ BEE sketchbooks

Jun 3, 2022

One of a Kind Like Me- Audio coverage


This is a short interview author Laurin Mayeno did recently to talk about our book "One of a kind, like me" or "Unico Como Yo" which Gender Nation bought along with tons of other Lgbtq / Gender fluid stories. While our book has been banned in some states, schools like Nystrom in Richmond California and in other cities are getting more thanks to Gender Nation; an organization dedicated to affirming queer kids by getting books like ours into schools.

Channel 7 article link 

If you're new to the book this is the synopsis:
Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. Mommy supports him 100%, and they race to the thrift store to find his costume. It’s almost closing time – will Danny find the costume of his dreams in time?

This is the last post I made about Gender Nation who you should support! If you want to buy the book, cop it here.

Jun 2, 2022

Keep Abortion Legal 2022


Been wanting to redraw this logo! I remember seeing it at abortion rights protests in the 80s with my mom. I can't find who designed it but it's tied to the National Organization for Women or NOW. For those who don't go to protests I wanted to let you know if you're following my work I believe in safe, legal and widely available access to abortion for all women and humans with wombs (inc gender non conforming folks). 

1.  I believe whoever's body has the ability to carry a child should have the right to decide if they want to carry that child to term whether they become a parent or give a child up for adoption. To me, this is a basic human right. Non negotiable. It's no longer the dark ages, it's 2022.

2. I believe this is a form of medical healthcare. Like universal healthcare, I believe it should be accessible to all. I believe it should be free. If not free today, it should be at least affordable.

3. If you don't want to get one, it goes against your religion, or you don't subscribe to it-cool. I wouldn't force you to get one. Whether you support this form of healthcare or not should be your choice. But you don't have the right to decide what. my family does. For real, stop fucking w/ folks right to obtain this form of healthcare 

4. The majority of the world does not teach about safe sex, contraceptives, or protection. Access to birth control and education on how to use it for women, men, or people with penises or vaginas is still not as widely available as it should be. This is fucking backward stone age bullshit.

5. All that talk about pro life is BULLSHIT to me! The same folks talking that noise do nothing to make healthcare universal instead of a $ making business. They do not stop the death penalty, their governments from starting wars, men from carrying out mass shootings, or men from raping. In fact what I see when I hear their arguments is thinly veiled control of women and people with wombs. 

6. When we start to talk about race and class the picture becomes even more real. Not having access to abortion disproportionately affects Black and Brown people. The rich will always have more access to abortion and procedure's like it if they choose. They speak one belief while practicing another. Black women, women of color, poor or working class women and gender non conforming folks have less resources, access, and having the ability to have an abortion increases their quality of life and gives them power to decide when, how, and if they will have children.

You disagree? Cool. But just know I stand in solidarity with women, gender non conforming folks, trans folks, and anyone who wants access to abortion. Now and forever. We can negotiate what I want for dinner or what kind of clothes I like, but healthcare is a human right. We moving forward not back. Never again.

ACTION STEP UPDATE June 24, 2022: Make art about issues like this. Support the artists who make it whether that be in film, dance, music, architecture, sculpture, animation, kids books, illustration, etc. Art changes culture and awareness. If you don't make art, support artists! Their work helps organizers and activists working to change actual tangible laws and policy. Why? They just overturned Roe V Wade in the supreme court. 

If I made a print of this to donate funds to Abortion funds would you buy it? Lemme know via comment or email.

Dig this? Peep "Stop Asian Hate"
Check out this platform laid out by the Movement for Black Lives about reproductive justice!

Alejandria Fights Back- Cover process


What up? This is a bit of process behind the cover for "Alejandria Fights Back/ La Lucha de Alejandria"

First let's start with the sketches. I usually do a bunch of sketches in my sketchbook or on paper. I think I did that too. But these are the first I presented to what was a huge team effort. Normally when you make a kids book you have 1-2 people to answer to. Thats either the author/creator or the art director. In this case I was working with a team of filmmakers and organizers called the "Rise home Stories Project" who initiated this project, writer Leticia Hernandez-Linares, and the team at Feminist Press (Lauren Rosemary Hook, Jisu Kim, and designer Drew Stevens. The book was translated by Dr Carla EspaƱa.

The next round was refining these sketches a bit.
They picked the one at the podium and thats the one I really nailed down. 

After nailing it down I went straight into painting the cover because the team was pretty loose with the art direction even though it was BIG. Here's some of the painting process for the front cover. It was painted with watercolor. I start with an over all warm tone and focus where Ale (main character) was the focal point. Then I started to add color to the characters.

Here's the final front cover painting w/ text on another layer drawn with ink.

Here's a bit of the back cover sketches

They chose the one with a few things scattered around which was directly inspired by Dawud Anyabwile's "Brotherman Revelations" back cover. Here it is painted.

And add the back matter (synopsis, logo, isbn scan) and the front cover design w/ type.

Love this book like so many of my others. If you're not familiar with the storyline check out this video

You can get a copy of the book from your local bookstore, library, bookshop.org, or Feminist Press.

Did you like this? Check out my most recent book "Somos Yoga/ We are Yoga" written and published by Jill Guerra an author, teacher, and mindfulness/yoga instructor for kids.