Monday, February 23, 2015

TAOLB: The Art of Living Black 2015 Open Studios Show

The phrase "The art of living black" has more meaning now than ever before. Within the recent years killing of unarmed American citizens by police and many other controversial murders of unarmed Black men and women coupled with the alarmingly high rate of incarceration of Black men and women in the U.S. this "art" seems more and more like a skill. Not only do Black people need to be creative but we must become fully aware and present in our everyday lives.
The living part being the most important. It is no longer good enough just to stay alive or to survive or just get by, now today we must be fully functioning living breathing beautiful and totally black. I mean black in the all encompassing vivid in living color, lets not take this moment for granted Black!
In my work I strive to be present and draw from the creative energy one can only tap when fully tuned in and in the moment.
My drawing,my paintings and comic book series help me to remain focused and open and charged with the ability to be teachable and soft hearted.
I will always be grateful and available to the one on one interaction with folks who want that engagement with creators and makers and visually expressive  people.

I was humbled and honored to be invited to participate in the Open studios satellite show that runs parallel to the Art of Living Black exhibit hosted by the Richmond Art Center every year. The show was held on the historic Mills college campus in Oakland California. The show is curated every year by Ajuan Mance who I met while tabling at S.F. Zinefest a few years ago. I am a big fan of Ajuan's art and her current project the 1001 Black Men sketchbook! She not only makes radical drawing but also is a professor at Mills College.
Included in the show were many wonderful artists, Tai Belize, Howard Mackey, Ajuan Mance, Karen Oyekanmi, Lyn Rockwell, Atiba Sylvia Thomas, Valerie Troutt and Nia King. There was also a Zine making workshop with  Shareena Clark.
Some of the highlights were visiting with other artists and talking about their experiences in the SF Bay Area art scene and Art school educations.
I was also able to connect with other artists who had previously bought my comic and wanted to see some of the other work I had on display. I exhibited a few prints of my on-going portrait series as well as a few prints from Inktober 2014. It always stuns and amazes me when folks want a bit more information or want to spend time talking to me about my work. I'm so humbled and moved by the sincere interest and exchange of ideas with like minded people.
It's truly the best part of showing my work. I want to give a big shout out to Ajuan Mance for organizing and curating the show as well as the Mills students who were very welcoming and supportive as well as the other artists showing who participate every year. This was an amazing experience to be included in a show with so many great human beings as well as fantastic artists!

As per usual I will post a few pics here and the rest of the images on my flickr page via storm1sky.
Here is the link to the album,

Also you can find me online at facebook

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BCAF Black Comix Arts Festival Presented by the NORCAL MLK Foundation

It's almost like something that happened way in the past. A long time ago. The memories are warm and feel good just like those childhood memories where everything was sunny and golden and you can only remember the good things! The First Annual Black Comix Arts Festival is like that for me. Although it was just this past weekend it's chronicled in my mind as one of those sweet dusty rose and soft memories couched inbetween the first time in the Pacific ocean and the first time on an airplane. This is the first west coast Black comixs expo I've heard about and or have been too and like Eugene Young told me, " BCAF felt more like a family reunion than a comic book convention!' I couldn't agree more, I've never felt so at home and welcomed by the visitors before. Most if not all who stopped by my table wanted to know about my comic book in depth and detail and spent a good amount of time chatting me up about my vision and my experiences making the comic book.
Some folks wanted practical advice and information and others just wanted to know "how I did that?" I was overwhelmingly humbled and honored by all the kind attention and graciousness shown to me by the arts festival visitors. I typically exchange business cards with a myriad of artists and creatives,makers and media but this one,this one was different! It felt so groundbreaking an right.
To top it off to celebrate and honor Martin Luther Kind Junior on this day and in so many ways only served to make the event all the more special and imprint it in my mind and heart! I'm grateful to all the organizers and countless volunteers for their hard work and diligence! I met Daniel Zarazua who does amazing work as a teacher and community leader. I also had a great time talking with Eugene Young who I'd met before at A.P.E. It was also great to briefly chat with Bill Campbell publisher at Rosarium. I was in awe taking in all the talent and creativity in the building. Literally all the indie artists and publishers that I have read about all in the same place. I could barely take it all in and kept feeling like, 'should I cry,am I going to cry? Is this really happening?"
Maybe if I pinch myself I'll wake up and this will have been a dream!?
As always I posted a few photos on flickr here
Here are a couple of my fav shots from the day!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Eastbay Alternative Book and Zine Fest

"In 2010, two Bay Area writers/zinesters decided it was time the East Bay had its own indie media celebration modeled on the amazing work people were doing in San Francisco and Portland. Tomas Moniz and MK Chavez organized the first East Bay Alternative Press Book Fair. It was a wonderful experience and a huge success, bringing over 50 participants into Berkeley City College. In 2011, Brooke Appler created the flyer and helped organize the event. Again the tables went quickly, with over 60 vendors and artists participating, and attendance doubled. In 2012, Tomas teamed up with the amazing Rock Paper Scissors Collective. Collective member Ara and volunteers Jamie, Olivia, and Crystal helped the event grow to new heights! That year also came with a new name: East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Festival, or EBABZ (say, "e-babes,") Fest for short."
From the EBABZ Web-site.

Every year I try to add either a new event,art show,fair or zinefest to my schedule of tabling. This year I added several. Usually I would be complaining about how hectic the year was and how jamming so many shows into my schedule is insane and super tiring but not this year, I just tabled at the Eastbay Alternative Book and Zine fest and had an amazing time.  I went into EBABZ just recovering from a bad bug or virus, not really thinking I would have a good time but just "make it through the day"! That's how crappy I felt leading up to the show. I truly believe you can think things, or say things into being. In my humble opinion it's  really about perspective,attitude and where you place your energy. I was determined to share,be open hearted and as sappy as it sounds love. I mean love what I was doing and be present, and stay mindful of being in the moment. Really our lives are just about taking it moment by moment because they all eventually add up. Moments into minutes,minutes into hours... etc. you get the picture! I really believe if you love what you are doing then it will shine through in the work you are producing.
So I was humbly surprised by people who remembered me from the year before and stopped by to say hello, other zine makers who smiled and made me feel welcome, other artists who complimented my work, other creatives who wanted my contact information so that we could build later on and collaborate on future projects! Just AMAZING! I am truly shocked when I question myself or doubt the value of my art but then decide to take positive action in spite of how I feel, something wonderful happens. I am slowly learning to remain faithful and creative and learning to listen to my inner voice. The day was really fun and I had awesome interactions with amazing people.

As always there are too many people to name so I will just highlight a few dynamic artists! Had an awesome time speaking to Michael Manomivibul a talented illustrator. I was able to buy a few of his prints. Check out his web-site yourself. Michael Manomivibul illustration. It's not that often you meet an artist who can capture the essence of a person in just a few strokes, but Ajuan Mance does just that! Check out her work at 8 Rock Press. Also check out Primahood by Tyler Cohen, a great story teller and just a sweetheart of a person.
Always dope and rocking something new also go check out  The Forsley Brothers. Some of the most genuine and kind folks you're going to meet who just happen to have superb art skills.
If you like intricate and soulfoul art with a hint of mysticism please take a look at the work of Rani Goel.
 Can't wait till next year! And a special shout out and thanks to Tomas Moniz of RAD DAD and all the volunteers and organizers who make the Eastbay Alternative Book and Zine fest a one of a kind event. Plus a big thank you to folks who bought things or traded with me and or spent time chatting.
Here are a couple of photos from Saturday. You can find more pics on my flickr page too!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Finishing up Inktober

Inktober Day 23
Halloween was also the last day of inktober. I learned alot this year drawing everyday for the month of October. Grateful to be able to see the progress too. I really should look back and view my drawings from last year but honestly I can see the difference just from the new drawings this year. It was hard to draw everyday but the drawings themselves seemed to flow alot easier. I bought some new pens,copic markers and a copic marker sketchbook which helped me practice using the markers. I am on a mission to teach myself how to properly use copic markers. Inktober was a great exercise for this goal. Here are the last of my favorite ink drawings. Just like my earlier posts, if you'd like to see all of the drawings go to my flicker page. storm1sky

Thanks for reading and looking!

Inktober Day 28
Inktober Day 30
Inktober Day 31

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More Inktober Drawings

Inktober Day 15
So everyday for the month of October I've been drawing in ink. In my last post I said that my favorite inktober drawings would be shown here. I'm also posting in progress shots on my flickr page.
It's been fun but sort of hard to keep up and draw things from life and not photos which was my challenge this week. I decided on shoes since everyone who knows me is aware of my shoe fetish!
Very nice exercise in looking and seeing the details. Shoe laces and individual threads and bindings take intense concentration to get right! So here are my favorite inktober drawings from this week.
My flickr page storm1sky for more details.

Inktober Day 17
Inktober Day 18
Inktober Day 19
Inktober Day 21

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Inktober Project

From Jake Parker, "Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. I created InkTober in 2009 as a challenge to improve my inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.

Anyone can do InkTober, just pick up a pen and start drawing."

Essentially it's 31 drawings in 31 Days!

Just like last year I will post my favorites here and if you'd like to see all of my ink drawings you can find them on flickr.
Here is the link to my flickr page!

Thanks for following and reading! Enjoy!
Inktober Day 1
Inktober Day 3
Inktober Day 9
Inktober Day 11

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Go Color! My first color Issue of Nuthin Good Ever Happens at 4 a.m.

To say that I was intimidated is an understatement. I've always enjoyed working in color with watercolor paints,acrylics and even colored pencils but to draw and map out a full comic book issue in color seemed overwhelming. I don't like to operate from a place of fear though so I made a decision to create issue number 3 of my comic in full color. I'm new to comic book making in general so this assumption that I could do this was foolish bliss. I wanted to keep my line drawings black and white so my plan was to draw the full comic book,have it reproduced cheaply and then color the printed pages. Anyone who has followed my process knows I never give myself enough time to complete my pen and ink version of the comic book so doing double the work in the same amount of time? I know. I know. Impossible right? Alot of late nights of sketching and drawing,inking and praying,drawing and sweating, the black and white version of the comic book was finished with 3 weeks to complete the coloring. I make SF Zinefest my deadline every year for a new issue of the comic book. I need a deadline so the Labor Day weekend is it!
I was very happy with the pen and ink version but I had no clue how to approach the color.
I just jumped right in and used watercolor paint,color inks,colored pencils and then black in on top of that. The storyline is a simple continuation of the previous comic books so my main characters were back in full color!
Here are a couple of making of the comic book photos and some finished full color photos.