Big Floyd & Beyond

Posted to my Instagram June 1st, 2020: 
I drew this yesterday as I ruminated over the unfolding events this past week, this past month really. Every time something like this happens I become livid, infuriated. All this senseless death, whether in the street or busting down the wrong door, it has to stop! I'm sick of it, and the people are sick of it too. I don't think it's enough to just implement a few changes, we have to dismantle the system itself. We tried marches, kneeling, voting, policing our own communities, incorporating new technology, but the violence against people hasn't ceased in the least. The whole system is rotten and does not serve who we're told it is meant to serve. We must think of a new way to peacefully and compassionately maintain the rule of law among citizens, but before we can begin we ALL must acknowledge that this doesn't work. It's ridiculous! There's no excuse, none. I stand for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the countless others who have lost their lives senselessly to law enforcement officers and their vigilante counterparts. Black Lives Matter! Fight the Power! Dismantle the System! Rebuild for the Future!

And now, as I type this post, the first officer charged in the death of George Floyd has had his charge up'd to a more serious one, and the other 3 officers at that scene are being charged as accessories. All the protesting across this country (and others) is finally working in getting these officers charged for their crimes. But the work is not finished yet. Oh no. Far from it! Now it's time seek justice for all the others. And that justice lies not only with charging the guilty officers with their crimes, no. It will come once we bring down the racist system that has allowed all of these heinous crimes against American citizens to persist through the decades. The fight to dismantle the system has begun.

Never before has our society been inundated with so much evidence of police brutality, both before these protests with new stories coming to light, as well as during these protests as we all watch armor-clad, helmeted soldiers of the empire march onto the people "they're sworn to protect", cracking heads, macing faces, and popping off tear gas canisters. We're all watching in abject horror as our feeds get fed with video after video of such atrocities as a defenseless homeless person getting shot in the face, as a 75 year old man posing no real threat gets forced to the ground hitting his head, as an off duty cop rages at a little white girl showing her support for BLM with her homemade posters. It's becoming increasing clear that those charged to protect and serve our society have a predilection of antagonizing minorities while unquestionably protecting the rich and the property they hold. And this new widespread awakening of the American public makes me very hopeful for the future.

This type of thing has always been known by me and my peers, by my community and other adjacent communities. We've all known police are bastards and you just want to avoid them at all costs. We've all understood they are never really here to help you, and if given the opportunity just might hurt you, either physically or legally or both. 

That's right. My peers have all realized that the police can legally fuck up your life. Whether it's through a trumped up marijuana charge that ends up costing you months of your life and thousands of dollars, or if they roll up on you and think you're pulling out a gun with you paying the ultimate cost. It's real. It's been a reality for decades. And for all those decades we've been trying to tell our white peers that this is real but we kept getting met with groans and eye rolls, suggestions to not resist arrest, or you shouldn't do the crime or it's few bad apples etc. (although our poor white friends did understand being financially raped by the system).

Now the year is 2020, and with camera phones as ubiquitous as they are it is becoming abundantly clear to our white peers and others around the world that the U.S. has a serious systemic problem with the police. And as our feed gets fed with protest videos and images of protest signs the overall message of FUCK THE POLICE is coming out strong. 

As this thing has been unfolding, I've been reluctant to blatantly state FUCK THE POLICE, in this and other wording, in my feed because I have a friends and family that are police and I didn't want to alienate them. I did not want to come off as unsupportive of them specifically, even though I DO NOT LIKE POLICE. Well, I'm tired of pussyfooting around about posting the memes and mincing words. FUCK THE POLICE. DEFUND THEM. DISMANTLE THEM.

And to those police friends and family members who may be quick to tell me what a dangerous job they have or how they are one of the good ones and are fighting the good fight blah blah, just keep telling yourself what you need to believe to justify your career. In the end though, that's all it is, a career. I know you've worked tirelessly to get where you are, to earn your rank or whatever but it's just a job. 

Maybe you should quit. Stand down. Retire. Hand in your badge.

People quit their careers all the time, many of which have higher stakes than yours, both in danger and in pay. I mean, come on, are you really getting paid that much anyway? Is it really enough to justify "putting yourself on the line" everyday? Is the pay really enough to cushion you when you accidentally (or purposefully) shoot and kill a person? Is it worth all the paranoia you're putting you and your family through all day and night as you worry somebody will break in, shoot you, etc? Cuz, realistically, that doesn't really happen much, unless you're the police raiding the wrong crib. Is it worth being the hardened shell of person you've become, seeing and dealing with the things you deal with on a daily basis? Do you really feel a deep satisfying fulfillment in yourself when you come home at the end of shift, are you happy? If you've answered NO to any of those questions maybe it's time to consider a career in LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE. 

Seriously, and don't give me that "I wanna help people" bullshit because there are plenty of careers that do WAY more to help people than the police. Do you feel like you're helping people when you or your coworkers prevent others from feeding the homeless at the park? 

So quit. Nobody will think any less of you. In fact, it may be the opposite. I would actually be really proud of you if you handed in your badge. I would look at these crazy police brutality videos and at least sigh to myself that those certain family members and friends are no longer a part of such a violent, uncompassionate, and racist institution. Your mama and your grandma wouldn't watch the news with dread worried that somebody was gonna attack YOU at these protests. They would stop worrying about you in general. See? You'd be doing all of us a favor. GOOD COPS RESIGN.

And don't worry, you'll find another career, just pull yourself up by your bootstraps. 

And I as I finish writing this piece, I've just checked the news feed to find more police fatalities have taken place, one of which was a young 18 year old security guard on duty that was shot in the back. So don't tell me that you're one of the good ones. Unless you're exposing the corruption of "your brothers in arms" or you're on your way to arrest any of the countless officers who have gotten off scott-free after murdering a civilian, then you are not one of the good ones. GOOD COPS RESIGN.

And if you've considered all that I have written above, and seen all the insane footage of police beating up peaceful protesters, and you know full well that police officers have been getting away with heinous crimes (thereby UNDERMINING your beliefs in law and justice that you swear you uphold) and you still stand aside following orders, after all that you still feel the need to be an officer of the law then that's on you. It speaks volumes to your character and integrity as a human being. But from here on out I will proclaim FUCK THE POLICE and that includes you too.



Ink Slinging 2019

Killed it in 2019, all 31 days, plus 2 bonus pieces. See if you can follow along!

As always, the pieces which haven't been claimed get bagged up and thrown into my Art Bin, the one I bring when i table at shows. If ya see something ya like, holla!


Epic Slack

Welcome to the new decade. So, if you’re not aware I took an entire year off from my regular monthly website updates. This wasn’t a particularly planned thing, something came up. That something was a graphic designer position with the city. This opportunity popped up and I jumped on the application process as soon as I could, and true to form the city took it’s time in handling it. I applied late January, and then they retracted to position. As I was in contact with a hiring coordinator she informed me that the position would now become two positions and they would be up and open to the application process very soon. Those two positions posted up in June, nearly half a year after the initial job posting. Like I said, the city took it’s sweet time, which is actually expected. In that time of waiting I decided I needed to “clean up my act” online and IRL; social media became anonymous and privatized, I switched up my chemical intake so I was sure to ace the initial drug screen upon hire, and I stopped posting here because I didn’t want it to be so hot that this is my website.

I even scrubbed my full name from every instance on this site to enhance any deniability.

My posts from the last few years have been relatively safe so I wasn’t too worried about hiding any content, and I sure didn’t want to privatize the whole site because then my online HQ would be gone.
Half of 2019 I played the waiting game; waiting to hear back from the initial posting, waiting for them to post the two new positions (that took a couple of months), and finally waiting to hear back from the second application. Couple that with the detox I was going thru and it felt like an eternity. All in all, I didn’t get the job. I didn’t even get an interview. It’s par for the course for me, I NEVER get interviews. It’s a wonder I even got this job that I have currently. Can you blame me for being skeptical of the whole online job application process because I’ve never been offered a job interview? Starting with teenage job ventures to the post-grad frenzy of weeks of endless searching and posting and silence, to half a year ago as I sat patiently and anxiously checking my “professional” email inbox and coming up short each day. I’ve never applied for a job online with a result of getting an interview. Not the job, just an interview. Ever.

And so in the process of keeping quiet online I inadvertently stopped updating my website. My goal is usually to do at least one post a month to keep it current and to encourage me to keep holding down the art front. January passed, then February, then March, etc etc. The next thing I knew it was summer and I still haven’t updated this site. I decided then I’d make it a full year, keep it clean. But after that year I’d have to step it up a bit more (hustler talk for I’ll let it slide now but I gotta churn out more posts and content later).

It hasn’t helped that most of the work I’ve been producing all year is going into future publications and/or it’s client work that I can't exactly post all willy nilly. But in that slack of not having to post my nightly workings in the studio gone was the urge to complete anything in a more timely manner. Without monthly updates the sense of urgency waned and suddenly I have all the time in the world. That’s not good. I mean, it’s not bad either and shit could be worse, but that definitely doesn’t help. So this year I must, I MUST resolve to set deadlines and stick to them! I have projects so old some are starting Kindergarten this year, while another is damn near graduating 5th grade. I’ve been lost in my comfort zone all year doing what I want without having to show anything for it. In the meantime, even personal and studio upgrade projects have been sidelined and put on hold because...

 Studio upgrade projects include computer hardware and software upgrades, furniture replacement, lighting changes, and general organization and putting stuff away. When those projects get backed up it also makes it really difficult to press forward with the art projects.

Everything stays the same, nothing changes.

With the onslaught of a new decade here I am more than ever acknowledging that the time for change has come. Things have been fine getting done the old way but it’s time to step it up and change things around. Out with the old, in with the new. It’s time for new hardware, new software; more space in the studio, more light; it’s time to box up old media and other junk I don’t use, on the computer and IRL; time to archive old work and put it away to clear up space for the new work; it’s time to update this website and change how I use it and adapt it to how you use it. There’s no better time than now to evaluate and streamline the good ol’ work processes. Clearing out the clutter of the workspace, both physically in the studio and on the computer will do wonders for my headspace (and yours when you tackle your own cleaning). I’m looking forward to freeing up the RAM in my mind to focus on the new goals instead of dwelling and holding onto the old stuff. I’m looking ahead to completing projects so they can move on out and I can start the new ones. I’m ready to begin the block by block eradication of the clutter of ideas I have that has been piling and piling up like a runaway game of Tetris.

Time to chip away

So with that in the coming months expect to see changes happening around here. I intend to change this site up a bit, the graphical design but also the tactfulness and practicality of it's functioning. But if you think I'm ditching this to focus on a social media account you're high as hell. More than ever before I'm more firmly rooted in the idea that an artist should have a web presence separate of a social media account(s). It's not just a professional stance but a more mental-health conscious one. The internet used to be a big wild world and we used to actually surf it, but this last decade social media conglomerates have developed and tweaked their apps to where the internet funnels thru it and not the other way around. When you get online you head straight to one place, and that one place feeds you internet news and info. Now your incoming information is tagged, curated and optimized specifically to generate ad revenue at the expense of your privacy and attention span. I think when you have your own website, you break away from that social media format. Your "content" (I hate that word in this context) now exists in it's own web space where it can breathe, expand and be explained rather than just be a link to an article somewhere hankering for likes and shares.
That's another thing, likes and shares don't necessarily translate into dollars and sales. And here we are hooked to our phones, checking our latest posts following the numbers like they're gonna cash out and turn into actual skrilla. And look, I'm not knocking any of that. I too love to check the number of likes to my posts, count my followers, see how many people have checked my stories. But what I'm saying is we shouldn't give everything to the conglomerates just cuz we can't not look at our phones for 5 minutes. The thing about surfing the web was it took effort and decision making; you had to think for second about where you wanted to click next. When all your info is funneled into a single timeline and all you have to do is scroll, it removes the very component you're supposed to use when wading through the information super highway, your better judgement. And with such a sedentary task surfing the internet is it's the one thing you could exercise and now that's going away.
Hence the importance of having your own web space; break away from the curated timeline; break away from the imposed limitations and censorship you find in these timeline sites; have a fully dedicated soapbox to espouse your views and opinions, fully formed or not, without having to word it down for a timeline update.

You DON'T need to sign in to continue reading

The funny thing is you most likely have found this post thru a timeline site. And I will continue to post these updates because, hey, that's where all the attention is. Don't get it twisted, social media sites have their uses and advantages. But considering how much they take from us (look how rich they are off of our info) and how they use information against us (the 2016 election etc) it's long passed the time to step back and look at how we use the internet to spread creative ideas, personal stories, and of course (gag) content.
These days it's easier than ever to buy a domain name and throw up a custom website. If your vision is bigger than a profile page and your content is more that just selfies and work-in-progress shots you owe it to yourself to stake a claim of land on the internet super highway. Stop "renting" on social media, making other people rich. Keep all those good ideas for yourself and your site.
And that's what I intend to keep doing. As the months fly off the calendar this year the posts will once again continue to stack up on this site. My site. Where I can say and write and post WHATEVER I want without an easy way to complain or report it. Where you don't need to sign into your account to continue reading.
In the coming weeks I will be rearranging the format of this site to be easier to navigate and find things. I'm gonna clean house and attempt to get rid of what doesn't work and update and enhance what does. This site has been up nearly 9 years and while strides have been made with technology and how we interact with the internet, I've mainly kept the format the same here. So while it's important for me to know how you'll interact with this site, it's also important to me to get the posts up and out the easiest ways possible. It's a learning curve, but I welcome it.
I'm also offering a big welcome to any new fans, followers, and fellow creators! Happy New Year!



Over the Christmas break I was commissioned by my father to paint a portrait for my mother featuring her and the newest edition to our family, my nephew Ryder Enrique. As we were deciding what the image should be I remember seeing this pic grace my phone during the first weeks after his arrival. While it may have been just another pic in a series of many on one of the almost daily trips my parents took to visit the newborn, it stood out to me. I suggested the following image and away I went.

The source pic

I like to stretch my own canvases.
Canvas prep

under-painting sketch

Shaping up

The finished piece
Came in at the nick of time, finishing it right before gifts on Christmas day. Needless to say it left everybody speechless, so I'm glad we saved it for the very end of the gift exchange. Now there's a new painting up at my parents' and they can start to put away all the undergrad work they have hanging up. 😒

Happy New Year 2019!