Tag Archives: African American Art

1001 Black Men–#424

The yellow in these guys’ clothes represents their construction safety vests. There’s a lot of construction going on in the East and Southeast parts of Oakland. I’m not quite sure what they’re doing to Highway 880, but the overpass at High Street near Home Depot hasn’t looked right for months. Then there’s the construction on the Oakland Airport BART extension. That’s the construction project depicted in the photo I’ve incorporated into drawing. These guys were working on the extension at the point where it will run along Hegenberger, I liked the way their hairstyles and beards seemed to be complimentary–short hair vs. long hair, headband vs. no headband, full beard with no mustache vs. goatee with a mustache. It might seem like a silly reason to remember someone, but I love patterns and pairings, even in human beings. Of course, these guys were like a magnet for my nerdy pattern-loving gaze.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men–#392

I passed this guy on my way into the High Street Walgreens. It was his eyes that I noticed. It might sound like a cliche, but there seemed to be something in his gaze that was wise, worldly and a little bit sad, and that’s not something I often see in the eyes of someone so young. He seemed to be about 18 or 19, but his gaze seemed to suggest a lifetime of experience. I always associate the late teens with feelings of hope and invincibility, but he looked less hopeful and more vulnerable that I am accustomed to and even comfortable with seeing in young Black men. I’m going to have to think about why that might be…

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men–#230

Two-hundred and thirty drawings down and Seven-hundred and seventy drawings to go!

I chatted briefly with this slim and stylish fellow-artist at the Dick Blick store on Broadway (across for the California College of the Arts). We were both agonizing over the various thicknesses and colors of the Micron drawing pens. I think the guy behind the counter was a getting a little impatient, but understandably so. We were not only bonding over the fact that we both used Micron pens, but also over the fact that we both liked the same thickness of line and both of us only ever used black ink.

To this slim and stylish micron-pen-loving guy I make the following request: If you happen to stumble onto this blog and if you happen to recognize yourself, do drop me a note with a link to your own online gallery or even an invited your next gallery show. I’d love to see your work. We pen-obsessed sketch artists of Oakland have to stick together.

8-Rock

1001 Black Men–#224

The Comic-Con sketchbook returns! When I saw this guy with the skinny tie and green hair ┬áin an ’80s-style ‘do, I couldn’t stop looking at him. He reminded me of the cool punks and new wave dudes I used to see at all ages show at the E.B.A. Chapter House in Albany. Consequently, I given this figure a, like, totally ’80s backdrop in muted ’80s colors.

8-Rock

PS: I never was able to quite figure what character this guy was supposed to look like. Maybe he was the Black joker? I really wish I’d asked.

1001 Black Men–#219

From the Comic-Con Sketchbook: This drawing depicts three friends I spotted waiting in line for the Guild Wars panel. If you are unfamiliar with Guild Wars (as I was) it is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game or MMORPG that–unlike its competitors–does not charge its subscription fees. Consequently, it has developed a deeply loyal fan base, including the three men in this picture.

8-Rock

1001 Black Men–#218

In today’s post I’m returning to my 2011 Comic-Con sketchbook. This drawing depicts one of the many hopefuls I noticed each day as I walked past the waiting area for the annual portfolio review. I always marvel (no pun intended) at the commitment and optimism of these folks, who spend a significant chunk of their Comic-Con weekend waiting in line to have their sketches reviewed by a comic book company editor,all in the hope that they will be picked up as an illustrator.

Some Comic-Con attendees express their love for comic books, fantasy, animation, and sci-fi through their fanatical participation in role-playing games, others through dressing up like their characters, and still others through their encyclopedic knowledge of every aspect of the fantasy world in which their favorite characters live. The men and women who sat waiting patiently for a portfolio review represent still another type of fan, the kind whose love for the medium or genre has driven them to develop skill and expertise in the creation of their preferred art form. Such is the case, I’m sure, with other fan gatherings, like the various Atlanta’s A3C, and Austin’s South By Southwest. While many of the aspirants to hip-hop, rock, and country music stardom desire to take center stage, though, Comic-Con’s legions of aspiring comic book artists, costumer designers, animators, and production designers prefer to work behind the scenes to create the imaginary figures and landscapes that shape others’ fantasies and dreams.

8-Rock