Jan 31, 2023

Tony Medina reading 13 Ways of Looking at a Black Boy


Check out this reading of 13 Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by the author Tony Medina. Back in 2018 I was one of 13 artists to contribute an illustration to this beautiful book. You can get a copy here.

Dig this? Check out this post about my piece for the book. Or, check out this article in the NY Times featuring the book

Who I've run with-Crews/Families

Hey y'all, this is an appreciation post about some of the folks I've run with, worked with, and learned from. Some of these folks I've known since I was a kid, some I met in college or as an adult. All of them have given me a tremendous amount of love, support, ideas, game, and support and I'm happy to work with them.

Top to bottom, left to right: 

1. Trust Your Struggle Collective- (Bay Area, NYC, int'l) Crew of Graffiti writers, educators, muralists, organizers, etc who create large scale murals, gallery exhibitions, and educational workshops. Founded in 2003! I'm a proud co-founder of this crew. Learn more here.

2. Social Justice Children's Book Holiday Fair- (Bay Area) This is a kids book fair founded by authors, illustrators, teachers, organizers, and book lovers in 2017. This fair champions books featuring People of color, queer folks, and social justice minded creators to serve our community. See some photos from past events here.

3. Tone/ Umber: (Bay Area) Both magazines were founded by an incredible designer, artist, and father Mike Nicholls who has been going since 2016 I believe with Umber magazine. A journal to celebrate Black and Brown stories relating to manhood, sports, music, lifestyle, and more. I was briefly a part of Tone , a magazine dedicated to Black men which is currently dormant, but you can see Umber here.

4. Rad Dad Magazine- (Bay Area) Founded by Tomas Moniz in 2005. Rad Dad was a zine and magazine dedicated to helping fathers of all stripes share their experiences, triumphs, and challenges as dads. Read more here.

5. Muphoric Sounds- (NYC/London) Founded by Vanessa Warren in 2008 MS functioned as a booming part of the music blog landscape. We wrote about new and old music primarily focused on Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Electronic, and House. Read some of the pieces here.

6. The Bull Horn Blog/ M is for Movement- (Boston/Bay Area). This is a blog founded by Innosanto Nagara, Alison Goldberg, and Janine Macbeth that highlighted children's books from multiple age groups featuring stories by people of color and social justice minded creators. Read posts here.

Dig this? Check out my interview with Avy Jetter of Oakland Creates

Jan 26, 2023

My mural in a book! - Painting the Streets


Check out some images from the new “Painting The Streets” book I'm in alongside many of my Trust Your Struggle Collective family and so many more Bay Area artists. Get a copy here.

Here is my first post about that mural as well.

The good folks over at the East Side Arts Alliance and Nomadic Press got together to make this book of all the artwork created in the summer of 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Amhaud Arbery, and so many other victims of Police Terrorism in the United States.

Walls by Cece Carpio, Miguel Bounce Perez & Thitiwat Phromratanapongse, Nisha K Sethi, Priya Handa, and Robert Liu-Trujillo. That summer Cece, Nisha, Migs, Thi, and Rob hit the street to paint walls in frustration, solidarity, and creativity as the crew has done so many times in the past 19 years. We’re honored to be featured in this book by Nomadic and East Side.

The book features both artwork, essays, and poetry by artists and writers such as Alicia Garza, The Black Cultural Zone, Greg Morozumi, Leslie Lopez, Robin D.G. Kelley, The Bay Area Mural Program, Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith, Kufue, Keena Romano, Timothy B, Zoë Boston, Maisha Quint. DonJuan Carter-Woodard, Amiri Baraka, The Illuminaries, Inbal “Bali” Rubin, Dime, Chris Granillo, Pancho Pescador, Oree Originol, Shi Shi, TDK Crew, DeVante Brooks, and words from JK Fowler of Nomadic Press and Elena Serrano of East Side Arts Alliance!

Dig this? Check out this video where I talk about some of my favorite art books

Tacoma African American Read In - Pierce County Library

 Yo, this coming Black History Month I will be speaking at the "African American Read In" for the Pierce County public library in Tacoma Washington. You can join virtually from anywhere in the world. I will be speaking with two Washington based authors and the owners of the shop "Parable Tacoma". I met some of the librarians organizing this event at the Seattle Urban Book Expo and I'm juiced to be a part of this.

Register for the event HERE

Dig this? Check out this talk I gave for the SOL Collective about developing a love of reading


Jan 21, 2023

Ashley T Visual - Beats!!


Just got hip to this producer via YouTube and love the beats she makes. Lots of different styes from this multidisciplinary artist. Her first EP is up on Bandcamp and you can follow her channel here.

Dig this? Check out the last post I made about JAZZ i'm listening to.

Jan 20, 2023

Giant Robot Documentary


This is pretty cool. Giant Robot was one of those cool indy magazines exploring a side of Asian American life completely ignored in most other publications. I saw them sparsely as a young artist but hella appreciate the work the co-founders did to shine a light on AAPI creators and the many subcultures they are a part of. The Giant Robot store on Sawtelle in Japantown was one of the first shops to carry Furqan's First Flat Top in LA. What started as a zine became a movement.

Watch the whole episode on them here.

Did you like this? Check out my last inspiration board and this piece I did for Hyphen Magazine

Jan 18, 2023

Teach the Children the Truth (podcast) -Marisa Villegas


Juiced to share this podcast by ethnic studies teacher and professor Marisa Villegas. 

"Ms V" as I call her taught my son when he was a student in the Oakland Unified School District at a bilingual school in East Oakland. She has been teaching for decades and like me is a Berkeley High school grad. In this show she gets into her story as a teacher, her tactics for teaching, and I'm excited to hear more. Listen to the introduction to the podcast and share with ethnic studies teachers. If you follow me you know I ride for this.

Dig this? Check out my last Inspiration board and my latest Ethnic Studies painting

Jan 16, 2023

1500 in sales= 30% discount from my shop


Juiced-My shop just crossed the #1500 mark in sales and I want to offer a thank you to all of you who have supported me. Along with many hustles, I survive with sales from this shop so I appreciate you if you've purchased anything from me in the past. If you've never gotten anything but wanted to, now's your chance. From now until this Friday (January 20th) use the code "GREATEST3" to get 30% off from my shop. 

Here's my shop link: GO 

Dig this post? Check out this one where I talk about how I made it to 1000 sales. When I get to 2000 sales I'm going to make a video about elaborating on how I got this far.

Jan 10, 2023

Elisa "Sol" Garcia - Hear in LA podcast


Much props and respect to Elisa "Sol" Garcia who is an awesome book seller from LA. She operated her own bookstore called Imix Books which curated a huge list of books by and about people of color. When my book Furqan's First Flat Top came out she was the first bookseller in LA to carry it and I have never forgotten that. 

Link to podcast episode w/ transcript and photos!

Here is a podcast called Hear in LA which did a lovely interview with her where she talks about her long history of being a bookseller (26 years!!!),  best sellers, the summer of 2020, Morrissey, the whole American Dirt fiasco, Eso Won Books, and Skylight Books where she currently works. 

Something she did not mention on the podcast is that she owned and operated her own bookstore and community space-Imix Books back in the day, which sadly closed

She's also a selector/DJ on the radio show known as Lady Imix with DJ Phatrick on "Heartbreak radio" and on shows like "Word to your mama" and "Heat Rocks" !

Dig this? Check out The Stoop podcast

Jan 8, 2023

Stuff I've Been Listening to 23 - More Jazz


Nala Sinephro-space 4 (2021)

I've made a post about Jazz before but its high time for this new one featuring some musicians new and old. Straight ahead, fusion, funk, experimental, and a few things in between. Like Nala for example. I LOVE this track from her Space 1.8 album. She's a harp player who gets it. This one features Nubya Garcia!

R+R=Now - Change of Tone (2018)

This is a super group w/ Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Christian aTunde Adjuah, Derrick Hodge, Taylor McFerrin, and Justin Tyson

Bobbi Humphrey- Set me at ease (1975)
OG Bobbi Humphrey on the flute and featuring the Mizell's and Dorothy Ashby

James Mason- Rhythm of life (1977)
Found this joint via Egon and man it grooves!

Esperanza Spalding - Formwela 3 (2021) 
Been following since the myspace days and love how she continues to play and grow

Lonnie Liston Smith-Bridge through time (1980)
You know, Lonnie has so many incredible jams. First heard this through The Conscious Daughters

What is this? This series is called "Stuff I've been listening to" and this is my place to share music that I listen to while I work, process, decompress, and live life. Some of it is new, some old. But I'm always listening. I share in the hopes that you will find something that inspires you. Please share with a fellow music lover.

Emma Jean Thackray-Rain dance/wisdom (2020)
I love how Emma Jean mixes jazz with electronic, house, funk, and hip hop. Shout out to the UK jazz scene!

Horace Silver-I've had a little talk (1972)
Song for my father is one of my all time favorites but when I heard Osunlade play thisssss?!

Destiny Muhammad Trio- Blue in Green (2022)
Destiny is an ILL harpist and vocalist from the Bay Area! Dig how she plays Miles and her own!!

Alfa Mist - Galaxy (2020)
Alfa Mist is an incredible UK producer and piano player, peep this remake of Eddie Henderson's classic

Madison Mcferrin- No time to lose (2017)
Madison is the next in line after Taylor and Bobby to show and prove. She can compose, produce, and sing!!

Did you miss the last installment of this series? 

Stuff I've been listening to 22Instrumentals

Stuff Ive been listening to 21: Raps

Stuff Ive been listening to 17: Soul

Stuff Ive been listening to 19: UK Artists

Stuff Ive been listening to 20: Remixes

Keep listening to new and old music. There are tons of great artists still coming out with music. If you're not sure where to look, check out your local DJ, playlists, mixes, and your local independent radio stations.

Takuya Kuroda- Do they know (2016) 
I came across Takuya through vocalist Jose James and always dug this track

Amel Larrieux - Try your wings (2007)
Love Amel since Groove Thory, since Infinite Possibilities, Bravebird, Morning. Peep this remake of the Blossom Dearie song from 1958

Yussef Kamaal- Live at Brownswood studio (2016) Individually these cats are amazing but their joint album "Black focus" is incredible.

Agggh, there's so many great jazz records. Some you might of slept on or never heard of are artists like Meshell Ndegeocello, Kokoroko, Yazmin Lacey, Melissa Aldama, Grover Washington, or Butcher Brown. I wanna give a special shout out to this legend though.

Roy Hargove - Poetry (2003)

This was the first album that really got me hearing how dope Roy was, then I started to see his name with so many other great artists. Rest In peace brother Roy! Stay tuned for the next "Stuff I've been listening to" and drop a comment if there's someone you recommend!

Jan 5, 2023

Inspiration board 42


Yall, it gives me so much pleasure to share some of the things I'm seeing, hearing, feeling, reading, learning from, and getting inspired by. PLEASE check out some of these people, things, etc and get inspired!!! Here are they are left to right, top to bottom.

1. Snapdragon by Kat Leyh (graphic novel) Witches, Queer identity, etc

2. Eve Ewing (Author/Educator) writes about super heroes, school closures, and science

3. Vamos! by Raul the Third (Picture book) Bilingual literacy, Latinx, kids lit

4. A Tradition of Violence by Cerise Castle (podcast) LA Sheriff gangs, journalism, police brutality

5. Sebastian Mikael's new EP Phileo (Soul Music) Soul, hip hop

6. Pinocchio by Guillermo Del Toro (Animated film) stop motion, 

7. Alvin Irby founder of Barbershop Books (Interview) activism, literacy, black boys

8. I am the Subway by Kim Hyo Eun (Picture book) train, humanity, working class

9. Nala Sinephro's album Space 1.8 (Jazz music) jazz, experimental jazz, harp

10. Abel Cruz's fog nets (Water) BBC, World hacks, water crisis, fog nets, peru

11. Sibylline Meynet (Artist) illustration, gouache, artist

12. Afu Chan's Outer Darkness (Artist) comics, illustration

13. Ovarian Psycos (Documentary) cycling, women's rights, trauma, women

14. Noni Sessions (Activist) East Bay Permanent Real Estate Coop, coop's, land, activism

15. Coop Conversations (Podcast) Cooperative housing, podcasts, coop's, alternative housing

16. Teach the Children the Truth by Marisa Villegas (Podcast) Ethnic studies, Raza Studies, education

Did you miss the previous inspiration board? Here are a few 
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

Jan 4, 2023

Art of Rob - is now in 7 bookstores!


Feliz Año nuevo. Juiced to tell you that "Art of Rob" is making its way into more brick and mortar community based independent bookstores in the US. I love sharing information about bookstores because they are little cultural hubs for reading, art, politics, sometimes food, dating :), learning, and reading of course. If you can please go support these book and art galleries, you're guaranteed to find something unique.

1. Modern Mouse - Alameda California 2223 S Shore Center, Alameda, CA 94501 This gift store/ art gallery houses some of the coolest books, art prints, t-shirts, stickers, candles, toys, jewelry, and more in the East Bay. I'm not sure when it was founded but Matt and Mynt took over the company in 2017 and they are Queer and Woman of color owned. Check them out!

2. Push/Pull- Seattle Washington 2000 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107Push & Pull is a cool independent bookstore located in the northwest side of Seattle right in between Adams and WestWoodland. They are go to spot for independent comix, books, gifts, and art. Not only that but they publish folks and host regular events. If you were at the Short Run Fest you might have seen their table. Go support them!

3. E14 - Oakland California 461 9th St, Oakland, CA 94607E14 has been rocking with me since Furqan's First Flat Top debuted. They are a project and offshoot of the EastSide Arts Cultural center in East Oakland and they featured clothing, jewelry, art, toys, and books. Every year they host an array of local talent through gallery shows and vendor events. Go check them out. Brown and Black owned!

4. Skylight Books - Los Angeles California  1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Skylight is a cool independent bookstore located in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles. They have a huge selection of books. They host author readings and feature independent creators such as myself. They host a lot of cool book events, have a podcast, and feature banned books! Check them out.

What is "Art of Rob"? Its my 130 page art book featuring character designs, paintings, sketches, tutorials, and more for the burgeoning young artists!

Note: If you have not received your book in the mail from the kickstarter or you believe it got lost in the mail please message me here or email me at info@robdontstop.com If you'd like to purchase a copy directly from me you can using this LINK

Did you see the first three bookstores to carry the book? Here's a LINK to that post featuring The Multicultural Children's Bookstore, Marcus Books, and Pegasus Books

Inspiring Artist- Victoria Ying


Victoria Ying is an incredible artist and author from the LA area who I came across when she was working at Disney many years ago. I remember seeing a project she lead called "Extra Curricular Activities". Then I saw her in the "Lovely" book with women working in animation. I have been a big fan ever since and I loved her books "City of Secrets" and "Meow". Check out some of her beautiful paintings and drawings.

Yo, if you're new: This is where I share artists that have been inspiring to me in my work sometimes directly and other times indirectly. Do yourself a favor and check out Victoria's site here. There you can catch some of the amazing books she's created such as "City of Secrets" and hear some interviews such as this one where she talks about her process for creating her graphic novel.

If you missed the last inspiring artist I posted, check out Ami Thompson or Elizabeth Catlett's work! And if you're still looking for more inspiration peep inspiration board 41 I made because everybody gets stuck. 
PS: Victoria teaches!! You can take a class she teaches on visual development here :)

Jan 2, 2023

Character 166 - Picture me cruisin


Here's a new self portrait for the new year. I pictured myself cruisin in a futuristic go-kart! One that hovers. Happy new year to you and yours. Trying to keep rollin with the changes. Every few years I do a new one to keep my website, blog, etc fresh. You'll see this new image on all the tings.

Dig this? Here's a previous self portrait I did in 2019 . Here's another one from 2015.

A few close ups...

The previous character before this was Mama Peng