Throughout my transition, I’ve drawn a lot of images. Some transcribe specific moments, like the first drawing on this page: a portrait of the first trans man who ever acknowledged me publicly. A friendly wink that made me feel seen and included - a moment so innocent and also powerful that I will never forget.
The latter two images are more (what I would call) emotional transcriptions - the subjects are only as specific as the period of time I was navigating some complicated feelings. It has been obvious to me for awhile now that my best work comes out of honing in on the feelings behind the drawing, which I feel these three exemplify.
Coloring Without Borders
I am honored to have contributed to “Coloring Without Borders” - a bilingual activity book distributed to children separated from their families at the border. The instructions were simple: a English + Spanish prompt with a drawing that does not use outlines or borders.
From the Families Belong Together website:
Coloring Without Borders is the culmination of work from artists all over the world who contributed pieces of art for children to complete.
The intent is for the book to help children separated from their families at the border to expand their imaginations beyond the walls that confine them and to be a source of empathy and compassion for families that live free of the struggles that migrant families are enduring.
All proceeds go directly to Families Belong Together.
I was approached by the Ren Wen Noodle Factory to design and paint a mural for their flagship restaurant. Following their prompt of wanting a “graphic Normal Rockwell” and taking nods from some of my favorite “New Yorker” covers, I executed this 26’ x 5’ mural across the span of 9 days. The color palette uses their brand yellow as a jumping off point, utilizing shades of it in combination with cool grays to help establish the space without distracting from the scene taking place before you. Pops of red and green round out the palette, lending pops of color to the food and creating appeal.
Rifling through my archives, I’ve plucked out these gems from what seems to be my tendency to draw weirdo animals. All images are hand-drawn and colored using Photoshop.
For this poster, my third in a series for the traveling show “Art Crank”, I wanted to recreate the exhilaration and freedom that I feel when riding a bicycle. Living in Brooklyn but being from a rural area, I am often nostalgic for quieter places, and this poster fuses that with my ideal way to experience nature: via bike. The color palette is inspired by moonlit nights in the mountains of Vermont, creating a dreamlike atmosphere to match the surreal imagery of riding with all of the woodland creatures featured. This is a limited edition 5 color screen print - 40 total, 18”x24”.
We all know it: breakups are hard. I animated this little GIF of myself to work through the aches a pains of a recent loss - reminding myself of the importance to be gentle with one’s self and to take time to look at one’s feelings.
This poster is the second in a series for the traveling show “Art Crank.” I wanted to recreate a scene from my solo bike ride through the Alps in southern France. The blue-green foreground and sky colors evoke the crystal clear skies and lakes of this summer landscape, while the red mountain mirrors my apprehension of the climb ahead. I chose to play on the phrase What goes up, must come down for this piece, because in cycling it also feels that the opposite is true: what goes down, must also come up. This is a limited edition 3 color screen print - 40 total, 18”x24”.
This piece is inspired by my love of Sci-Fi movies, and draws from my childhood days mimicking illustrations from X-Men comic books. Nodding to 1950’s movie posters, I relied on yellow, green and black to treat the subject, while choosing a menacing red to contrast the laser from the astronaut, accentuating the slice it is making across the composition.
“Ladyfest Upstate” hosted a poster competition to promote the music festival. I crafted this Afro-punk frontwoman mid-stage jump: blissful, elegant, and powerful all at once. The orange palette soaks her in stage lighting, while a dappled starscaped sky and a simple tangent of silhouetted trees anchor us in the forests of upstate New York.
I had a blast animating this heart beat loop for the “Rhythm” music video by Deetron (dir. Charles De Meyer). The only parameters were that it had to be a perfect 1 second loop, allowing me to freely concept this exhausted heart.
Ode to Pappy
“Ode to Pappy” is a personal piece dedicated to my stepfather. I created this single page comic for him, using my brothers adaptation of “The Beverly Hillbillies” theme song, where he affectionately pokes fun of my parents’ retirement plans to homestead in Vermont. Inkjet print on canvas, 11” x 14”.
I created this short film for a “Friday the 13th” film competition at the School of Visual Arts. The only requirement was that it was on theme, so I took the opportunity to ponder what a day in the life of the horror film star would look like. You know, when he’s not killing people.