Apr 28, 2023

1000% Me: Growing up Mixed - trailer


One to watch out for. A new doc by W. Kamau Bell ( Do the work, stand up, united Shades of America) . Its great to see some friends and folks in this trailer too. 

Dig this? check out my last inspiration board.

Apr 27, 2023

Art vs Artist 2023


Been awhile since I did one of these. I tried to quickly pick some recent drawings , projects, or paintings that I like. Some of these are client work, but some are personal.  Top to bottom, left to right.
2. Alejandria Fights Back/ La Lucha de Alejandria by Rise Home Stories Project/ Leticia Hernandez-Linares
4. Character from We Are Yoga/Somos Yoga by Jill Guerra
5. Me
6. Illustration for In Dance Magazine
8. Cover of my book Fresh Juice/Jugo Fresco
9. Dr Muriel Petioni-Blk history month

Dig this? Check these out:

Apr 25, 2023

Illustration for "In Dance" Magazine


This is a fun project. Nkeiruka Oruche is the guest editor for this issue of "In Dance Magazine" and she invited me to write and illustrate a short personal experience relating to dance. When she asked me to participate my first thought was that I'm not a dancer but she wanted a mix of folks. Those whose creative practice it is to dance and those who've danced at some point in life, which I think is most of us.  Anyway, check out my illustration from the piece.

Read the whole magazine HERE

Here's my sketch, painting of dancers, and added background and text.

I had fun doing this and I'm thankful to writer, dancer, editor, multi-disciplinary artist Nkei for inviting me:). The magazine features a variety of folks from the Bay and nationally, regular folks and dancers of course with some interesting stories about family, tradition, culture, institutions, and lots of opportunities to move your body. Check it out!!!!!

Dig this? Check out 
-Illustrations for ACLU X Central Valley Report
-My PDF tips to become a freelance illustrator

Apr 23, 2023

Sketches 4


A page from my 2021 sketchbook

Sketch from a painting I did for The Center for Cultural Power (CultureStrike)

Sketch of Dr Muriel Petioni, mother of medicine in Harlem for BLK History Month

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.

Spreads from "I am Sausal Creek/ El Arroyo Sausal" written by Melissa Reyes and illustrated by me

Sketch for a painting of pioneering animator Brenda Banks for BLK History Month 

Letters for the 15th anniversary of the Trust Your Struggle Collective

One of many color sketches I did for a sticker

A sketch for a UC Berkeley project "We Too Belong"

Wanna see more of my sketches?

A doodle from my sketchbook
A sketch from a picture book called "We Are Yoga/ Somos Yoga" written by Jill Guerra and illustrated by me

One last one, these are sketches for a sticker I did that reminds me to PAUSE.

Dig these sketches? Check out this video of my last sketchbook tour. Thx for tuning in. Sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Instagram.

Apr 19, 2023

School Visit - Black Pine Circle


Another school visit! This month I got a chance to visit a k-5 school in Berkeley California called "Black Pine Circle" in West Berkeley. I've visited a bunch of schools recently and this is one of them. These photos were taken by one of the teachers at the school.

Whenever I get a chance, I show the kids a bit about what I do beyond kids books and what made me want to make them.

This group of kids had some great questions and comments for me and it was fun to visit, meet teachers and the Black Pine Circle staff. I hope to get back there again sometime in the future. 

Dig this? Check out some other schools/libraries I've visited:
Walden School - Berkeley, CA
Weinland Elementary- Columbus, OH

Here are some more photos by my friend Kanoe!

Apr 17, 2023

Christina "Steenz" Stewart - Inspiring


I nervously met Steenz while walking around the Toronto Comics & Arts Fest and their work is amazing. I believe they identify as both she and they but I'll use they. Steenz is a comics writer, cartoonist, and editor from St. Louis (My Grandma's hometown). Not only that but they teach it which is so freaking cool!

Here is their website

And here's a video of a presentation they made about how writers and artists can collaborate to make better comics. Insightful!!

Dig this? Check out this post about artist Bea Gifted

Apr 16, 2023

Children's portrait 74 - Isla & Wren


A new children's portrait! Not only has it been awhile since I posted one of these, but its been awhile since I was commissioned to do one. This one is of two girls, cousins actually commissioned by the mother of one and the aunt of the other.

Check out some process:

Want a child painted as a gift? Go to my shop

Dig this? Check out some of the other portraits I've done:
Children's portrait 73 - Malayah
Children's Portrait 66- Karen's nephews
Children's Portrait 63Jabreel, Kubwa, & Jahlyl

Apr 12, 2023

Character 169 - Fairy Big Sister

Just did this one of a fairy while doing a symmetry exercise in Isaac Jadraque's class. Came out fun! So here you go.

Dig this? Check out my last Collage of Characters (2020-2022).

Apr 11, 2023

Author Copies!! - Fresh Juice/ Jugo Fresco


Errrrrayyy, just got my author copies of my new picture book! 

Preorder that joint here

Dig this? Check out this recent speaking engagement at Walden School

Character 168 - Revisited


I was just taking a character design class on how to push your poses by Tony Bancroft and one of the assignments was to take an old pose (2011) and redraw it. I really like how this came out. 

In the new one, I was trying to put more of a curve in his pose. I wanted it to feel more 3/4 as well. Not straight on, and with some weight in his feet. Anyways, you can always improve! And thats what I'm trying to do. 

Dig this? Check out the last Collage of Characters 2020-2022

Apr 9, 2023

School Visit- The Walden School in Berkeley, CA


Recently I got the chance to speak with students and staff from "Walden School" in Berkeley CA. I had a great time sharing Furqan's First Flat Top with them, my Art of Rob book, and lots about my work in kids books. They had great questions as kids and adults always do so it was fun. Check out some photos!
These photos were taken by Gina Centanni :)

Dig this? Check out some photos from a visit I did with Prospect Sierra in Berkeley as well.

Apr 5, 2023

I'll be at Fairyland June 3rd 2023


Its been so long since I was last at Fairyland for their annual book events. This year I'll be there along with 30 other authors and illustrators like Kim Ko, Nidhi Chanani, Christian Robinson, Angela Dalton, and the Leticia Hernandez-Linares who wrote "Alejandria Fights Back!"

Come meet me in person at the Children's Fairyland Book Festival on Saturday, June 3! It’s a kid-lit event that brings Bay Area children’s literature authors and illustrators together with families for a full day of read-alouds and more. Alejandria Fights Back (Leticia Hernandez-Linares/Rise Home Stories project), We Are Yoga (Jill Guerra), and Sam! (Dani Gabriel) will be available to buy from The Collective Oakland, and I’ll be happy to autograph it for your kiddo! 

Tickets are available now: fairyland.org/book-festival

Dig this? Here's a post about "We Are Yoga" by Jill Guerra and a post about the cover of "Sam!" by Dani Gabriel.

Apr 4, 2023

Erin Yoshi short doc


Hey, Erin Yoshi (Trust Your Struggle, Few and Far, COI) has a new short doc about her mural work. Check it out at this LINK.

This is my sister right here and I'm always inspired by her words and her work. 

Dig this? Check out this post about 'When She Rises"

Apr 2, 2023

Book bans


Check out this short article (5 min read) done by Lee & Low about recent book bans.

Its a shame I gotta post this but it gives you an idea of the right's (political) plan to use book bans as an organizing tactic. Most of the books banned within the last two years are part of a much larger tactic to make lists of Queer or Bipoc books, ban them in schools or libraries, tie up people in tape, get them to expel their energy fighting it, etc. For the most part it has failed at keeping books from getting to people , but it has succeeded in garnering attention and that was the point. The majority of the folks doing this do not read the books, they're using lists generated by the right and they're well funded. I'm talking "In N Out", "Target", Billionaire type of money. 

What can people who disagree with these bullshit ass bans do? Fight back. Get involved in your local schools, libraries, and governments and let them know you support all children having the access to books featuring queer children, families, and stories by and about people of color. If there are specific books you're not ready to talk about with your kids because of their age, I get it. But do not, allow these fools to fuck it up for everybody. Not every family feels the same way and it is NOT your choice to deny them what they want to read.

These book bans are like the bans against the 1619 project and the legal threats against Trans children and families. The right is scared, and they're trying to fire up other scary ass right wing people. But they gotta know, we're not going backward in history, we aim to move forward. 

I have two books that have been banned (One of a Kind, Like Me and Sam!). And I have countless friends across the country in the book world whose books have also been banned. Fight back.

Dig this? Check out these resources: