Jul 29, 2022

NEW!- Art of Rob is in the shop


Fam, the book is finally in the shop and the majority of the books have gone out to the backers. If you missed the kickstarter campaign now you can cop a book. 

Here's the link: ART of ROB

In case you missed it, this is the kickstarter campaign from 2021!

Jul 28, 2022

My Book in this VICE article


Here we go again, it seems that people just being who they are if that happens to be Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Trans, or gender non conforming seems to really piss White Christian families off. If not enrage them, it really fucking scares them. Check out this article about this town and how they handled books featuring queer children and Queer librarians trying to broaden the minds of local children and families. It was not cool how they essentially forced these librarians to quit. My book with. Laurin Mayeno happens to be the image featured here but really there are so many kids books featuring Black folks, people of color, queer or gender fluid characters that really scare just by existing. Smh

After reading a few more articles it seems that the heart of this issue is that they attacked queer librarians and made them (the key holders of a variety of information, stories, and resources) feel unwelcome; not only in their job but in their town.

Check out this good news pertaining to the book though: Gender Nation 

Sketchbook pg 2 - Ramona & Hong Kong


This is a page from a 2014 sketchbook. The entire book had toned paper and I used ink, colored pencil, and gouache for this page. On the left is Move activist Ramona Africa from Phillly and an umbrella representing the protests in Hong Kong. Wanna see more from this sketchbook?  Check out my sketchbook tour below.

Check out this sketchbook tour:

Here's the previous sketchbook page

Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio trailer


Really excited for this new stop motion feature. I love Guillermo Del Toro's work so this should be scary and magical. The last Stop Motion story I featured was the teaser for Wendell & Wild a film by Henry Selick and Jordan Peele.

Jul 22, 2022

Sketches 3


This is a sketch for a portrait of graffiti artist Spie

Sup with it fam, its been awhile since I shared some sketches from my process. I share process art a lot with different projects but sometimes I just love looking back at the sketches I made before painting some of my personal or client work. Sometimes the sketches are better than the final. Something about the energy in them.

This was for East Oakland's "Street Level Health"

Chapter 510 (organization) sketch

Sketch from the book Sam! Published by Penny Candy Books

Curry sketch - Warriors

Wide sketch for "Asian Art Museum" in SF

For BLK History month 2021 - Little Richard

This is a sketch for "Orange Barrel Media" AD in Ohio

Here's a self portrait I did many years ago

Sketch Postcard for "Sunrise Movement"

Sketch for Zumbi (Zion-I) RIP

Here's a sketch from "Alejandria Fights Back" pub by Feminist press

Thanks for checking out the sketches. If you notice the majority of my sketches are on paper with pencil. In the last few years I have been using an I-pad pro increasingly to speed up the sketch process and move things around, so you'll be seeing more of those sketches. If you dig these check out my sketchbook tour 

Here's the last sketches post I made in 2018

Jul 14, 2022

Sam! Cover Art Tools

Hey readers. My name is Rob and I'm a kids book author and illustrator. This is a throwback to the cover design for the book "Sam!" written by poet/parent Dani Gabriel, published by Penny Candy Books, and illustrated by me.

Here are the initial sketches I came up with. One with a scene from the book, and two new ones. 

They chose the 1st idea and this being a relatively quick process I went straight to a refined sketch of that which you see here. For the sketch I typically use a non photo blue pencil, a ruler, a #2 pencil, and an 11" x 17" piece of paper so I can draw the back together as a layout.  

Once everyone signed off on this I use my light box to trace the sketch using a Prismacolor black pencil.


 Then I add color using a large flat brush to lay down a wash first then I build up the color slowly from light to dark using the medium flat, the round, and the fine liner . 

I use a bunch of watercolor brands to find the right colors. These are some of them.

When you paint with acrylic or gouache you can layer light over dark, but with watercolor its much harder so you must use light colors first, then darks. This is what. the painting looks like once I've finished. If you get a chance, read the book. Share it with families and check out some of the other books Penny Candy publishes HERE.

Dig this? Check out this post about the cover art of Alejandria Fights Back/ La Lucha de Alejandria

Jul 13, 2022

Laura Briggs - Taking Children


Just heard Laura on KPFA's Against the Grain talking about her new book and a life of study relating to US policy, immigration, and terrorism against people of color in the US and abroad. Her new book "Taking Children-A history of American Terror" ties together what Black and Native folks have been saying and a lot of her own research about how the US has used taking children or separating them from their families as a tool of war/terrorism. One of the reasons things like critical race theory and ethnic studies are banned is because they are not just about a diversity of race or painting a we are the world picture, they talk about speaking truth to power and that means examining the United States past and how it directly relates to the present. I'm looking forward to reading this book. Peep game

Dig this? Check out this video by Vox Media about Indigenous boarding schools or this trailer about Indigenous filmmaker Merata Mita

Jul 12, 2022

Read Banned Books


Here's a new print for all the lovers of banned books! I wanna shout out all the queer authors and illustrators. All the Black folks and people of color who've had the books banned for no more than telling their story. Oh and shout out to all those teachers bringing ethnic studies and critical race theory into their classrooms so students can actually learn how we got here as a country and as a world. Yes, please read banned books and when you do make up your own mind if its useful information or not.

Cop a print HERE

Dig this? Check out this print "Ethnic Studies In Every School"

Jul 11, 2022

Gift Box Feature 3 - Booklandia (Portugal)


BIG shout out to Maceo who is the founder and owner of "Booklandia" the first Gift/Subscription Box to give my book "Furqan's First Flat Top" a shot. When I first debuted as a kids book illustrator and author Maceo almost immediately started carrying my book, other books I'd worked on, name plates I'd made, etc and she even licensed work from me to make coloring sheets.

If you're not hip to her business it is one of the first bilingual and Spanish language subscription book boxes in the US (She now lives in Portugal). They carry books for children from newborns to middle grade kids. Not just that, she searches for books that reflect the diversity of Latinos (all colors). 

If you're new to this, I'm sharing some of the amazing small businesses that have featured my books, merchandise, or artwork in their subscription book boxes. Booklandia is not only a gift box, it's also a pop up bookstore that has filled a need in the kidlit world. Please go support the biz by purchasing books (physical or audio).

LINK: Booklandia Books

Dig this? Check out the last giftbox feature: Los Amigos Books (Chicago)

Fog Nets - water


I've seen informational videos about fog nets before and just came across these two videos today. These seem like really great ways to make use of fog to get clean water for growing food, drinking, and bathing. Inspiring! This is in Morocco.

This is in Peru.

Dig this? Check out my last inspiration board

Jul 9, 2022

Art of Rob - Surveys sent out!


Hey fam, if you supported or backed my kickstarter last year check your email for the survey I sent. I'm sending the books out slowly but surely!

Dig this? Check out the trailer for my first Kickstarter "Furqan's First Flat Top"