I bought a new sketchbook for this year's Inktober, which is a "challenge" to draw something new, using ink or other mediums, everyday in October. The last three years I used smaller sketchbook, to make it easier, but today I picked up a book that's about twice as big. I also bought some new pens to try out. I picked up everything at The Arsenal in San Jose's Japantown.
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.
This morning I and a bunch of volunteers helped paint a boarded up window in downtown San Jose. It was organized by the arts non-profit Local Color. I didn't do much besides fill ins. Local artist & sign painter, Ben Henderson did the lettering. It was fun being out there working with everyone and hanging with friends.
This morning I saw a post on Instagram to meet up at city hall and help clean up downtown San Jose. I grabbed my work gloves, rubber gloves, mask, hat and couple large garbage bags headed out after lunch. This was my first time going downtown since the protesting started and I was a little nervous driving in. When I drove by Santa Clara Street, between 4th & 6th, I expected it to look like warzone but it didn't. It was clean. It didn't look like anything out of the ordinary happened there. After parking a block away I DM'd the person who originally made the post, because I didn't see anyone cleaning, or any groups besides protesters (holding up signs or fists,) so I decided to walk around till I heard back. I hung out were the protesters were for a little bit before cruising down Santa Clara street and making a left on 1st street. I snapped some pics along the way: protest signs on storefronts, graffiti over murals (which bummed me out,) artwork on the windows at Local Color & the boards covering up Good Karma Cafe, and the peaceful protesters in front of city hall and the food & drinks that were provided to them (that made me happy.) On my way out I drove past the protesters, fist up and out the window, trying to honk my horn to the "No Justice, No Peace" chant. I sounded like shit. Later on, I finally heard back from the clean up guy. I guess they were told to leave by police once the protesters arrived.
I had so much fun at Local Colors Daytime Market today. I hung out with my artist/vendor buddies, saw friends who came to visit, made new friends, got a surprise visit from my cousin Rick and his wife Sabrina, drank some delicious coffee from Tono Coffee Project followed by some IPAs, brought home a new t-shirt, sketchbook & button, sold a few of my t-shirts & stickers, and ended the day with a big ol burrito before heading home. In the next day or two I need to count & fold my shirts, update my inventory and make sure my gear is prepped for the next gig which is San Jose Day on April 11th.
I posted about this a week ago but the event is tomorrow so here it is again... come to Local Color - Keystone at 491 West San Carlos Street (formally Keystone Restaurant Supply) in San Jose from 11am to 3pm for the local artisan daytime market. I'll have my San Jose t-shirts for sale and a bunch of other artist friends will have their wares available too. There's also a food truck and coffee service by Tono Coffee Project so come thru and "buy somethin' will ya!"
Earlier today I drew this monster that ended up looking like that character from the cartoon, "Aaahh Real Monsters," I also received this promotional flyer for the Local Color Daytime Market to share. I'll be vending there, along with other artists/friends/vendors next Sunday, March 8th from 11am-3pm. (491 W San San Carlos St) and just a few minutes ago I vectorized my 10th Shape Thing.
Today my friend Catrina hosted a paint party at Orange Moon Salon in San Jose. It was my first time and I've been wanting to do one for a while. Our buddy Joey also came to paint. Catrina did a great job, so did Ruth & Kenny, the owners of the salon, being awesome hosts. It was a lot of fun and it kinda made me want to paint canvases again.
Last Saturday at The Arsenal's art auction I won this piece by the homie Fernando aka EPH KUE. (@nandoid2485 on Instagram) I fucking love it! It's 19 inches long, 3 inches wide and made of wood. Made to look like a Sakura solid paint marker aka "streaker." It now lives on my desk near my books. Please give him follow and visit The Arsenal when you need art supplies.
I was going to leave my San Jose Skarks piece somewhere near the Skark Tank for someone to find but when I saw that The Arsenal, a local San Jose mom & pop art supply store, was having an auction to raise money for an expansion I offered to donate it them. I dropped it off Friday evening and the auction will be on Saturday from 2-5pm. I don't know if anyone will bid on it but I hope the fundraiser is successful for Roan & Sean, the owners.
Tonight I finished adding the second coat of white paint to the 3rd Redwall Studio mural I've painted. I love red paint but it's a pain in the ass to work with. I bought the top shelf, "one coat" paint and it still needed a second coat. Even the "one coat" white needed a second pass. The plan was to have this done by New Year's Eve but it took a few extra days. Now I know. If you wanna hire me to paint your walls please send me a message.
8 years ago I joined my buddies non-profit group known at the time as Mexico Extravaganza. The year before I joined they put on a theater production called "Monarca" and they were gonna do it again. One of the scenes involved a large tree in the background. Someone had built them a tree the year before but they needed something bigger so they asked for my help. We went to the hardware store and bought two or three 2-inch thick 8'x4' styrofoam panels, paint and supplies. I think I shaped it with a knife and boxcutter then cut the grooves with my Dremel. I brushed on a lighter shade of brown inside the grooves then rolled on a darker brown on the surface to highlight the texture. When it was done it was 16' tall and about 10' wide at the bottom. In the end I think it was too tall so they had to chop off a few feet. I only built the trunk and someone else made the top. I don't remember if I got a chance to watch the show. I might if had to work that day. I think all I saw was the picture below.
I woke up this morning and realized I forgot to post a blog entry yesterday. Last night I emailed the first drafts of the artwork for the award I was asked to design. For the past two days I'd been working on coming up with three different designs for the award. Once I emailed them I felt like my work was done for the day and called it a night. I'll post the designs once one gets approved and finalized. The next step will be to get it framed and deliver it to the organization that will be resenting it on a couple weeks.
I spent about 10 hours today painting this sucker. Gonna come back next week after it's completely dried incase it needs touch ups.
I only had a few hours today to get the materials, prep and draw the outlines using a projector and chalk. I left early to attend an event at Local Color and snapped a pic of my EMN mural while I was there. Tomorrow I'm going in early to knock out the Redwall logo.
Here's the mockup (top) of the Redwall logo I'm painting at my brother's Studio in Fremont tomorrow. I forgot we painted it on an actual red wall (left) in his San Jose location a few years back. I also designed the logo. The original pencil drawing (right) lives in on one of my old sketchbooks.
The event today at Orange Moon Salon was a lot fun. I got to meet you new vendors and hang out with old friends. Many thanks to Catrina for inviting me and Ruth the salon owner for hosting the event. Check out the pics below
If you're in San Jose and want to get an early start on your holiday shopping and support your local artisans... well come on down to Orange Moon Salon on 953 Park Ave. for the Luna on Park Artisan Market. I and other vendors will be there selling our wares. Also check out the salon on any other day to get your hair did. Ask for my friend Catrina or the salon owner, Ruth. They are super cool people and I would totally get my hair cut by them if I had hair.
They're heeeeeere... almost. More EMNSJ shirts have been reprinted and are ready for pick up. I can't wait to get my fat little hands on them :)
Check out the Downtown Screen Printers on Insta
I went to check out Campbell's Oktoberfest today. I don't think I've ever attended one before and I heard it draws a lot of people. I went to see if my booth & shirts would be a good fit for the festival so I could come next year and vend. I learned at the Jazz Festival that my gear doesn't do well at all events. I walked past all the vendor booths today, starting on one side of the street then the other side as I walked back. On the way back I stopped at Recycle Book Store. It was my first time there and right when you walk in there were a few Edward Gorey books on display on the counter. I love his illustrations & wanted to bring them all home. I walked around the store and saw a painting on the wall done by my old roommate, Jeremiah. I then found a book called Street T that features tons of pictures and write ups on graphic t-shirt designers. I had to have it. I bought it instead of the Ed Gorey books. After leaving the bookstore I stopped by Mike & Niki's Honey booth. I know Niki from a networking meeting we both go to. I sampled some honey and bought a jar of their Double Chocolate Creamed Honey. It's so good! I almost ate half the jar already. I had good time at the festival, even though it was a reconnaissance mission. I think I might vend at next years Oktoberfest. We'll see.
Today, Yolanda (@muchamuchachas) and I went back to Backesto Park to vend for Viva Calle San Jose's "Parks To Roses" event. Viva Calle's website says, "Viva CalleSJ is a free recreation program that temporarily closes miles of San Jose streets to bring communities together to walk, bike, skate, play
and explore the city like never before." There were tons of people passing thru the park and I got to talk to a lot of people who came into my booth and checked out my shirts. It was another good day!
On the more technical side, I managed to compact my vending gear and free up a little more space in my car. Last month, my car was packed to the gills when I did the Jazz Festival. I realized I wouldn't be able to bring new shirts or new product if I didn't make room for them.
This was kind of a last minute event. My friend Yolanda (@muchamuchachas on Instagram) booked two vending spaces for her and her daughter. Her daughter couldn't make it so Yolanda asked me to come vend in her place. The event was fun and laid back. I talked to a lot of cool people and sold a few t-shirts. Other highlights included: A guy on a motorcycle getting knocked over by a car (he was ok), a dog shit next to my canopy, and the owner didn't pick it up, so I put a flag on the dookie so no one would step in it, and seeing my blue undies thru a tear in my favorite shorts. Good times! Sunday, we'll be back at Backesto Park for Viva Calle. I'm looking forward to another fun day!
I worked with the Downtown Screen Printers again tonight. Things didn't go as smoothly as yesterday but it made me appreciate what these guys do a whole lot more.
Tonight I helped my buddies Alex & Jimmy, the Downtown Screen Printers, with a big print job. 100+ shirts with one color on the front and two on the back. Jimmy loaded the shirts onto the platen, Alex laid down the ink and I took the printed shirt off and put them in the dryer to cure. I was able to ask lots of questions and see first hand how they problem solve when issues came up. It gave me a better understanding of the t-shirt printing process which I never got to see firsthand before. It also got me thinking about when I bought screen printing gear and built my own one-color press. I'm glad I tried and learned but I'm happier letting the professionals handle the printing so I can focus on the design and everything else.
The Downtown Screen Printers printed my "San Jose" shirt, EMNSJ, back in May/June.
The picture below was taken tonight after we were done. It took about 6 hours from start to end.