365 posts! Most of them are shit but the daily exercise has helped me with my writing and it's encouraged me to continually work on other projects. The other benefit is if Instagram ever turns off the lights, or people move to other social media platforms, I'll still have all my content available here.
I was really sad yesterday when I learned that actor Chadwick Boseman passed away from cancer. I'm a huge fan of the Marvel movies and thought he did a kick ass job portraying T'challa, aka the Black Panther, in four different movies. And although the Black Panther solo film was not my favorite of the series it was by far the most culturally significant movie in the Marvel universe, and cinema in general, for the way it portrayed the primarily African American cast of characters. I remember hearing about people taking classrooms full of children of color to go see the movie when it came out for the opportunity to see themselves as the hero on the big screen. Fans loved his character and we were all looking forward to seeing Chadwick return for the sequel. It really sucks losing him right now in the middle of the pandemic and civil unrest due to racial injustice.
I've just been doing the things I'd put off all week while on wildfire alert. I drew this a few nights ago when there was a higher possibility of evacuating. I am so glad this wasn't me though I still have my go-bag, and other items, ready to go.
It really sucks that while we're over here in California avoiding wildfires there was another incident of a police officer shooting of an unarmed black man caught on camera. This time it was Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI. He was shot 7 times in the back but didn't die though he might not walk again. The shooting naturally led to protests in Kenosha then some piece-of-shit 17 year kid from out of state, openly carrying a rifle, who was protecting a car dealership, goes off and kills two protesters and injures another. After that he walks right past the police with his hands up and weapon around his neck and the police let him walk right past them. He wasn't arrested on site, instead he was arrested at his home 20 miles away. Yes, there is a lot of nuance to both sides but those are the biggest take aways. The Kenosha police shot an unarmed black person in the back and days later let a white teenager armed with a rifle, who just shot people, walk right past them. All of it caught on camera. What a fucking mess.
Today I felt like I could stop worrying about the fire coming down the hill and possibly having to evacuate. The weather was nice and the air quality wasn't terrible so I went and walked two laps at Lake Cunningham. This was my first time going out after being locked indoors with the windows closed, and glued to the computer, for the last 7 days days. It felt good to not worry about the fire but I still feel bad for those who were forced to evacuate and even more so for those who lost their homes. I wish we could fast forward past the wildfires, covid-19, racial injustice, police brutality and everything else that's made 2020 the biggest shit-show in my lifetime.
A few evacuation areas from the SCU Fire were reduced from an Order down to Warnings and there also some parts that were marked green for Re-entry.
Today I made a screen recording of how to view the SCU Lightning Complex affected areas and evacuation maps after a couple friends on Instagram mentioned how the maps I've been uploading have been helpful. Processing all the information about these fires has been confusing so I'm happy to share what I've learned. At night I made eggplant parmesan after the temperature cooled down and the air cleared up enough to open windows and fire up the oven. This recipe skips breading & frying the eggplant, to cut back on calories, but is still delicious. I'm having leftovers for breakfast, lunch & dinner tomorrow.
I read an article posted on Facebook that it made it sound like my neighborhood was being warned to evacuate that got me worried and confused because there were no official evacuation orders or warnings given, from Cal Fire, for my neighborhood.
San Jose officials urged residents on the eastern edge of the city—particularly in the Alum Rock, Berryessa and Evergreen neighborhoods, as well as areas to the south of Evergreen—to “have your bags packed and ready to go.”
I then watched a fire update from the mayor of San Jose and the fire chief. About 10 minutes into the video the mayor says there are no evacuations within the city limits of San Jose. It made me feel a little bit at ease but I still was worried and checking for updates all day long.
Here's another updated snippet of the current job I'm working on for my buddy's band. I really like how it's coming along and sent him the first draft earlier tonight. I can't wait to show off the whole thing after it's done.
The SCU Lightning Complex Fire continues to spread but luckily hasn't moved closer to my home since Wednesday afternoon. Today I pulled away from constantly checking online for updates to work on a design job that's been on hold since the fire started. I'm really liking how it's turning out so far and I can't wait to finish it.
The two affected areas of the SCU Lightning Complex fire have merged. Thankfully it hasn't moved south-east, where I live, but I'm constantly keeping an eye on the this map, the Cal Fire website and evacuation order & warnings page incase we gotta go. Besides refreshing the same 3 websites, I did a wellness check on an old friend, as a favor for his sister who hasn't heard from him in a while. He was home, and alive, so I asked him to please call his sister. I also heard that the flames were visible coming over the mountain top so I drove around and across town to see for myself but I never saw any flames.
What a crazy day! The SCU Complex Fire is still burning over the east hills while the air down here is smoky and unhealthy to breath. I only slept a few hours this morning and I've been checking the map of affected areas and updates on evacuations orders and warnings all day. The fire closest to where I live (yellow marker on the left) hasn't moved closer but it's spreading in all other directions. It looks like it'll soon join the bigger fire to the east. This fire (SCU) is only 5% contained and part of many other fires currently burning in California. What a fucking mess we're in.
I made the animated gif below using 5 screenshots taken over a 20 hour period.
The lightning storm on Sunday morning caused some fires in the bay area. I didn't realize how close they were, or had gotten till, a few hours ago when my friend posted a picture of the glow from the fire on Mt Hamilton. She said her parents, and other residents who live up there, were being evacuated and she was waiting for them at the bottom of the hill. I drove around after hearing about it and was able to see the glow. I'm back home now but don't know if I'll be going to sleep tonight.
And I still haven't got used to this heat. It was so hot at home and I was fucking miserable. At night, to cool off, I drove down to Santa Cruz (I never got out of my car) then cruised up Highway 1 all the way to Half Moon Bay. It was 15-20 degrees cooler along the coast so I drove most of the way with the windows down. I then decided to keep going north till I reached Daly City then took the 280 back home to San Jose. I wish I could have brought back some of that cool air cause now I'm back home with all the windows open and all the fans on and I'm still sweating.
... and I didn't do shit besides wait for this desk to arrive. The UPS guy dropped it off around 8:00 PM and I put it together a few hours later. I haven't used it yet so it's too early to say if I like it or not. I noticed there are a few bumps on the drawing surface, probably dirt or debris between the laminate and particle board, but like they say, "you get what you pay for," and this thing was not expensive. I might sand down the bumps or just lay another material on top so I don't fuck up my drawings. Hopefully there are no other issues with it. I don't want to have to disassemble it, repackage it, then ship it back.
I started vectorizing an old sketch that I'm considering turning into a shirt, and like everything else I've been working on lately, I'm not gonna share much more till later.
This new job I'm working on is a refresh for my buddy's bands logo. He wants the new design to look like the old one but make it look older & beat up. He also requested a separate graphic that is basically the same concept but of an iconic image. Both are still in the early phases but starting to take shape.
My cousin Reyna sent me this picture earlier today. It's Arely and I standing in front our booth at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest last year. The sales weren't great that weekend but it was still a lot of fun being there and meeting new vendors. I really miss working events. The plan was to do more events this year before the 'Vid fucked that all away.
I ordered a small drafting table this afternoon that's scheduled to arrive on Friday. I've been wanting a table with an angled drawing surface for a while. After working on those large ink drawings for weeks my back began to hurt, most likely from being hunched over a flat table for hours at a time. I put off working on my "protester" drawing, which still isn't done being penciled, till I got a proper desk. It wasn't very expensive, so I hope isn't dogshit. The reviews were pretty good and I like that it's very basic, just the tilting surface and height-adjustable legs. I even got the last black one in stock.
And in other news... I was going thru boxes of old drawings and snapped a few pictures of drawings I did in my early teens.
1. Power Rangers Suck (1994) - I think I drew this in summer school between the 5th & 6th grade. I don't know what my beef was with the Power Rangers but I copied the cover of Green Day's album, "Dookie," to shit on the them.
2. Ozzy Osbourne (1995) - This was long before the The Osbournes TV show. I copied the characters that were pulled off the internet in 94-95. I think my cousin Dani printed out a webpage for me at her parents house one day. It might have been my first introduction to the internet. I took the pages home and redrew the little Ozzy characters.
3. Inside an Alien Ship (1996) - I'm not sure if I pinched this too but I definitely took Alien Workshop, an actual skateboard brand, from the ads in Thrasher magazines. I still love this drawing, there's so much to look at, I might redraw it.
I started working on the new band logo job tonight. Sketching out different variations of the general idea. Getting things out of my head and onto paper before vectorizing.
Aside from going to Target & Hope Depot, sanitizing everything I brought home, then going for a short run, I didn't really do shit today.