Sunday, March 28, 2010
coming this October...
Hope for Haiti is the first picture book that I have written as well as illustrated. I am so excited because since I was a tiny boy looking at the photos my dad used to bring home from his job as a designer for World Vision, Intl., I have wanted to do something to help the situation in haiti. And finally, I have an opportunity to do so. The publisher has graciously agreed to donate a portion of the book sales to Save the Children's active relief work in Haiti. And, because when the earthquake hit I was so poor I could only send ten bucks, now I will be able to donate a portion of my advance as well. And to top it off, I get to work with the lovely and wise, Cecilia Yung, who I have been so grateful to get to know over the last five or six years. Her insights and experience have helped me to craft this book into something I am proud of. She, my wordsmith editor, Susan Kochan, and my new agent, Rubin Pfeffer, have been supportive and encouraging in this process.
But, alas, I am getting ahead of myself. I still have to finish the art. So, while I do that, you go check out the book trailer. I found it online here at B&N: Link
*unfinished artwork. Will update with the finished work when I can.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The battle between living in the moment and having dreams and goals...
On the one hand you have the power of the unconscious mind, which does what it is suppose to do. (Think of being caught up in the moment while playing music, painting, having fun with friends. It requires no conscious thought, but just comes out of you naturally like pure life energy.) And on the other hand, there is the calculation often needed to move yourself through space and time and activate fate. Without this you end up being a 40 year old living in a relative's basement, playing video games until your eyes are as red as your skin is blue. You have to wake up and live. But how do we live?
I live in between. I live in the muddy trenches between the French and the English on the battlefield of Agincourt. The English archers are pinning me down, and the French men at arms and calvary are blocking my retreat.
After a sleepless night of turmoil at the realization of my position, the morning brings bright and strong sunlight. And I suppose the only solution is just what comes naturally. I plan and strive and make goals, then little bit by little bit I chip away at them. And during that work chipping I begin to lose my consciousness and rise up into that zone where the mind is free. Then my best work just comes out of me. It flows because I am flowing.
The problems always arise when I am trying to go against the current. Not the current of anyone else, because I go against lots of currents. I mean, when I go against my own life's current. When I try to force it. And you can't force anything, really, can you? You see big, swollen faced guys trying it all the time. They force with their fists, but really all they are doing is postponing their own reckoning. The people we all see thriving are the ones who have discovered the ability to go with the flow. Those people laugh more, smile more, love more. I want to be one of those people. Well, naw. I want to be me. But I want to be the me that sails with the wind, rides the waves, is driven by the beat, laughs when it is funny, cries when it is sad, and takes the gifts of life and enjoys them.
Friday, March 05, 2010
Music, that is. The other woman who takes hold of me from time to time.
Don't remember exactly when it is but sometime this month, Ahmad and I will be playing at the Upstage. I will post it when I know it. But for now, here are some nice shots, courtesy of Kathie Meyer.
This was at the Undertown about a month ago or so. Fun session. In the pic of the three of us is also the man, Greg, on the long strings. Always love playing with that dude.
Check out Ahmad here. He kicks the old timey blues hard, plus he can let the jam out anytime he feels it, too. Fun dude to play with. All touch.
I begin the first of my final art today for my new picture book. I do not have long to do them, and for the first two, have even less than that. I will be attempting to shut off life and focus solely on completing the last of my initial thumbnail sketches for the amazing Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri and illustrated by me, AND completing my first (and possibly second, though that is ridiculous to think it could happen.... it just can't) final finished painting for Hope for Haiti.
Redbull and rum. Reggae music cranked.
Let's get this party started.
See you in a week.
(Wish me luck.)
(I may visit you in your dreams, since I will be having none for a week.)
(sorry for the villain laugh. As a penance, I offer you a bombass site where you can download DJ's mixes for free. Some great sets on here: SUBNAV.COM)