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 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.
This is kinda what it looks like when you go to @sanjoseday on Instagram and scroll to my post. It's one long seamless image broken down into 10 slides. I laid out a bunch of different digital drawings & designs I've made over the past few years. It was fun making this and participating in the virtual art show since we're all still sheltering in place. The actual San Jose Day event has been postponed to July 18. Hopefully we'll be over the 'Rona by then. Fingers crossed.
April 8th (4/08) is San Jose Day. There was originally an event planned for this Saturday, the 11th, but it was postponed to July 19th because of the Covid-19 pandemic we've been dealing with for the past few weeks. Instead of just waiting till July, Haley, who runs San Jose Day, thought it would be fun to host a virtual art show via Instagram on 4/08. She invited me and a bunch of local artists to submit up to 10 images/slides that will go on a single post. I had fun with mine and pulled an all nighter yesterday working on it. I can't wait till everyone sees it!
Here's a tiny sneak peak, follow @sanjoseday on Instagram to see the whole thing on Wednesday 4/08
I didn't just tweak the artwork on my EMN design but I also made a minor change to the size labels too. My original label (bottom pic) had a tiny logo under my name so I made it a little bigger and moved my name up a bit to give it more room.
Side note: This will be my first time printing 3X size EMN shirts. Last time I only made Small thru 2X. I'm a big guy, and I used to wear 3X, and it used to be tough to find cool shirts in my size so I want to make sure I have my plus-sized peeps covered.
Today I ordered blanks to print more EMN t-shirts with the updated "Redux" artwork. I updated portions of the original graphic where the details were too small and came out blurry on the actual t-shirt. I plan on reprinting more of the classic purple on black, like before, but I also want to print a new color. Below are the colors I'm considering:
I was up late tonight getting my design ready to print. I even picked out colors from the Pantone color book. The whole sticker will be 3.5” tall and 5.5” wide but it will be kiss-cut so that my name & yellow border will peel off. I’m hoping I’ll have them in time for the Local Color Daytime Market on Sunday.
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.
From the depths of the sea, back to the block...
I finally got around to vectorizing those sketches of my name. It's not done but getting closer. I want to make new stickers to give away with t-shirt purchases.
I think this was my first Shape Thing. I drew it 3 weeks ago and vectorized it tonight. I swapped the dots & dashes for diamonds.
Still pulling that taffy. I went a little more off script with this but I like it much better than the sketch.
I think that's what I'm gonna call these things. They're an offshoot of Head Things but much simpler using basic shapes. There are more Shape Things to come. Does that sound weird?
Redux on the left. Original artwork on the right.
When I printed the EMN shirts with the original artwork, a lot of the smaller details were washed out or blurry. Now that I'm going to print more I decided to redo the parts of the image that weren't so sharp. I printed the original artwork in black & white on paper then highlighted the parts that came out blurry on the t-shirt. I then digitally made some of those lines thicker and redrew others completely. This should result in a better looking print on the next batch of shirts. I feel like I did what George Lucas did to Star Wars when he released the Special Edition versions of his original trilogy.
It's time to reprint more EMN shirts and replenish my inventory but first I'm going to make a few edits to the artwork. There were too many fine details in the digital artwork that came out blurry or washed out when screen printed onto shirts. I took this into consideration when I made the EMNSJ (San Jose) shirts and made sure not to make any lines that were too small. Now that it's time print more I'm going to fix the mistakes and get a better looking image next time around.