So much has been happening that I had to really think about the future. I have been learning more and trying to sharpen myself on multiple levels. I have seen things and felt things that I haven’t before, and it is encouraging. Lets start with the spiritual meditations. We have been taught as Ras to be not of the World, and for some we got it, though it never ends. What has been the challenge is to be in the world for many. As I am taking the art to new places I am weary and aware of lowering my standards and abilities to fit into others desire of imagery, still as an artist the mind is moving. In many ways trying to catch up to the duties at hand.. This is when certain angels appear.
The first part of my meditations is realizing that I can make more art and spread more messages if I do a comic book format, pencils and inks. I also needed to get up to date with techniques and style. Being that I jumped into this cool title, I also realized I could show anyone the art till publishing. I also needed practice, so I went in deep. Learning what not to do as much as what works. I wanted to see differences of personality as well who was forgiving in their body language. I also realized so very interesting elements about comics, one being that people don’t kill or get offended as passionately when we use comic icons to describe situations. They may not be common domain legally, but most people have been programed to love Superheroes from birth. It is part of the common psychology of the modern western world but that which takes us to Greece, Egypt, India and Ethiopia. This mediation would take me to a deeper place in which I will go to in on the next post. Point is that fantastic heroes have been programed into us one way or another. In this time, though clearly not real, classic super heroes allow a space for freedom of thought/speech/ and situation to be used in a way that no one takes too seriously that they will take it personally. In a world were any message can be labeled, fiction allows room for something expansive.. I am going to share some art at this point and let some pictures speak….
This next piece was a bit rough, I was experimenting with the differences of using pencils in high contrast with compute clean up versus traditional inks. I also wanted to challenge the idea of what it means to be American. With Legend and friend Allen Bellman in mind, these next to Captain America pages use the icon to reflect on non partiality and blind patriotism. The second one is a quote from Jack Kirby in 1969..
On this page I was also practicing basic page and lettering ideas.. making the black and white about half and spread, though I realized that computer letters arent as good as hand letters. I look forward to making the next page to this at some point..now I am working on a lot of titles that are more direct with original characters…Here is the one of Captain America homeless in Chicago 2017..Quote from Jack Kirby…
I left it yellow and worn out looking for character..any way the art took me to new thoughts and also able to reason and relate with new people who wanted to share love and joy through the characters they related too..The first one is for Brother Frank and his soon-to be Bride, Cori, and I had fun..It has been hard allowing myself not to look at comics as immature, but when I remember the impact that some stories had and have, I realize that there is room in comic books for anything. So to give Mr. Todd Mcfarlane his due respect, this Hulk cover of Incredible Hulk 344 seemed like the perfect over the moon sweet piece. I tried to make it personalized while including every line Todd made. Lots of fun..Congrats, I look forward to the wedding.
Next is using different forms of inking while making it funky. The next are too pieces of Iron Fist. Using different methods of Inking. I would like to give Ras Jiro a Big Up for the Hip Hop Inspiration on the Iron Fist no. 1… Quote from Method Man.
Iron Fist Pencils:
OK, the last one was crude, but there is something relatable about Wolverine..he loves children and animals…also very forgiving to draw due to the deep personality developed over the years. All this is going somewhere other than a portfolio. Comic books are a gateway to reach new people that can expose them to other ideas with an open mind.. I noticed I began to relating to the youth in the community fast and have been asked to develop a drawing class for young people..More about that in a little bit.. As the sketches progressed and I worked on several titles while throwing out the occasional Marvel and DC characters I thought about how the titles I am doing are very smart about how they showed aggression or violence. While continuing with Album cover art, I started writing a script for my own title that was gritty and had no bars..with a revolutionary overtone..however I did not expect all that was going to happen next.. Next post: How to take comics where they have never been and own it… Letting the Holy Spirit Guide…
More to come.. Jah Bless!
Ras Elijah Tafari.