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Creative Promises for 2021

As 2020 winds down, I’ve decided to make some promises to myself so I can be a more creative me. Here are my personal promises:

Restart my Black superhero project (be on the lookout at the start of February 2021)

Work on more character and background designs for Valarie

Work on more character and background designs for Brothas

Restrart my Black Music Month Project (be on the lookout for June 2021)

Work on character and background designs for my untitled action-adventure project

But I’ve decided not to rush myself through any project. I know everything will happen in time.

What are some your creative promises for 2021? Comment below.

Support These Creators of Color for Christmas!

With the holiday season in full swing, now’s the time to get into the giving spirit! So, here are some you need to get into before the year is over.

Angelica Marie – Filmmaker and Podcast Host

Elizabeth Evers – Young Adult Author

Jasmyne-Nicole Walker – Writer

Jaleesa Mitchell – Young Adult Author and Educator

Ananya Vahal – Writer and Educator

Carlos F. Perez – Comics Artist, Illustrator and Educator

David Heredia – Animator, Illustrator and Entrepreneur

Sasha Williams – Fashion Designer and Artist

KK Nixon – Artist and Illustrator

Lauren Small – Writer

Kelsi Jackson – Artist and Illustrator

Tani Andrews – Manga Artist and Writer

Cdeeq – Animator and Filmmaker

Allyssa Lewis – Animation Professional and Consultant and Creator of “My Animation Life”

Tehniyat Shaikh – Animator

Vinod Krishnan – Animator and Visual Development Artist

Ryan Adkins – Animator and Author

Abdiel Vallejo – Writer

Dominique S. Johnson – Novelist and Educator

Devin Ki’elle – Filmmaker and Entrepreneur

Nikki Igbo – Writer and Editor

Daniel Flores – Multidisciplinary Artist, Entrepreneur and Creator of “Art is King”

Making My Creativity a Priority in 2020 (and 2021)

My focus has been a little all over the place the past few months. But now, things seem clear.

Despite taking a break from my work, I’ve finally started to carve out time to finish up Brothas and Losing Valarie. For the first time, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. During Christmas break, I will finish my work on the current interiors and exteriors for both series. I hope to start some new ones before Christmas break is over. Hopefully, I’ll be able to reveal the outcome soon. Because by Spring 2021, my focus will be on character designs as I try finishing up some summer leftovers while creating new ones.

By Summer 2021, I plan on spending my time focusing on my action-adventure series. I want to dedicate my art skills to create a visual representation of that show. I have my sights on starting character designs while other designs coming later in the year.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Along with personal work, this year has been all about turning my passions into a steady income. PatreonEtsyFiverr, and UpWork are helping my business to grow. Even though, I have slacked on marketing lately. Operating an LLC has its ups and downs, but I have to remember I’m in my first year. I have to accept the growing pains that come with being a young entrepreneur. I’m still in the process of building my freelance business as I look for representation – finances and law – and acquiring (and creating) the necessary equipment. By Summer 2021, I pray my business gains some serious traction.

In growing my business, I hope more freelance opportunities will start to roll in. I’ve noticed more individuals and some businesses are looking to fill much-needed roles with freelancers and contractors. Again, digital marketing will be the key to making this happen.

On a side note, I have decided to do my annual Black History Month project. Like past years, I will focus on Black superheroes, which I plan to start working on over Christmas break.

Just remember creativity is the key to success.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Black Media and Creatives to Get Into This Thanksgiving

With so many looking for entertainment centered on the Black experience, here are some content to watch by yourself or with the fam over the Thanksgiving weekend.

For those who love big-screen visuals and great storytelling that touch on the Black experience, here’s a list of films to watch:

Destin Daniel Cretton’s Just Mercy (starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx) – inspired by Bryan Stevenson’s memoir

Ava DuVernay’s Selma (starring David Oyelowo) – based on Dr. Martin Luther King’s trek from Selma to Montgomery

Raoul Peck-directed documentary I Am Not Your Negro – based on the words and thoughts of writer James Baldwin

Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters – based on the Wiley College debate team’s victory over USC

Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures – based on the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly

Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing – a hot Summer day in New York culminates in a tragic end fueled by racial tensions

Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (starring Denzel Washington) – based on The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight – based on a play by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney

Stefan Bristol’s See You Yesterday – a young girl travels back in time to save her slain brother

GeorgeTillman Jr’s The Hate You (starring Amandla Stenberg) – based on the book of the same name by Angie Thomas

Jordan Peele’s Get Out (starring Daniel Kaluuya) – a psychological examination of racism in the U.S.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse  an animated action adventure following the exploits of beloved Afro-Latino high schooler Miles Morales

Matthew A. Cherry-directed Hair Love – an animated short showcasing a father-daughter relationship dealing with Black hair

Reginald Hudlin-produced BeBe’s Kids (starring the late Robert Harris) – an animated family comedy highlighting a date turned family outing

For those looking for great visual and realistic storytelling on a weekly basis, here’s a list of television series to watch:

Ava DuVernay-produced miniseries When They See Us – based on the 1989 Central Park jogger case

The landmark miniseries Roots (1977 and 2016 versions) – the original is a classic while the new version taps into today’s issues

Cheo Hodari Coker-based Netflix series Luke Cage – based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name

Salim Akil-developed CW series Black Lightning – based on the DC Comics series of the same name

Milestone Media-created Warner Bros. animated series Static Shock – based on the Milestone Media/DC Comics series Static

April Blair-created CW series All American – inspired by the life of former professional football player Spencer Paysinger

Issa Rae-created HBO series Insecure – a comedic yet realistic portrayal of the Black female experience in the U.S.

Donald Glover-created FX series Atlanta – inspired by the career and life of multi-tainer Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino)

ABC sitcom Black-ish – an exploration of the middle-class Black family experience in suburban America 

Cartoon Network animated series Craig of the Creek – an animated series centered on a young Black boy’s imaginative exploits and his family

Aaron MacGruder’s The Boondocks – an adult animated series focused on skewering the low brow-end of Black culture

HBO animated anthology Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales For Every Child – an animated series centered on retelling and reinventing classic fairytales with a Black or Latin spin

Disney animated family sitcom The Proud Family – an animated series about a young Black girl Penny Proud, friends, and family

Don Cornelius-centered biopic drama American Soul – a serialized telling of the rise of the Soul Train impresario through the decades

Justin Siemen-produced Netflix series Dear White People – a serialized version of the creator’s 2014 film centered on Black students at a PWI

Lena Waithe and Halle Berry-produced BET series Boomerang – a Millennial comedic retelling of the 1992 Eddie Murphy-led film

Michael B. Jordan-produced Netflix series Raising Dion – an action-adventure about a young Black boy discovering his powers

Misha Green-developed HBO series Lovecraft Country – a dramatic sci-fi retelling centered on Black travelers during Jim Crow-era America

Michaela Coel-created HBO series I May Destory You – a comedic take on a young Black writer dealing with the after effects of a night out

Robin Thede-headlined HBO series A Black Lady Sketch Show – a comedic sketch series centered on the Black female experience with an all-star cast

Netflix sketch series Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show – a sketch comedy series based on the exploits of the all-Black comedy troupe Astronomy Club

Hulu series Woke – a live-action-animated comedy centered on the different mishaps and everyday struggle of a rising Black cartoonists

Tracy Oliver-produced BET+ series The First Wives Club – a comedy reimagining of the 1996 film centered on Black female friends

Hopefully, this content by Black creators will not only entertain you but inform and provoke you to seek out other creators to champion and support.

Thriving and Improving for 2020 – Redux

2020 is only less than a month away from coming to an ending. Being a Black creative has taken many valleys and hills during this unpredictable year. But recent events have left me hesitantly optimistic.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

I’ve been expanding my business to turn my passions into a steady income. Marketing through PatreonEtsy , and Fiverr has allowed me to grow my business in different ways.  I might pursue one or two more avenues to market my services. Operating an LLC has been the best decision I’ve made in the past few years. Working for myself has its good and bad days, but tapping into my inner entrepreneur has allowed me to become more familiar with the business side of art. 

I’m still working towards getting the necessary equipment needed to fulfill my creative dreams. While some things have become reality, there are still things in the works.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

While I seek independence for my creativity, freelance opportunities have been slowly coming to me as more individuals and businesses looking to freelancers and independent contractors to fill much-needed roles. Some new opportunities haven’t panned out, but I’m still grinding to expand my client base.

Despite taking a break from my design work, I plan on finishing up Brothas and Losing Valarie before 2021 arrives. For the first time, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Before year’s end, I finish my work on interiors and exteriors for both series. Because in 2021, I’m all about character designs as I try finishing up some summer leftovers while creating new ones.

In 2021, I plan on spending my time focusing on my action adventure series. I want dedicate my art skills to creating a visual representation of that show.

On a side note, I have decided to do my annual Black History Month project. I’m still working out whether to continue my current project or start something new. I’ll keep you posted on that.

Thriving and Improving for 2020

2020 is only less than a month away from coming to an ending. Being a Black creative has taken many valleys and hills during this unpredictable year. But recent events have left me hesitantly optimistic.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

I’ve been expanding my business to turn my passions into a steady income. Marketing through PatreonEtsy , and Fiverr has allowed me to grow my business in different ways.  I might pursue one or two more avenues to market my services. Operating an LLC has been the best decision I’ve made in the past few years. Working for myself has its good and bad days, but tapping into my inner entrepreneur has allowed me to become more familiar with the business side of art. 

I’m still working towards getting the necessary equipment needed to fulfill my creative dreams. While some things have become reality, there are still things in the works.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

While I seek independence for my creativity, freelance opportunities have been slowly coming to me as more individuals and businesses looking to freelancers and independent contractors to fill much-needed roles. Some new opportunities haven’t panned out, but I’m still grinding to expand my client base.

Despite taking a break from my design work, I plan on finishing up Brothas and Losing Valarie before 2021 arrives. For the first time, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Before year’s end, I finish my work on interiors and exteriors for both series. Because in 2021, I’m all about character designs as I try finishing up some summer leftovers while creating new ones.

In 2021, I plan on spending my time focusing on my action adventure series. I want dedicate my art skills to creating a visual representation of that show.

On a side note, I have decided to do my annual Black History Month project. I’m still working out whether to continue my current project or start something new. I’ll keep you posted on that.

Ending Before the Beginning

My focus has been all over the place the past few months, but now, things are starting to seem clearer.

After taking a small break from creating visual design, I’ve spent the past two weeks putting the finishing touches on the bedroom from Brothas. I’m finally seeing parts of my vision coming to life. I wanted to make sure their room reflected two young Black boys growing up in a small town. Losing Valarie has been receiving some attention as I put the finishing touches on the lead character’s room. For the first time, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, I’ll be able to reveal the final outcome in the near future.

Before year’s end, I hope to deal with some interior and exterior designs for both series. By next year, I want character designs to be my main focus. I plan on jumping back into character designs (after focusing on background work).

Next year, I will set my sights on character designs of my untitled action adventure series. Any other designs will be set aside for late next year.

Just remember creativity is the key to success.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Art is All About the Setting

Whether it is a layout or background, the setting is an essential to storytelling just like characters and plot.

The above statement is a motto you live by as both an animator and writer. After taking a small break from creating visual design, I’ve spent the past two weeks putting the finishing touches on the bedroom from Brothas. I’m finally seeing parts of my vision coming to life. For the first time, I can see my characters actually living in the space. I wanted to make sure their room reflected two young Black boys growing up in a small town.

Their personalities are very much on display in the space – hobbies, obsessions, and everything in between. The space needed to feel like Gen Zers lived there while incorporating some mods to childhood of yesteryear. Items such as books and blocks are essential to a kid’s room just like tablets and wireless speakers. Hopefully, I’ll be able to reveal the final outcome in the near future.

Once this room is done, I plan to focus on more interiors such as the kitchen and living room (fingers crossed). Afterwards, I hope to start doing more exteriors again. By next year, I want character designs to be my main focus.

While my focus has been on Brothas for the past month or so, Losing Valarie will receive some attention soon. I’m in the process of putting the final touches on the lead character’s room. I plan on jumping back into dealing with character designs (a break from doing strict background work). Before years end, I hope to deal with some interior and exterior designs.

As I’ve stated before, the character designs of my untitled action adventure will hopefully begin later this year. Any other designs will be set aside for next year.

Just remember creativity is the key to success.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Back to Work

After taking a week break, I’m back with more about my ongoing projects!

As I previously mentioned, I’ve spent week or so working on interior designs for Brothas. Working on my main characters’ safe haven has led to some interesting work. I’ve made the space personal by using inspiration from childhood items to flesh my characters’ world. Along with childhood items, I incorporated some childhood hobbies and activities such as astronomy and racing to add more personality into space. Basing the series in contemporary times has allowed me to include modern technology like video consoles and tablets into the space. Just like Losing Valarie, I tapped into their “Blackness” by having items here and there as cultural signals.

The next step is developing more interior and exterior designs for the series before the end of the year. I hope to creating more character designs for the series by next year. In the near future, I’ll start posting my progress on this site and Patreon in the coming months.

Soon, I’ll switch my focus from Brothas to Losing Valarie in the next week or so. I hope to venture more into exteriors for the series soon. By the end of their year, I want to get back into my character designs.

Once I’ve done enough work on my current work, I hope to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. I’ll start with the character designs before attempting background designs. I hope to start around later this year or early next year.

Social media presence is finally attracting some potential clients. Despite the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, freelance work is starting to pick back up with some potential prospects.

Just remember all the hard work will pay off in the end.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Working on a Plan

It’s good to be back after taking a week off!

I have to admit I haven’t been as focused on my design work lately, It’s taken a backseat to other commitments I have going on. I’ve still been creative just in different ways. I recently acquired a few contract jobs that still keep me creative while making some much-needed funds. The jobs deal with writing, but it still taps into my creative expression.

While I’m enjoying my work, I hope to start doing my personal design work this week. I plan on doing more background work for both Brothas and Losing Valarie as I continue to focus on crafting their worlds – visually. Like any project, I’m all about the details so much of my time will be busy completing one while starting on the next one. Exteriors and interiors galore!

I hope before the end of the year to switch my focus from backgrounds to characters as I still need to focus on creating some more designs for both shows. I have some I’ve worked on, but I have yet to complete them. Others are just ideas. I need to find the time.

Once I’ve done enough work on my current work, I hope to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. I’ll start with the character designs before attempting background designs. I hope to start around later this year or early next year.

Social media presence is finally attracting some potential clients. Despite the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, freelance work is starting to pick back up with some potential prospects.

Sometimes, all the hard work leads to reward and relaxation.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

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