Jun 21, 2023

Sierra Health Foundation - Theory of Change

Finished this illustration for the "Sierra Health Foundation" as a joint collaboration with Design Action who did the layout and design. Each round of the artwork involved feedback from Design Action and the client.

Here's some process:

Rough sketch

Rough sketch 2

Color version

Final version before text was added

That's all she wrote. If you know of any young students trying to get started in illustration share this pdf with them.

Dig this? Check out this illustration for "In Dance Magazine"

Jun 19, 2023

Stuff I've Been Listening to 24 - Synths please


Loose Ends (UK) - Hanging on a string 1984
Always loved Loose Ends and this classic track from them.

Welcome welcome. Here is a new post with some of my favorite synths, mostly across soul, jazz, funk, hip hop, and rock. I didn't always know that I loved synths, I just like good music. But after hearing some chatter about synths in general and some of the machines created to make the sounds, I thought I'd share some of my favorites, not the best synths ever. This is totally subjective. Enjoy.

Little Dragon (Sweden) - A Place to belong (2007)
This is the first Little Dragon song I heard from my boy Miguel. Fonky.

We Are King (Minneapolis/LA) - The Greatest (2015)
Agggh, one of the illest soul groups of recent to write and produce w/ synths!!

Squarepusher (UK) - Plaistow Flex Out (2001)
Was turned on to Squarepusher by my homie and drummer Valentino 

Pink Floyd (UK) - On the Run (1973)
Always loved this Pink Floyd album! 

Kool & The Gang (Jersey City) - Summer Madness (1974)
Classic joint from a classic jazz, rock, soul band.

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.

Satoshi & Makoto (Japan) - Crepuscule Leger (2017)
New! Don't know much about these cats, but I dig it.

Jneiro Jarel (Philadelphia) - Soul Starr (2005)
Discovered Jeniro aka Dr Who Dat? at the record store and became an instant fan. 

Björk (Iceland) - Hyperballad (1995)
Heard Bjork through one of my best friends in the 90s and was blown away

Zion I w/ Mikos da Gawd (Oakland) - Saving Souls (2016)
RIP Zumbi, this is one of countless synth flavored Zion I songs

Did you miss the last installment of this series? 

Stuff I've been listening to 23: More Jazz

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

Sexual Harrassment (Midwest US) - I need a freak (1983)
House party track tried and true. First heard it as a child.

Chaka Khan (Chicago) - What Cha Gonna do for Me? (1981)
Radio classic on kiss fm in the Bay

Marcos Valle (Brazil) - Naō Tem Nada Naō (1973)
Found this cut via Madlib!

Kraftwerk (Germany) - Numbers (1981)
These cats are German, but this is straight up electro classic hip hop material. 

Ok, one last one fam....
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein (Austin) - Kids (2016)

Discovered the guys through the Stranger Things soundtrack which was both old and new, simple, yet amazing! Reminds me of 80s movies and that was the point! 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......

What's in my bag? Amoeba Series


Ok, so I grew up going to record stores. Rasputins, Leopolds, Tower, Virgin, The Warehouse, and Amoeba is and was my favorite. In high school I used to walk from Berkeley high at lunch and use my lunch money to buy 99c or $5 hip hop records. I loved and still love getting new records, spending time with them, and just listening. 

I love this episode with Santigold! This "What's In My Bag?" series is old, but I love how they keep reinventing it by interviewing new and older artists. Case in point, have you listened to any of these episodes like:



Big Boi 

The Internet

Little Dragon

Karriem Riggins/ DJ Jrocc (Beatjunkies)

Kamasi Washington



Dig this? Peep the last post I did about Jazz-Stuff I've been listening to

Jun 14, 2023

Inspiration board 43


Hey fam, I hope you're well. It has been a rough one for me lately but trying to hold on to it. Check out some of these things that have been dope to me recently. Keep going.

Starting from top to bottom, left to right:

1. Major Taylor Iron Riders -video by The Pro's Closet (Cycling/Fitness)

2. Odessa- Middle grade graphic novel by Jonathan Hill (book)

3. Giant Robot- Doc about an AAPI magazine/store (film)

4. Monica Martin- Vocalist, songwriter from the midwest (music)

5. El Michel's Affair x Black Thought- I'm still somehow (music)

6. 1000% Me- Doc about being mixed by W. Kamau Bell (film)

7. Art of Cam Kendell from Fart Quest (art)

8. Hidari- Stop motion animated samurai (stop mo animation)

9. The Nakba- Educational video about the Nakba in Palestine (history)

10. Chang Can Dunk- Narrative film about personal goals (film)

11. Cymone Wilderis an incredible lettering artist (lettering)

12. This Was Our Pact- All ages graphic novel by Ryan Andrews (book)

13.  Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur- Animated show based on comic (tv)

14. Endea Owens - Where the Nubians Grow (music)

15. Turning Red- Animated film by Pixar (animation)

16. The Last of Us- Post apocalyptic tv show based on video game (tv)

Did you miss the previous inspiration board? Here it is, plus a few more 
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 Liu-Trujillo 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 also cop my first art book here.

Jun 12, 2023

Children's Portrait 75 - Stella


Here's a new portrait of Stella, commissioned by her Mama Sarah. And they have a cool tradition where the young ladies in her family take a photo with the exact same dress on when they get to be 5 or 6 years old. This is her sister's portrait Eva.

What is this? Wow, we're at number 75! I've been doing these portraits for about 10 years. Not rushing, taking my time, etc. But through family, friends, and community I have been able to keep making these gifts. I paint these by hand, each one unique from photo reference provided by parents, caregivers, grandparents, aunties, uncles, etc. If you'd like to commission a portrait of a kid or a family go here

Dig this? Check out this collage of children's portraits.