This has been quite the year and we still have a few months to go. Can it get any worse?
Of course it can. Man up and brace for impact.
This collection is the result of many years of practice and study. From being inspired by my father's artwork as earlier as age 10, to being allowed to take a Clay Animation course at Moore College of Art and Design while in the 6th grade and studying Illustration also at Moore in the 7th grade. Art is something I plan to pursue until my last day as mastery of the craft has always been the goal. Other studies to achieve this include majoring in Commercial Art and Desktop Publishing while in high school, learning 2D computer animation and digital art on Amiga computers at home during the Commodore heyday as a early teenager, studying Animation, Illustration and Film at UArts (University of the Arts) to working in Animation and then Graphic Design for many years afterward.
Currently my chosen creative platform is Microsoft Surface devices with a special fondness for the SurfaceStudio. After spending many years using traditional methods, Commodore Amigas, Macs, traditional Windows PCs and Android tablets as creative tools, Surface Pro devices proved to be the best combination of power and flexibility for my needs. Regardless of the tools used, there is no shortcut to mastery and no manner of debate speaks louder than the collection of an artist's work.
The themes presented within this collection are by and large Black themes. The reason for this is because the general practice is to either minimize or outright exclude Black people from creative industries, from contemporary culture. As a Black artist, it would be disrespectful to those who's shoulders I'm standing on today if I did not show love to and represent my own people using my craft. Especially when American culture and many other cultures the world over hate Black people with such passion. Yes, racism is alive and well regardless of those that want to ignore it or wish it away. There are even Black people that hate themselves to the extent that art featuring Black people and/or Black features are seen as repulsive. I'm not that person nor do I subscribe to illustrating White people in Black face (see: Marvel's Storm) to appease those who are racially insecure about dark skin. I am definitely not your negro.
Black American culture can push the boundaries of logic and reason at the best of times, but the best of Black history across the world, throughout the ages is phenomenal. The world as we currently know it would not exist without Black contributions made over many millennia. Black creatives have the right to tell our own stories, revel in our own history, express our own culture and dreams, without fear of being ridiculed or prosecuted for it. Of course, the nation isn't there yet as the current times clearly illustrate, but as I mentioned, it would be disrespectful to those that came before me if my talent wasn't used to represent Black people in the face of constant racism.
Human nature is without a doubt, incredibly flawed. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to improve. At the heart of it all, this is my way of trying to improve as an artist and as a human being. A lifelong pursuit.