I illustrated a kids book. It released in April. Two weeks ago, the author of the book and myself set up for a 3 day book festival here in Baltimore. The overall experience was cool, and encouraging. I shared conversations with a wide variety of authors, educators and creative minds. I was inspired, motivated and further receptive to the fact/truth that I’m on the path that I always wanted to be on — professional artist. Now for the sour moment. We shared a tent with 3 other authors — all experienced in navigating the book festival world. Two guys and a lady. On the 2nd day (I believe), it’s mid-afternoon and one of the guys just asks out the blue “so I looked your guys stuff up on amazon and I noticed it doesn’t have the illustrator’s name on there. Why is that?” I don’t remember the response we gave him. In that moment, half my energy was dedicated to suppressing a “man go the fuck head somewhere with that instigatin’ ass shit!”. I was in autopilot mode. His response was “ahh.. I just wanted to give you guys a hard time about something.”
I wanted to toss him in the harbor.
life is a series of curious choices.
I’ve been seriously neglecting this outlet. Diving deeper into my art focuses my attention away from the talks with myself that would lead to these journal entries. My thoughts don’t wander as much. And when they do, my body isn’t idle. So sitting down to type things out obviously doesn’t happen as often. I feel like I have to make up for lost time. Well, wasted time to be truthful. Guilt can be fuel for something positive, right? That obviously affects the purity of the act. I wonder if people can feel that tainted-ness in the results of the work. And does it turn them off, I wonder. Anyway, for anyone who reads this and wants to see what I’m up to, I post a lot on Instagram and Twitter. I’ll also be adding more work to my portfolio section on here, and get back to being a little more consistent with these entries. Or at least try.
typed over the course of some un-calculated number of days
In November, I decided I would cut meat out of my diet for a month. I honestly can’t remember why I decided to. Maybe just to challenge myself, I suppose. It’s nearing the middle of April, and aside from the 3 times I’ve had grits from Miss Shirley’s Diner — which have bacon in them, and they are fucking awesome — I still haven’t consumed any meat. I even cut down on my seafood intake. My reasons waver to be truthful. I’m under no circumstances consciously aligning myself with any particular group of food specific consumers. I think that shit is unnecessary. I know some people stop consuming animal products for the sake of wanting to contribute to the fair treatment of other non-human creatures. And I totally respect that. They are really snooty about it sometimes, and that holier than thou shit makes you want to slap them with a raw porter-house. I will admit that I do feel better, my energy and stamina levels are up and I’m keeping weight off. My vanity is probably the driving factor. Fuck it. I said it.
Is the defining of something also the beginning of the end of its freedom? Definitions or guidelines are essentially boundaries. Once boundaries are put in place, whatever you’re defining can now only exist within that determined space. Are the definitions of types of people or situations/scenarios just traps we unintentionally put in place? Can a person be too free in how they interact with the world? Can people co-exist in a space without known limits for an indefinite period of time without harming themselves?
There’s a radio show I listen to often, and the host continuously brings up the fact that racism was instituted as a way to mask classism. Let’s say that is fact. That would mean true equality would only come from people of color gaining wealth, and carrying it through generations. He also promotes supporting black owned businesses. I’m all for that. I recently stumbled upon a raw food and juice bar that is a few minutes from my crib, and owned by a black woman. TWO WINS. But then I thought, I’m a forced to be racially exclusive with my money in order to play my part in “black amerikkkans” gaining equality? Will a lot of black people have to be that way in order to see a real change? I realize it’s an instance of showing support, but in basing it solely off race, is it hypocritical? Or do black amerikkkans get a pass because we’re playing catch up with the rest of the country?
Is it still considered a burden if you carry it without acknowledging its constant presence? Can a person make their life easier by worrying less…or at least feel easier? Like, psyching yourself out?
This whole fry thing has gotten out of hand. But in a positive way. I feel like I’m not steering the ship anymore. The winds are running things. Direction, velocity, possible impact from smashing into some rocks on the shore or the dock… totally hands off. A few weeks ago, I was taught a lesson in trying too hard to control situations. I was humbled. I needed it apparently.
The universe does not give you exactly what you want. It gives you the opportunity to grab what you want. And use it how you see fit. Around 7 weeks ago, I got a message from my boy that an old classmate needed someone to run point on illustrating a children’s book he had been loosely shopping around. I have no real clue where this path I’m on will take me. I’m teaching myself not to question WHY things like that happen. I sometimes doubt my abilities. I think that is some normal shit. The strangest thing that has happened in the past month and a half, in regards to this specific project, have been the few seconds where I’m absolutely sure I know what I am doing. I suppose that’s part of getting totally lost in the process.
I just finished listening to a podcast that started with one of the best anti-war diatribes that I’ve heard in a minute. It wasn’t a replay of a 2 year old speech given to congress or a lost grainy 1970’s video of some guy yelling into a bullhorn while on the lawn of a state government building. It was recorded a month ago. It was fresh. It resonated. It was comforting. I know I’m not delusional for thinking global disarmament is possible. I also know for every person on this planet, there is one’s own individual reality. And depending on that person’s influence, their reality takes precedence. Why do we seem to grant influential power(s) to the person/people with the shittiest versions of reality?
I have been bluffing heavy on writing here. It’s not that I don’t have anything to talk about. Far from that. On occasion I will write down, without any real structure, ideas and theories with the intentions to expand on them here. But, it seems like once I get the idea out of my head, I’m sort of satisfied with that. And as a result, a layer of dust starts to gather on my site. Earlier this afternoon, I was driving back to work from lunch and there was guy walking in the street, on the passenger side, and 2 guys walking on my driver’s side – all 3 walking in the direction from which I came. And I just had the urge to shout out “what up my niggas”. I don’t know these dudes. Never peeped them in the neighborhood before. And that’s not to say they don’t live around, but it does speak on biological bonds being very weak in the black community. Obviously, with the #BlackLivesMatter movement taking over, a lot of issues involving black people are rushing to the surface. So, a need, or at the least a wanting, to become more connected is happening, just in general. But I had to question my own reaction to that feeling of wanting to acknowledge my neighbors. I sort of caught myself off-guard. I’m not anti-social. I think that term is abused and flung around way too much. It’s not in me to speak to random people who I might not ever cross paths with again. At least, it wasn’t. Recently, I have been actively trying to become a more empathic person. And I suppose that feeling of wanting to acknowledge your fellow-man, and in a sense show love, is a result of opening oneself up to the world.
And with that being said, I need to reach out to my weed man.
If life has no meaning or purpose
as some people believe
or at least say
as I sometimes feel
then is creating without purpose 1 of the most god like things a person can do?
Sometimes I think god is real.
Sometimes I think god is just a real good idea.
Probably thinking too much most of the time.
Being nice is easy. I’ve heard/read that statement numerous times and I believe it to be true. I try to practice it, and I want to get to a point in my life where it is my natural state and reaction, almost on some muscle memory type of shit.
Rewind back to a few days ago, floating in a stew of traffic that is part rush hour and part results of an accident. As I approach the highway overpass, there are cars exiting the off ramp. Traffic relations are easy to maintain if everyone is patient and considerate (two key components in being nice [wild assumption]). But for some fucking reason, the science of proper merging is something a lot of people are totally unaware of. If a lane is closed, and signs are posted stating that, why is there always an asshole that hauls ass up to the point of no return? This particular day, I happened to be the individual who held that driver’s near future in my grip. I battled with myself. Part of me wanted to pull up and not allow this fucker to merge. They need to learn that you shouldn’t do dickhead shit like that. But, in trying to teach that lesson, I feel like I become the person I’m unnecessarily trying to punish. So, I put being nice into practice, by doing nothing. Easy. You would think the internal conflict would be over, right? NOPE. Not with me. I know that this person will find themselves in this situation again and approach it with the same thoughtless, selfish tactics. And I feel like I could have taught them a lesson. I COULD HAVE MADE THEM A BETTER PERSON lol… I’m like the dude who has the time machine and chooses everyday to not go back and kill baby Hitler.
Being nice is easy. Being nice all the fucking time is not… unless you get good at it. Practice. We talkin’ bout practice.
Creatively, my mind has been all over the place the past few days. It’s just dozens of preliminary ideas that I’m slowly getting out, one by one, as concise as possible so that when I get back to them, I won’t have to struggle to figure out where the fuck I was going with them in the first place. I jacked some pictures to try and show where I’m drawing inspiration from. Not shown: vegetarian nights, reversible og Nautica sailing jackets, new Pro-Wise tracks, sacred geometry, face-fucking pornos and young hustlers.