Friday, February 27, 2009

Ever Felt This Way???

Peace Yo,

It's 6:07p and I am tired and sapped to say the least. Life keeps giving some serious tests, and every once in a while, you just need to sit down and try to take it all in.

This week I found out that one of my cousins died in a horrendous death, he died in an abandoned house that burned down last week. His story represents the meaning behind Lifestyles of the Ignored. What's more maddening is that he was ignored by his own family members. That is until last week.

His mother and siblings lived probably 15 minutes away from an abandoned home. How can so called "loved ones" allow this to happen?

I remember seeing a similar incident on the news where a homeless man died on the streets. The family did not live too far and frankly no one cared.

Lifestyles of the Ignored does not only strike at the society as a whole, but on the inside of the family as well because most of society's problems start with the family. We teach traditions, ideas, cultures and so forth, and when one does not follow the pattern, they find themselves thrown out of the inner circle. People become "ashamed" of them, and fail to offer assistance at the least. But as soon as the person dies, we all cry(well some of us do) as if we cared. Get real

Anyway here is a posting of one of my pieces. Take care everyone.


Ever felt this way, like you're on a journey, and things are just not going the way you would hope or wished they would?

The origin of this picture comes from a newspaper article, in which a man was convicted of raping a woman, which he did not commit. He was sentenced to several years in jail simply because a woman pointed him out in the photo lineup the police displayed. Just like that, huh. Somebody can point you out, and with the right lawyers, you're in the pokie.

Now the man is out of prison, but he is homeless. He collects crushed cans for his food money. There's more to the story than this, but I wanted to focus on this part of the story. There were questionable decisions made on his part after he was freed, but I want to focus on the aspect of road blocks or injustices that we go through. Sometimes we talk amongst each other about people who are down and out, and all it takes is one person to conjure a negative story, and the whole vibe changes. For example, I can talk about the homeless to a group of people, and all it takes is one person to talk about a bad experience with some street people, and the whole vibe gets lost. People start saying "Yeah, that happened to me too" , and before you know it we are right back at square one, which is actually nowhere.

Because in this society, we are taught to kick a man when he's down. It's the easiest thing to do. It's a heck of a lot easier than knocking a man down, especially when the one who needs to be knocked down is the person in the wrong. And we are also taught that a man who is down is a man who is in weakness. But that may only be temporary.

Most of my pictures will deal with people who are oppressed and down and out people from all walks of life. The darker skin pictures are indicative of the struggles that we go through in particular, and the fleshtones will indicate a more universal message. I have spoken and/or written to people of different nationalities, and we share a similar issue, but the problem is most of us are so absorbed in "our own" struggle, we don't see the strength we could possibly possess as one human family. Our struggle as people of color is unique, but it's not like we're the only ones going through oppression, therefore when I use fleshtones it is to symbolise the basic human struggle.

My pictures may also touch a lot of people the wrong way, but isn't art supposed to challenge anyway? Make ya jump out that comfort zone? Or is it all about the pretty stuff?

Take care y'all

Thursday, February 19, 2009

TAG!!!!(I'm It!!!!)

Peace everybody,

It's 6:44p and I just came from work with another episode of the uncontrollable coughing. This is the end of the work week for me, and I plan to spend the remainder of the week in bed. But I wouldn't feel right at all without doing something for my friends out there in cyberspace. People have taken time out of their lives to look at lil' ol' me and listen to my rants. While I'm talking about rights, my guests have rights over me too, ya know. So let's do justice.

OK, I've been tagged by Beholden here, which means there are 7 things I must mention about myself, and in the process tag 7 others to do the same, so here I go. If you find yourself sleepy after the first 2, I take full responsibility(lol)

1. I am an information addict, which means when I want to express myself in blogs, art or what have you, I feel I have to back it up with a truckload of facts and information. Documents, documentaries, radio, I love it all!!!! I don't read books, I eat them!!!!Lately I have been abstaining from the bookshelf, but thank God for audiobooks, I have about 3 sets in my vehicle right now!!!

2. I am allergic to salespeople. Nothing personal, I know you're doing your job, but I can't stand salespeople walking up to me asking me if everything's ok. I have had so many bad experiences with salespeople trying to bait and switch me, now when I see a salesperson, I literally runaway. They usually come up to me and offer something and they will not quit. Anything for a sale. I am a CSR myself, but I've worked in places where we were told to use "soft skills" to sell something, although we worked in a helpdesk. Go figure. It's kinda like a car insurance agency trying to sell you motor oil.

3. I have this strange jones for Blue Bell Fudge Brownie Nut Ice Cream. I like other kinds, but this one here is too addictive. I have been known to eat 3/4 of a half gallon in one sitting, which presents two problems, which I won't begin to mention(lol)

4. In the early to mid-eighties I was a serious DEVO nut! Well what's wrong with that? A lot when you live in the hood!!!!

5. My ardent desire is to hit some of the poorest neighborhoods in the world and soak up the atmosphere and put their stories on canvas. Places like Jamaica and Egypt, where the economy is based on swaying tourists, while local farmers cannot even sell their own produce, due to the oppressive International Monetary Fund and World Bank ventures. Look at a documentary called Life and Debt, and you will see what I mean.

6. Although my art may not show depictions of this, I am actually Klutz Deluxe. I have scars on both hands, and two toenails that were removed to show the proof. Note to Self: No matter how bad you wanna roller skate, wearing skates 3 sizes smaller than your actual shoe size is not a smart move!!!!(Don't ask why, OK? I was young at the time)

7. I am a very goofy person, who laughs at his own jokes, hey somebody gotta get the ball rolling...I say this because I know my pictures show otherwise, but that's something I take seriously, and maybe one day those people can smile like me. I hope I can contribute to the cause.

Well, I have to get in the bed now, but I will tag 7 people soon. Thanks Beholden, I truly treasured the opportunity. Take care y'all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Everything Has Its Rights(Lessons Learned!!!)

Peace y'all

It's 11:44am on a Tuesday morning, I am usually at work stressing out, but due to a change up in scheduling last week, I had to work last Saturday, which I am usually off. This could not come at a better time, because it gives me a chance to rest up(yeah right!!!)

This past week was so overwhelming for me as an outpour of comments hit my Iseecolor page, as well as this page. I can't believe that someone has "tagged" me. So I have to come up with 7 things about myself. Very interesting. I count it as a blessing that someone wants to know about me.

But this past week I made a huge mistake. I made promises that I was not able to keep, and left a lot of people with unanswered email, and a blog that has yet to be presented. Although people told me to take my time and let it flow, I pressed myself so much, that my severe cold resurfaced. I told my friends I will have a blog by last weekend, which was one of many promises made, in addition to racking my body and brain with a hectic on the go schedule, so as Sunday approached, I felt my chest tightening up and my coughing became uncontrollable. This cold has lingered in my system for over a month now, and I still have not sought any rest to regenerate my immune system, a great blessing given to us by the Creator.

So now I am ashamed to explain once again why I have not delivered as forementioned, due to taking on too much. I realized I put a lot of pressure on myself, or should I say unnecessary pressure. My friends have been very patient with me, and I thank them for that. I got caught up in the vibe and emotion, and in the process forgot the rights that my body has over me, which is less stress, proper food and exercise, and rest and recuperation. Many things we take for granted in this Bluetooth Society( I will explain that one day!)

So our priorities are screwed to say the least. The most important things like God, family, justice, physical and mental health gets lost in the mix, or we focus on one thing, but other things are neglected. Most of the time is it our occupations or careers that take precedence, as we become "workaholics", but there are other extremes we take. For example in this society people spend oodles of hours in the gym getting their body in the best shape possible, but most of the time it is so they can put on that swimsuit in the summertime. An increasing amount of people are getting into shape physically, but when it comes to mental health they are mental trainwrecks, who can't hold a decent conversation with a person without becoming graphic and vile. Our on the go, overly social lifestyles has caused other things to be neglected which will catch with us one day if we don't stop. I'm glad all that I have is a severe cold. It could progress to something worse, if I don't pump the brakes.

Everything has it rights, and if not treated properly, will begin to protest. The human body is a loan from God, and He has created certain properties that will falter if not treated properly, and the end result will be obesity, cancer, aging, autoimmune diseases, you name it. No Justice, No Peace.

Moderation is the key.....Love your craft, but don't make it your life.
Take care.......

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Little Goofiness Never Hurts....

Peace everyone....

I'm wrapping up the week here with a couple of movies, mainly Be Kind Rewind with Mos Def and Jack Black....Need to calm down before starting the work week(Oh Joy!!!_

I'm waiting for the next exhibit at the South Dallas Cultural Center. Saw a nice young artist named Jamaal Stafford with his exhibit entitled "This is 4 Da Streets"
He has some great work..

In closing I saw this on YouTube, and just thought I'd share it with you. Ya know every now and then a little goofiness never hurts. They say laughter is the best medicine. We need an overdose....Take Care y'all

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What is Lifestyles Of The Ignored?

Peace everybody.

It's 7:01p, and normally I don't blog on workdays because I fear one day my work mode will spill over into my other mode. But a few good leads have come my way in regards to my artwork and the project as a whole, so right now I am more prone to look at things as a positive. I was thinking this morning of how close I came to chuckin' it all in just last week, then The Assistance came. It's just a beginning, but everything on Earth started somehow, somewhere right?

Anyway I figured I would give everyone a brief glimpse of my project. The title of this particular project is called Lifestyles of the Ignored, and it is more than just the homeless, although the spark came from a picture of two homeless people. The idea just came to me, I was at work Thanksgiving 2006 with nothing to do. My department, which was dispatch, was virtually on call for the day. So seeing that I would be like Little Jack Horner, sitting in the corner with nothing to do, I told my acting supervisor that I will bring my pencil and sketch pad to work. She said "fine". She was one of those types that was proud of her hippieness(lol), but we became great friends before I left the job in April 2007. She also has one of my prize pictures in her possession as well.

Moving on, as I sat in a secluded area with nothing but my computer and some food in front of me I whipped out the pen and pad and went to work. The picture above was the end result.

I was very reluctant to show the picture, an example of my extreme shyness, but I braved it out and tacked the picture onto my cubicle. Then one young lady walked up to my cubicle and commented on the picture, and it took off from there. I went on a pastel binge, and since I was working around 10 to 11 hours a day anyway, I started smugglin' my stuff in the workplace and stashin' it in my desk. After 5:30p passed, it was on at my cubicle..

The real significance of this time period was that before that Thanksgiving evening, I had not touched a pastel, drawing utensil or paintbrush for 14 yrs. Yes 14 YEARS.... When I put away my artwork back in '92, I had no thought of going back to it. But my mom found out I was quitting, and asked for all of the remaining craft paint and dye I had stashed.

I guess it took a cause or something I felt passionately about to regenerate my interest. Before that time I was confined to doing portraits and stuff other people liked, but it was not my voice.

When I left the job, I had garnered the attention of even those people that I had antagonized. I had ticked them off by refusing to humiliate myself to some of the most Steppin Fetchit tactics to impose on a customer service representative. They hated my guts, but adored my work. So on my last day I wrote a long letter that promised my co employees that they will see a project entitled "The Forgotten". But a couple of things happened. One, the job banned lil' ol' me from entering the premises anymore, so I could not see my former co employees.

Second, after long spells of contemplating I came to the conclusion that poor people are not forgotten, but simply ignored. This government will always ignore the poor and downtrodden, regardless of whoever sleeps in the Master's bedroom of the White House. I will give Reagan some dap on the fact that he publicly expressed his dislike of poor people, while others smile and act as if they care.

I'll explain more later..... Take care.

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