They Still Burn Witches.

Still finding stolen moments to work on Okay, Stupid. This is part of a triptych.
" Better believe there's war on up ahead/ Until we can settle the score and share the bread / Some people got no choices from the day they are born / Some other people got many but their reasons are wrong / Catch a fire, you're gonna get burned / Sow the seed, it will come back in return / Some people think they are above it all / and everything but they will fall"

"And we're at Square One"

I've been working on "Okay, Stupid" again. The project is evolving, and I have a lot of new material and concepts I am exploring. With this last sketch, I decided to document it every step of the way. I think it's really important that "artists" demystify our process in order to deconstruct notions of "talent", "genius" or other false capitalist boundaries that alienate the act of making. I know lots of artists that hide their use of photoreference, design programs, etc. out of shame, as though this makes them less of an artist (This seems, in my experience, to be particularly true of graff writers and illustrators). I know lots of artists that don't us any of that stuff, and still render photorealistically, or bypass that entirely and work completely from vision. Whatever you do, however you do it; Fuck it. Make some shit. Do what feels right. In my opinion, it's more inspiring when the process is transparent than when artists just shamelessly self-promote an image as a product out of context. Are we makers, or are we brands?

(Also, these flix were snagged off of my instagram account; when I get access to a printer again soon, I'll actually scan some of the sketches I've been working on.)

"Big Girls don't cry.  Oh, and Good Grrls are seen and not heard. (never tell how much it hurts)"

Also, I can't stop listening to this last James Blake record.  The whole thing, in tone and lyrical content, basically sums up my life from the last 3 months or so.

"Wasted times and broken dreams  / Violent colors so obscene  /It's all I see these days  / These days / Watch what you say / The devil is listenin'  / He's got ears that you  / Wouldn't believe / And brother once you go to him  / It's your soul you can never retrieve."
Just finished this design for the Undoing Racism Internship Projects' LOVE Conference to be held on May 10th!  The original design was first created in collaboration with a pair of activists in partnership.  When I was asked to work on this flyer and fundraising poster, I immediately thought of this image.  I really want to see more imagery of love and liberation in the world, and was happy to rework the illustration for this purpose.  URIP's members chose Assata Shakur's powerful chant for the fundraising poster, and it is a poignant reminder that personally couldn't have come at a better time for me as an artist, organizer and human.

Also, right after we put this poster out, Assata Shakur was the first woman to be added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list.  We stand with Assata, in alignment with love, liberation, and an end to "capitalist exploitation, the abolition of racist policies, the eradication of sexism, and the elimination of political repression".  Hands off Assata!

To buy the poster, click here: http://tinyurl.com/LOVEposter2013
Learn more about URIP here:  http://urip-ny.tumblr.com/
And register for this awesome conference here:  http://tunyurl.com/URIPreLOVEution

Eyes on the Rainbow is a documentary about Assata Shakur.

Also; anthems.

"I can't turn my head away- seeing all these things.  The world is going up in flames; and nobody wants to take the blame."

AND THE BANGER!!!  "Oh, there's a shakedown in my town.  Said I cannot make it.  Come a long ways from faking it.  It's in my blood, in my blood, yeah.  They wanna crucify me for being a believer: sometimes I see what they see - see they don't believe.  They gonna see.  They gonna see - That I'm ready."

Bus Sketch

Boomerang.  Banishing.  Bindrunes.

"Where you recognize evil, speak out against it, and make no truces with your enemies." --Havamal

"You make me reevaluate who I give my time to."

Train Sketch

I learned a lot the last few weeks.
"If you welcome every trespass, then every tramp's a guest  / Give what they would take from you then every theft's a gift / Hold too tightly to what's in your hands or in your chest /  and the future it won't open / palm readers can't work fists / Broken bones are stronger for the breaking / No, the danger's in the bending / those concessions that you never can take back / Curl you round a cane you're still in tact, but now quite lame / Better to grit your teeth, ready the cast and let it snap. "
I'm really shitty at this heartbreak stuff, (who isn't?), and I find a lot of things hearbreaking.  I could speak all day on some pseudo-intellectual/art theory ish about the concept behind the "Ok, Stupid" series.  And it would be real.   But I do it because it is visceral, and I am unapologetic.  So here's a process shot.  And if you think it's about you, well, be flattered; it probably is.  In composite, that is.  But it's also not about you at all.  This series is about me, and about using ones' personal life as a means to explore larger sociopolitical questions.

Also, a song.


So many, many things.

I've been not-so-good at being timely about keeping up with this blog or properly maintaining my website because I have been so wrapped up in amazing projects and collaborations.  Mostly, I'm busy with working with the Parsons Scholars, masterminding with my favorite people in the Inheritance Process Collaborative, executing an IP project with Girls for Gender Equity's Urban Leaders Academy middle school program, and doing two projects with Groundswell - one of which is another Navy Yard mural.  I'm also doing lots of freelance, and trying to find time to take showers, do laundry, brush my teeth and heat up frozen trader joe's meals on a hotplate at the new house I just moved into.  So bear with me :)  I'm so lucky to get to do the work I do, and to work with the amazing, inspiring people in my life.  Here's a sneak peek at some things I've been up to.

This is a pencil sketch for an installation organized by Groundswell.  My collaborators are a group of brilliant High School aged women, and our theme is women's health and empowerment.  The piece will be installed at an OB-GYN.  After doing a series of guided visualizations and tableaus exercises, the young women wrote reflections.  These poses and the quote were by them.

This is a commemorative poster for New Jersey's 1199 SEIU's women's day event.  I was super hype to work on this - any opportunity to support my fellow working Jersey Grrrrls, and I'm in there like swimwear.

Also, I got a new tattoo. I had a really challenging situation happen a few weeks back, and it got me reflecting on themes of self-protection and trust. I asked myself, "What is positive transformation? What is safety? What is protection? What is self-defense? How do we defend ourselves? One another? How do women protect our bodies? Our spirits? Our hearts?" For me, tattoos are deeply personal, and are acts of ritual and manifestation. I have been using the circle-circle-dot-dot in my Ok Stupid series for a year or two now, and thought it was time to commit to it's representation in my life. I called on the joyful, loving girl-culture of my youth. When boys would chase us, or bother us, or hurt our feelings, or touch us when we didn't want it, we'd soothe one another, come together, and defend one another against the boys and heal and protect ourselves with cootie shots. I decided it was time to innoculate. Thanks to Nick Wallin for this quickie! I recommend him, for sure.
Circle-Circle-Dot-Dot; Now I Got my Cootie Shot

Also....some joints I've been bumping on repeat lately.