It took over a month to finish writing all of these names of black folks killed by police brutality. I had only intended to use one small part of our fence for names, but as I kept learning and listening there was literally no space left to write after a while. I’m embarrassed that it took me this long to learn these names and the lives they lead.
Our landlords said my chalk art on the fence was causing harm and inviting vandalism and needs to be removed. I’ve sat and listened with people who have asked for chalk to write the name of their black friend killed by police violence. I’ve learned about every one of the lives of the folks whose names I’ve written. I’ve sat with parents who asked for help explaining to their children what is happening right now. I’ve cried with a neighbor when he brought flowers to put next to his dead friend’s name. This is not about me – this is about these black lives. Being told that chalk invites vandalism and needs to be gone just feels not great. My literal blood, sweat, and tears have gone into writing everyone’s name and I’d like to think of it as a work of art in support of BLM. I’m here. I’m learning. I’m listening. Your life matters.
These are the names of black people killed by police brutality. We’re all here to support this movement and amplify your voices.
Hello friends, I drew a thing again! It’s been too long! And it’s another small round bird: a warbler. He is very, very pleased to meetcha.
The male Chestnut-sided Warbler sings two song types; one is accented at the end, the other is not. The first is used before the arrival of the females and in the early nesting cycle. The second is used mostly in territory defense while the birds are raising young. Males that only sing one song type appear to be less successful at attracting mates than males that sing both songs. The early-season song has a musical quality with an emphatic ending, sometimes interpreted as “very very pleased to meet cha!”
The first cartoon character I ever loved and related to was Gogo Dodo, from Tiny Toon Adventures. He’s generally wildly joyful and prone to utter surreal nonsense. He creates his own bizarre world full of art and puns and foolishness and it’s beautiful and scary and confusing. Thank you for introducing me to surrealism and being a formative influence on me, Gogo Dodo. Here’s a drawing of what I imagine your skeletal structure to be.
Gogo’s father, Yoyo Dodo, first appeared in the visually fascinating and pretty damn offensive Porky in Wackyland (really aged like milk on the race front) in 1939. Yoyo Dodo was officially the last existing dodo. And Gogo Dodo is his son. Being something that by definition cannot exist is a pretty solid commitment to nonsense if I’ve ever seen one.
If Yoyo and Gogo and my father and I serve as anecdotal evidence, it would seem that gleeful malarkey gets passed down.
Another tiny round bird (to follow the golden-crown kinglet and junco)! Bushtits are very noisy and chattery small friends. They have a lot to talk about I guess. Like cracking jokes about their fantastic name. To protect their dignity, I guess I’ll mention that the “tit” part comes from the Old Icelandic “titr” meaning something small. They also weave fancy hanging nests.
10/10 top notch bird.
Shout out to my mom, who loves the bushtit and taught me to identify it (even if I can’t quite draw it right). Except I keep pretending that I don’t recognize what type of bird it is just to get a chuckle from my lovely, excitable mom saying “bushtit” over and over. Hi mom, I love you.
Juncos are all over here up in Seattle and have plenty of personality. Top notch bird.
Juncos are flocking birds with a distinct social hierarchy. They forage on the ground in these groups, scratching with their feet to find food. The flash of white tail feathers serve as a signal that alerts members of the flock when one is alarmed.
This fellow is the Golden-crowned Kinglet, and he is quite small and tough. I have yet to see one in person, but I hope to some day since they live around here near Seattle.
One of our tiniest birds, the Golden-crowned Kinglet is remarkable in its ability to survive in cold climates. Nesting in northern forest, wintering throughout much of the continent, it is usually in dense conifers which undoubtedly help provide shelter from the cold.
The Devil’s Hole Pupfish is a uniquely spectacular specimen. Considered the rarest fish on Earth, the entire species lives in a 2m x 4m pool in the middle of the desert near Death Valley National Park in California. It’s a one-inch endangered fish that lives in the middle of the desert. In a pool called The Devil’s Hole. In Death Valley. What a bold little species. You’re truly noble beasts, small friends. We wish you the best.
Huge thanks to Shaun Jex, who has some great insights about Pigeon Milk. I tried to capture your description. Please let me know if I got anything wrong. Going to submit this drawing to the bird encyclopedia to make sure the udders are accurately represented in the scientific literature.
Bird are hard to draw. Someone teach me how to draw a bird.
Another from my sketchbook. Pen and pencil sketch on the left. On the right is a midterm exam from an old notebook I found. If anyone could please “Define, explain, or comment briefly but adequately” on Pigeon’s milk (number 30) for me that would be amazing. I really need to know more about Pigeon’s milk. Please advise. For science.
I know it’s September, but here’s a merry reindeer for you. On the left is the final design for the front of the cards. On the right is some inspiration for it. Hand-drew a few of these cards to give to folks for the holidays. And had a lot of fun messing around with the lettering.
Whenever I travel to a new place and am exploring a new part of town, I scrawl little maps to carry with me in case I get turned around. Here’s about ten of them I made while exploring new neighborhoods in Madrid and trying to figure out metro stops for the two months I spent there. Always nice to have a scrap of paper in your pocket from past-you when current-you gets lost.
Cuando viajo a partes nuevos y exploro un parte nuevo de la ciudad, dibujo mapas pequeños en caso de que me pierdo. Aquí están como diez mapas que hice cuando explorando barrios nuevos en Madrid y tratando de entender el Metro por los dos meses que pasé en la ciudad. Qué bueno tener una hoja de papel en el bolsillo por tú-pasado cuando tú-presente se pierde.
I was lucky enough to be able to walk El Camino de Santiago from St Jean Pied de Port a while back with my parents. This is a sketch from night one hanging out behind the albergue with some sheep friends. Daily routine was to walk all day, shower, wash your clothes, hang them out to dry, eat dinner, then one of the following: 1) write in a journal, 2) do a sketch, 3) go grocery shopping, 4) get a beer with a friend, 5) baby your aching feet, then go to bed.
An absolutely amazing and challenging as hell time. Having body parts that work well enough to carry me across a country is pretty amazing and I’m grateful for them and everyone who was kind to us and needed kindness along the way. Anywho, that’s a quick sketch from the first night – the last night I had time to spend on drawing Things rather than rubbing my sore feet and getting cleaned up. Buen Camino, peregrinos. Take your time and enjoy the fact that we are lucky enough to exist.