Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Talent & The Gift

The Talent & The Gift. The more I do this, the more I love creating. Just me, a pad & a pen (& occasional pencil). No rulers, no visual guides. No computer software needed. Just the pictures of ideas in my mind & my left hand. I realize that's a gift. Drawing is a talent of its own & it's something that can be taught & learned. But to reflect what's on your mind straight into the paper using shapes instead of letters. That's a gift. And I thank God for blessing me with it.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Random. Stay Woke. But Gotta Nap on Occasion

In 2016 I didn't paint as many editorial illustrations as I would've liked, after such a rewarding 2015 where I got to rekindle that flame that burned inside me for years before a 9 to 5 robbed me of that luxury. Fortunately I collected enough sketches to conceptualized & rework for that year.
Although I didn't paint a lot in 2016, the first half of the year saw me slaughtering a lot of trees with a series of sketches & drawings I posted every Sunday (not included the other sketches in between.) In addition, I participated on sketching a different random thought every day in the month of October (called by other artists "Inktober.") The art posted above is one of those Inktober sketches I set to color.

The beauty of this was I originally wanted to create a 2016 calendar with my artwork where I got to showcase the new paintings done after being inspired by the projects I created for Rapper Big Pooh's "Words Paint Pictures" art & listening party. Unfortunately due to funds & connections, it was designed, but never left my external flash drive to be printed (among other self-made projects.)

It was cool considering most of the art created addressed a lot of issues involving the Black community, such as school to prison pipeline, racial profiling, high incarceration, Black lives matter, respectively. As a Black man, I am very passionate about those issues. But at the same time, it's frustrating, because at the same time I don't want to keep being the "angry Black man" with my pen or my art. Unfortunately, whenever I create and dwell on whatever's on my mental. And I worry about being labeled & put into that box as if all I do is Angry Black Art.  I don't even like being seen as just a Black artist doing Black art.  But can't deny that I am a Black Man. And after spending a 20 year career in newsprint media environment catering to predominately white clients & having to suppress my own thoughts, visions & identity, I can't ignore it when I step outside those cubicles that kept me mentally chained.

Thankfully, although I didn't get to print the 2016 calendar or got to colorize more artwork, I did get to become more intimate with my pad & treat it as if it was a pictorial diary & tap into other sides of me many rarely get to see, whether personal, comedic, emotional or just randomly being free with the pad. Sometimes we can be too woke, that we forget take naps when needed & then have fun at recess. You're no use to the cause when you're too tired to give your all.

Hopefully a 2018 Calendar will see a pressroom with some light art to go with the heavy content, even if it's just for my wall. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Weekly Digital Sketch

The first 3 are random sketches I did straight to digital accompanied by a background I designed a couple months back just for fun (on first 2).

The last one was originally a sketch I inked last year paying tribute to Black women during Women History Month. I decided to recreate & digitally paint it. Those familiar with my Facebook page, it was also one of my daily Sunday Sketches I was providing for the first half of 2016.