As I mentioned yesterday, I’m out of town visiting family I haven’t seen since before Covid shut everything down. I’m still gonna be proactive as to not risk anyone getting sick after coming home but I needed this after 6 months of sheltering in place and not having anyone to talk to openly about everything that’s been going on.
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.
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 picked up another small graphic design job today! I met with my buddy, Adam, (socially distant, outdoors and with masks on) to discuss redesigning his bands logo. We talked about what he and his bandmates have been through over the years and their plans to release their first LP. I also talked about how I've been considering doing more graphic design work for clients now that Covid has taken away my DJ & vending gigs. His band logo, and the other design I've been working on, are good first jobs to help me get my feet wet doing freelance work, which has never been appealing to me before.
I hardly did anything productive today. I've been so frustrated lately building my new website on Wordpress and making little progress so I took some time away from the computer today. I have new items that I'll be adding to my store and the plan was to have them available when I rebuilt the new site but since that's taking me so long I'll probably have them available on my current (Weebly) site soon. I haven't been getting much exercise lately so tonight I forced myself to go out for some walking & running in the neighborhood. By the time I made it out it was already 11:22 PM but it's cool since I've been in vampire mode for a few weeks now, staying up till 4 or 5 AM and waking up around noon. Livin' la CoVida Loca
I sketched this out a few days ago and cleaned it up today. It was after a few days of constantly reading the news on my phone, mostly scrolling past headlines, and reading about all the fucked up shit going on with covid and racism. Apparently it's called doomscrolling.
I started calculating my self employed income & deductible expenses in late December then paid my Sales & Use Tax at the end of January. I then started doing my state & federal income taxes in early February to give myself plenty of time before the April 15 due date. Soon after, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the tax deadline was postponed till July 15th, which is 4 days away. Tonight I tried picking up where I left off 4 months ago. I spent most of the time reviewing the work I already did, going over old notes and taking a bunch of new notes. I was a little overwhelmed at first but ended the night feeling confident about what to do next and preparing to make future tax filings easier.
As things started to reopen during the covid-19 pandemic I chose to stay at home for 2 weeks after DJing a wedding. I'm happy that before the gig I tested negative for the virus and afterwards I never developed any symptoms. What sucks is that during this time there's been an increase in reported cases and hospitalizations. Today, California's mayor, Gavin Newsom, ordered bars to close back up in several counties including Santa Clara. I believe things reopened too soon and a roll back is probably a good idea but I have a feeling we're all going to be dealing with the pandemic for the rest of the year if not longer. I just read about the 1918 (Spanish) Flu pandemic which lasted 2 years and hit in 4 waves, where the 2nd wave was much deadlier than the first. There are a few similarities between 1918's pandemic and our current one so I really hope we can hit the brakes on covid-19 and keep it from getting worse.
I drew this and inked it today. It's a little bigger that 4"x5". The plan is to draw a big one (18"x24") with a bunch of protesters in face mask holding up signs and fists. I got a good idea of how I want them to look but still need to figure out what pens/markers to ink it with. I mainly used a Copic Sketch on this for the varying line widths but it's too big for the small details like fingers & hair. I'm gonna try a Sharpie next and see if I like it better, then maybe a Micron Graphic 1 and other sizes.
Here are a couple sketches I drew over the weekend. Their inspired by the people in the pictures below. They're screenshots from videos I took during a march from San Jose's city hall to the police station a few weeks ago. I wanna draw a bunch of protesters wearing masks & holding up signs like I've been seeing downtown.
I started sketching what will most likely be my next ink drawing. It's a large scale (18"x24") version of the "protesters" drawing I made a couple days ago. It's hard to see in the pic but it's people wearing masks holding up signs & closed fists. Next, I'm gonna draw darker lines with more details and maybe sketch another version with smaller people so I can fit more of them onto the page.
Yesterday, after uploading my "protesters" drawing to Instagram, my friend Catrina let me know that Works/San Jose, a local non-profit art gallery, had a call-for-art and that my drawing fit the theme. I looked into it and found out it's for a memorial exhibition for George Floyd, Breona Taylor, and the countless other black people who lost their lives due to racism.
From the Works website: "Rather than issue corporate statements, Works seeks to amplify creative voices calling for justice. We ask artists to thoughtfully respond with work for a community exhibition respecting those who have faced the ultimate deadly disrespect."
My drawing fit the bill so I submitted it last night. This morning Works/San Jose posted my drawing on their Instagram page.
The show is online only, since we're still dealing with Covid, and officially goes live June 19th (Juneteenth) 2020.
I drew this with a white China marker in my black sketchbook this afternoon. It was inspired by the protesters outside of San Jose city hall who've been demonstrating against police violence, racism & transphobia during the Covid-19 pandemic. I might draw a larger version with a lot more people holding signs.
I went over all 4 of these drawings today and whited-out any mistakes. I probably missed a few so I'm gonna over it again tomorrow. Besides that, they're done. They're gonna go in frames but I want to take some hi-res photos of them before framing them to make prints later. The original plan was to show these at my exhibit at the SJSU/Martin Luther King Library, which would have ran thru May and June but was canceled due to the Coronavirus. I'm hoping there's not a 2nd wave, now that things are reopening, so I can look for a place to hang my work for a future art show. Fingers crossed! I think I'm gonna try and knock out one more piece this size, if not more, while I stay SIP.
Between protesting downtown last weekend, getting tested for Coronavirus on Wednesday, and DJing the event yesterday, I've decided to stay home for the next couple weeks just incase I caught a case of the cooties and to avoid spreading it. I understand there's a 2 week incubation period where it's possible to be infected but not test positive so I'm gonna do my best to be a good boy for the time being. This coming week is also the start of the next phase of reopenings since the shutdown and I'm gonna stay clear from dining at any bars or restaurants. I'm seeing headlines of recent spikes on Covid-19 cases in states that reopened earlier than California. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping a second wave doesn't hit San Jose or the bay area.
I DJ'd an outdoor wedding reception at a private residence on Saturday. It was my first event since the Covid-19 shelter-in-place order started in March. We took precautions to minimize spreading germs:
Good news! I got my Covid test results back this morning, no cooties detected. I also finished inking Eyes & Mouths today. Next I gotta erase the pencils and go over it, and my the other two pieces, Brains/Guts & Hearts & Stars, with white-out to fix mistakes. I'm finally beginning to see daylight!
I did some protesting last week and I'm DJing a wedding reception this Saturday so I went in to get tested for the Coronavirus this morning. I was told to stay home till I receive the results which can take 24-48 hours. I hate waiting on results like this and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the results come up negative.
As I get closer to finishing my Eyes & Mouths drawing I want to start doing more art to reflect what's currently happening with the Black Lives Matter movement. At the beginning of the Covid shelter-in-place order I found it really difficult to create anything new. I worked on inking old sketches and finishing projects already in progress. Eventually I started feeling "creative" again by drawing on small cards, before inking my larger pieces, to warm up. Over the last week and a half I've been preoccupied by the George Floyd/police brutality protests happening in my city and around the US but now I want to get creative and show my support.
I laid some ink down on my Eyes & Mouths piece today. I want to remember what's happening now with the Black Lives Matter movement so I changed one of the pupils from an egg shape (I think I drew it around Easter) to a rising black fist. There are other icons on here, like a tooth for when I got a root canal and a roll of toilet paper (pictured below) for when it was sold out at stores due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
A few days ago I started using a fresh Copic marker and today as I was warming-up I saw a little thread hanging from the tip. I pulled it, thinking it was lint, and it turned out to be the nib itself. It was damaged and I made it worse by yanking it. I was pissed off at myself. I tried cutting with an X-acto knife what I had pulled but I couldn't get it back to normal. Afterwards I didn't want to use the marker anymore and I didn't have any extras. I thought I wasn't gonna be able to work on my piece for a few days till I got new markers delivered. When I went on Michaels.com I saw that the store closest to me had black Copics in stock, and was doing curbside pickup, and had a coupon for 20% off the order. I ordered a couple Copic markers and a Pentel brush pen and they were ready to pick up in less than 30 minutes. I lost a couple hours, total, trying to fix it and picking up a replacement it but it was better than losing a few days waiting on a delivery. I don't know if Michaels stores have been doing the curbside pickup the whole time during the pandemic, or if they just started doing it, but it saved my ass today. And this is not an ad or endorsement, shopping at Michaels is usually pretty disappointing.
Today sucked. I felt depressed all day and I didn't know why. Maybe the loneliness of sheltering-in-place is finally getting to me. I barely did any work on my Hearts & Stars piece, just made a quick digital mock-up with a black background but didn't lay down any ink. I couldn't get myself to workout or go for a walk. I went for a long drive, took Capitol Expressway from east San Jose all the way to Campbell, but didn't feel any better when I got home. Later that night, still in a funk, I noticed the the note on my calendar, "MLK Exhibit Day One." Today was supposed to be the opening of my art show at the Martin Luther King Library downtown. I wonder if that's why I down all day. I wasn't aware of today's date but maybe subconsciously that's what has been bugging me. For the past few weeks I've kept my head down and worked on my drawings for the show. It was a goal I was working towards. I recently got confirmation that my art show, and all other exhibits, were postponed until further notice. Now I don't have anything to work towards, besides finishing my current drawings. There are no DJ gigs till June, if at all this year, and no event vending opportunities in the foreseeable future. I hope this depression was a one-day thing. I don't want to lose any more momentum and risk undoing everything I've worked so hard to do over these past few months. Wish me luck!
As seen on Insta:
"Next Friday would have been the opening of my exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr Library. The library is closed until further notice so there will be no exhibit but we might do something virtually over the interwebs at a later date."
I thought today was Thursday. It's actually Wednesday but it feels like Groundhog Day