Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Time Lapse Mural Magic

This time lapse video of a second mural I created for Coasterra condenses a week's work to around 2 minutes. It's visual caffeine so put your seat belt on. Grateful to my hard working, talented assistants Daniel Renner and Brie Witko as well as my friend Gil Gutierrez for his vibrant music.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Artists for Peace

This past month I created this poster as part of the Dialogues: Poster Art of the Soviet Union Show at the City Gallery at San Diego City College. Rare historical Soviet posters from the period of Perestroika and Glasnost were featured alongside contemporary posters with political, social or arts themes with a Russian twist. My poster was about the potential of the arts to promote peace and social change. To craft a culture of peace you have to first imagine it. Artists around the world and throughout history have given voice to that ideal. A sharp pencil can be a powerful weapon to communicate the pathos of war.I’m greatly inspired by folk arts, many of which are living traditions. Birds are a common theme in Russian folklore and this region has a particular gift for storytelling. The folkloric pattern inside the bird represents a diverse patchwork of beliefs and opinions. The colors tip their hat to Russian Constructivism. When creating this poster, the recent peace agreement and conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists was on my mind and in the news. The two leaves symbolize differing points of view with the pencil of the artist providing a stable perch for the idea of peace to take hold. 

You can purchase a 20 by 26 giclee poster for $65 with all funds going to the Doyald Young Reading Room. I am such a believer in books and this design and illustration library at City College is open to students and the community.

Dancers in historical costumes performed barefoot in the gallery at the opening. Photo by Edward Honaker

Photo by David Eichinger

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mural Making

Had fun last week making the first of two COASTERRA murals for the Cohn Restaurant Group and this time lapse video.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Beating the Drum for Women's Rights KIRKUS review

Grateful for the KIRKUS interview Julie Danielson did with Margarita Engle and myself about the creation of DRUM DREAM GIRL. She is a writer who interviews and features the work of authors and illustrators at her blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. This is a children's literature blog focused on illustration and picture books. In a 2011 interview at Seven Impossible Things I had the chance to sit down with Jules and had a lot of fun talking about children's book illustration.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

All Dreams begin with a Dreamer

I've been dreaming about the release of DRUM DREAM GIRL and today a new book was born. Thanks to author Margarita Engle and our young heroine Millo Castro Zaldarriaga for believing in dreams.

The journey from Margarita's poetic words to the birth of this book has lasted almost two years. Here's to Millo, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who had the courage to break Cuba's traditional barrier against female drummers. When she was just fifteen she played her drums for President Roosevelt and first lady Eleanor. In the 1930s she went on to become a world class musician playing with American jazz greats of her era.

This book teaches children to not conform to gender stereotypes and follow the path of their hearts. GRATEFUL for the opportunity to be a storyteller.

To learn more about the creation of DRUM DREAM GIRL please check out this recent article at KIRKUS called Beating the Drum for Women's rights by Julie Danielson.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Drum Dream Girl Video Book Trailer

Excited to post the video book trailer for DRUM DREAM GIRL due out March 31, 2015 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. What an opportunity to create this video to share her story. Looking forward to getting our book in the hands of children, teachers and librarians.

Grateful to Margarita Engle for writing this poetic story, inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers in the 1930s.