I finished the first pass on this 11"x17" drawing today. I laid out all the people with signs and then filled the gaps with people holding up their fists. The next step, after a few tweaks, will either be putting the messages on the signs or adding details to the protesters and making them all unique. Right now they all look like bald white men. When I'm done inking this, and if I'm happy with the results, I'll get to work penciling the 18"x24" version.
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.
As I work towards an 18"x24" size drawing of my "protesters" piece I'm doing smaller versions as art studies. What I've been doing so far has been drawing the people holding up blank signs then I'll go and write something in them after. Because I'm going to have so many different people with signs I thought I should figure out what they're gonna say so I started writing & laying them out. Almost everything I wrote is something I've read on social media and on people's actual signs relating to George Floyds murder, police brutality protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.
I cleaned the fuck outta my room today. Dusted, vacuumed, wiped, decluttered, & consolidated a bunch of shit. That is all.
I went for a run today. It's been 2 months since the last time. I ran for 10 minutes before my body said "Hell naw" so I walked the rest of the way. I wasn't ready.
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.
I did my stretches & workout at home, cooked dinner (chicken & mushrooms,) went for a 3.3 mile walk in the neighborhood, came home, ate left overs and made microwave-s'mores. The only thing that would have made today better would be if they arrested all the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor (only one has been fired)
As I've been SIP'n for the past few weeks, after protests and DJing a gig, I've been working out less frequently. Today I went to Lake Cunningham to walk a couple laps (4.09 miles.) I had been exercising 4 days a week in April & May but have only gone out a total of 4 times in June. It's time to get back on the horse and drop some more lbs.
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.
Last night I found out that HBO was streaming the Watchmen series for free this weekend and I binged thru all 9 hour-long episodes today. From what I understand, HBO is doing this for Juneteenth to highlight "Black experiences, voices and storytellers." The show is sort-of a sequel to the 80s comic book, not the 2009 movie. This series deals with racism and has superheroes and police wearing masks to hide their identities. The series opens with the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre which was a real event that I never knew about until this tv series premiered.
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.
I didn't anything artsy today. I'm still tired from the event I DJ'd on Saturday. I just did laundry and went out to buy groceries & supplies. Tomorrow I'll try and fix all the little fuck ups I made while inking my recent drawings: Brains/Guts, Hearts & Stars, and Eyes & Mouths. I got my bottle of Pro White ready to go. I hope it matches the paper. How shitty is the name? Especially right now. I love the red P logo tho! Simple, clean & chonky
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:
I forgot to write 2 blog posts this weekend, for Friday and Saturday, so I'm making these filler posts to make up for them instead of just a single post for Sunday night.
Friday, I was up late prepping music & notes for my event on Saturday and I forgot to post.
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.
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.
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.
I took the day off from protesting, watching police brutality videos and constantly checking the news. I wanted to work on Eyes & Mouths after a few days off. I looked to see what I had to ink next, lots of straight lines & almost perfect circles, then practiced on a separate card. I was super rusty and wasn't feeling good about my lines. After a while I decided not to work on the main piece but to keep drawing on the cards. The only thing I drew that I kinda liked was my Cells pattern with little pupils all looking towards the center. Simple but good practice. Tomorrow I'll try again and hopefully finish the piece.
I decided to go last minute to the NAACP "die-in" at San Jose city hall today. I designed a BLACK LIVES MATTER graphic and rushed to transfer it onto an old canvas I recently painted black. I only had time to draw the outlines before I hit the road. There was a ton of people outside city hall when I arrived and a bunch more kept coming. I couldn't hear what was being said over the PA but when it was time to do the die-in, most people took a knee or sat down. I don't think there was enough room for everyone to lay down flat. While everyone was down it was really quiet. I took a video and you mostly hear the sound of the crosswalk signal and the construction across the street. It didn't last long, maybe 5-10 minutes? I thought we were gonna lay down for two hours. Afterwards I met with my cousin and her husband who just arrived then we were off on a march heading towards 1st street and taking a right. I didn't know the march was on the agenda or where we were going. I found out we were heading to the police station right before we arrived. I was nervous since I arrived downtown but now I was a little scared. I've been arrested twice (story for another day) and I don't even like driving near there. When we got close we could see police on the overpass ahead. The crowd turned down another street and soon we were there. We took a knee, chanted, and as a group said Happy Birthday for Breonna Taylor, outside the police station. We weren't there long. The crowd turned around and we headed back the way we came. When we got back to Santa Clara street my cousin & her husband went home and I went to Pizza Flora to grab a beer. I finished it then walked back to city hall. On the way there I saw a guy wearing one of my black & blue SAN JOSE t-shirts. I saw him again later outside of city hall, he said he had to wear it out today and I told him he made my day.
In the two videos below, the top one was during the "die-in" at city hall, the bottom one is everyone taking a knee outside the San Jose police station. Everything was peaceful the whole time I was there and I really hope it statyed that way.