Lulu’s Light

My Wife brought this story to my attention last night. I had just finished cooking dinner and a prospective client call when she asked if I heard about Lulu.

https://www.bet.com/news/national/2018/01/29/teen-whose-wig-was-snatched-is-making-people-say-no-to-shaming.html

I had not. I purposely avoid social media and frivolous surfing b/c I feel as though they are anathema to focus and depressing when internalized. I’d rather draw and design than be reminded of how strange the days have become. However, LuLu’s story sparked one of the 12 Angry Men constantly deliberating in my mind to set the chambers on fire.

Apparently, a few wayward punks made a bet to humiliate a young woman w/ a medical condition that affects her hair growth. To offset her appearance to gain some semblance of normalcy, she would wear a wig. These jokers conspired to snatch her wig off publicly and record her. They did. In doing so, they ripped some of her actual hair out and she had to later be treated for whiplash (see assault and battery). To add insult to injury, they followed her into the bathroom and continued to document the trauma and further establish how far from humane they actually are. Straight up foul, cowardly and unacceptable on all levels.

I understand that the extent of a child’s concerns may be limited by their maturity but the propensity for pranks and bullying to damage their development AND that of their peers ought to be spoken to and dealt w/ directly via the peers AND Adults. If not, they grow to be grown-ups (not adults) that express power through their intimidation of others. If given power within a society (Judge, Police Officer, Lawyer, Teacher, etc) that power may be abused by a psychology framed during their youth and left unchecked through the years.


Sometimes the incident is the impetus to evolution. The event that opens the first eye so wide it can no longer ignore what it is. It can’t hide it’s true form any more than it could ignore itself. I believe that’s what happened to this Young Empress in what could have been her lowest moment. She’s 16. It’s not that hard to be crushed by embarrassment at such a confusing age. What she found…within herself…was how to be strong through her outlook on herself and totally rip the wires out of what caused her embarrassment. She, She Hulk smashed the console of her insecurities when she shaved her head, stepped in the light…w/ all the pride, regality and grace we’d attribute to a Queen and said “Here I am. No tears. No shame. Just me and that’s everything.” She did that and we love her for it. So she got the illustration. We stand in solidarity w/ Lulu. 

Even if I didn’t have a Daughter (emphasis on AWE) this would have made me livid. Bullies make my knuckles twitch. The ones that excel in sadism inspire creativity in me that dims my humanity. Foulness begets foulness which is why you should strive to inspire only greatness in all forms. That’s why I don’t speak disparagingly about other creatives as willingly as I try to inspire other creatives by sharing what I do. I offer my visual opinion as opposed to browbeating ppl w/ my viewpoints in person or online. If I do offer my opinion, I try my best to frame it in a way that preserves the message. A bully has but one message and it will always be ill received. The responses may vary. Sometimes they are met by the same force and learn to respect what they were just abusing. Other times, they are bested by something beautiful and left to wallow in the unsightly murk of their own beastly decisions. That’s what Lulu did. We’re just adding insult to their injuries. She got this drawing. They may be getting composite sketches. 

Don’t be a Bully. Be an Artist.


East to West

I sent this picture to Jay Cru last night. 
He said “Is that Saul Williams?”

I said “Nah” but thought “Damn. I should draw Saul….”

In actuality, that is the homey Kuasi N Imara from the Oakland side of things.

I have been rocking w/ Kuas for years. He’s an avid supporter of Stolen Outfitters (our legacy brand) and has reached out to me for work in the past.

Certain projects we had in cue asked that I grow as an artist to complete. To illustrate what that means, I would loosely quote Brooklyn MC Ka when he said it took 40 years to write his first album and he has to live some more to write some more. I am like that w/ art. It is why I challenge myself and don’t wait to be challenged. Life doesn’t stutter step when presenting an obstacle. Why would I trip when I should be overcoming?

We had a build session last night where I picked his brain about his book writing process. I’m putting one foot in front of the other on that project and all applicable advice is welcome. He instructed me to keep a journal and refer to it religiously. I agreed. Then we spoke about possible illustrations for his book. I felt they would compliment his writing style which is haiku-like. He agreed.

Afterwards, I submitted the pieces I had been working on for him. Without giving an approximate time, I will say he has more patience than any client I have ever dealt with in 17 years. Patience and understanding for the artistic process. I would apologize periodically about the wait and he would assure me that the time being taken was to guarantee the highest quality outcome and he accepted that.

I believe I delivered on my promises b/c I have gotten considerably better since the projects commenced. So much so, that I was able to gift him this piece as a token of my appreciation for his patience, understanding and patronage. It will go in my portfolio and become the 4th blog post due to nature of the back story and the depth of the illustration.


Reinvest

Every year at this time of year, some people get tax returns. Every year at this time of year, some people waste an opportunity to multiply those returns and, instead, opt out to buy what they could not the year prior. I do not want to say many people do this because I KNOW many people use those returns to pay down bills that they could not the year prior but I do know the latter described as well and very well. They both exist. The conditions they base their decisions on exist. Whether they be satiation in the form of instant gratification at the expense of security or the easing of the anxieties associated w/ being in good standing w/ creditors and having another 30 days to run, they exist and should be considered for what they are…which are conditions. Conditions which can change depending on the mind making decisions within them.

In the same fashion that I would like to repurpose Valentines Day to be about Self-Love as opposed to the commercialization of Romance (not love) and all of it’s associated consumables, I would also like to recondition the minds of tax return recipients that are NOT in the investment class to invite themselves into the investment class by using their tax returns as investments. No. You do not need what you were about to buy if it is not going to bring you profit. Yes. You have bills to pay but rushing back to a zero balance will route you back to the same place next month if you do not create a stream of income that wasn’t there last month. It is time to diversify our holdings. Passed time actually. We have to get caught up on catching up and stop trying to keep up w/ trends that lead nowhere. 

  • Blind consumerism leads nowhere. 
  • Working poor leads nowhere. 
  • Suppressing dreams and talents, ignoring opportunities and not taking chances leads nowhere. 


It is a matter of risks and gains. There is no risk in consumerism. You gain what you buy and nothing more. The good or service is the quality it is when it is purchased. That is the exchange. Intent is on the purchaser. If they never intended to cash in on their purchase beyond the attention economy (reactions ), then they will not. Think Luxury SUV vs Work Truck. The Luxury SUV will turn heads, the counter at the gas pump and your bank account’s stomach if obtained prematurely and w/o the benefit of foresight. Between the note, maintenance and the depreciating value…worth becomes questionable. The Work Truck may earn from day 1, pay for itself monthly and eventually in full as well as offset expenses in other areas such as moving out of an apartment into a house purchased using the truck. Afterwards, it may be sold…because ppl who know it’s worth will be willing to pay knowing what they can get out of it. It may not make people stand and stare but it serves a greater purpose as an investment than as eye candy.

I have made good and bad investments throughout my life. Going to school was a decent investment. Training myself to maximize the little I learned in school was the greater of the 2. Learning to define the value I bring clients is what will bring me the return on my investments that I have worked dilligently for. With that said, I have consumed too. A lot. I know all about the feelings that justify the acts as well as the repercussions…which is why I am speaking to you about investing in you and not spoiling yourself before it’s feasible. You deserve. You want. I am not here to argue that. I am here to ask you…urge you…to get what you want by working harder for yourself. I am asking you to look beyond how you consume this digitally streamed and shared moment we exist in and find your market share. It exists as surely as your wants and desires exist. It just need be focused on and brought into fruition. My investments can augment your investments and we can all win.

This month I am offering 15 client slots for design package deals. These will be the ONLY clients I work with for the next 3 months. Although the projects may span more than 3 months, I will not be accepting any new clients until after the 3 months has elapsed. The packages may include any combination of illustrations, ads, web design, graphic design and/or printed apparel bundled and discounted based on the project total. Financing is also available. This is the perfect opportunity to advance on that blog, book, business venture, etc that you have been meaning to start but have managed to keep postponing. It is an opportunity to tighten up your online presence and garner the attention your brand needs to grow it’s following and, consequentially, it’s returns. This is an opportunity to finally get the uniforms for your team to further establish your brand identity or to have garments produced to be resold for profit. Put simply, this is an opportunity to invest in your ideas and seek a return at a discounted rate which amounts to more profit for you in the end.

If you are interested, please use the contact page to leave me a brief description of what you might need and we can begin the conversation.

Offer available for 15 clients. Registrations end Feb 28, 2018. 

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