Lost & Found

June 17, 2014 - Leave a Response

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I finally had the chance to throw down on a solo show at one of my favorite spots in NYC, myplasticheart store and gallery.  The show was titled “Lost & Found” inspired by my recent experimentation with found objects. Gallery shows are always a tricky thing for me and it’s super hard to predict how anyone will receive the body of work. I made sure to remember one of my favorite Andy Warhol quotes during the shows production “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While They are deciding, make even more art.”

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While the show was being set up on the inside, I was hitting up the outside. The kaNO storefront will run for a full year.

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DJ Chela always kills it, This is my second time using her for a show and she never disappoints. She totally gets the art and the tone I’m trying to set for the evening.

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The show looked great set up and I was happy to see how certain things popped off of the gallery wall. I shipped the artwork from CA to NY in several installments, so this was my first time seeing everything together.  The show was all set up and we where ready to rock!

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Once again, A big thank you to everyone who made it out to the show, it’s always awesome when I get to show work in my hometown. Almost all of the art work sold, but the remaining of the pieces along with the rest of the show can be viewed online HERE.

Dilla Day!

February 24, 2014 - Leave a Response

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February 7th marked the anniversary of the passing of legendary Hip-Hop producer J-Dilla. His life is celebrated internationally on this day throughout the Hip-Hop community. I was asked to design a T-shirt for Dilla day in Hawaii by the Lightsleepers crew. J-Dilla is responsible for so many of my favorite tracks in Hip-Hop, so I was super excited to jump into this tribute piece.

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All I needed was some reference and some Dilla beats to dictate the direction and mood.

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Once the line started taking form, I simply had to guide it. As a character designer who always has to stay within a said style, there is no greater pleasure then when I get free range to design something in my own style, without restriction of an animation production pipeline.

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Once I was happy with the design, I brought the image into Adobe Illustrator, vectorized it and did the color separations for the 3 color silk screen. The color scheme was inspired by those classic Rawkus records T-shirts that I wish I held on to.

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Emailed the file to the homies in Hawaii, and VIOLA! the shirts came out super fresh!!!

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The shirts where packaged with a “Donuts Are Forever” record tote bag and Free stickers. A portion of the proceeds went to the J-Dilla Foundation to help fight against Lupus. A huge shout out to Truest, sneaker and street wear boutique for holding down the event.

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Thank you to all the Dilla fans and to TRUEST for supported the release, I wish I could of been in town for it, but there’s always next year, Mahalos!!!

PEZ Bodega!

January 13, 2014 - Leave a Response

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Last but not least, we head over to Barcelona, Spain! where we close off the Bodega artist series with Pez! Pez’s trademark “Happy Style” was established in 1999 and has been making it’s way around the map ever since. The Pez (which means fish in spanish) has grown, multiplied, morphed and duplicated throughout the years, but the message of happiness remains the same.

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PEZ’s vibrant use of color makes his work pop right of the city landscape and flows fluidly throughout the city’s facade.

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When not on land, PEZ finds refuge in his natural environment…

PEZ has collaborated with some well known brands, such as Montana, Kidrobot and Marc Ecko to name a few, so it’s an honor to have him as part of the Bodega artist series line up.

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The PEZ bodega stands at 5.5″ with 5 points of articulation, this bad boy comes equipped with brass knuckles and an orange box cutter!

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As we close of the series, I’d like to thank all the vendors and fans that supported the rerelease of my Bodega figure and all the artist that made the series possible! The Pez bodega is available through DKE TOYS. For more Pez action, follow him on instagram @pezbarcelona

Full Circle

October 20, 2013 - One Response

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I recently got asked to be a guest speaker at the High School of Art & Design in NYC, it was a special honor for me since I graduated from the school back in 1995. The actual building that housed the old A&D I went to was demolished earlier this year, so I was given a full tour of the new school and facilities.
photo 1 photo 2Although I barely ever used them, nothing says art school like these little guys, lol.

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One of the coolest things that stuck out to me at the new High School of Art & Design was the tiling on one of the hallways, it’s a pixelated version of jimmy Palmiotti’s countdown 51 cover.  As you can see in the floor lay out above, Superman is clearly depicted on the hallway floor. For more pics of the new A&D click HERE, note: these are early work in progress pictures.
showsI’m usually so busy doing my art hustle thing, that I often over look how the animated projects I’ve worked influence younger artist coming up.  The three shows I’ve worked on that got the most reactions from the A&D animation students where “Batman The Brave and the Bold”, 4kids “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “codename: Kids Next Door”. It’s awesome to see the reactions from the demographic that they’re intended for first hand. I look forward to building and connecting more with the High School of Art & Design for future projects and lectures.

Fying Fortress Bodega (Dekorner Exclusive)

August 9, 2013 - Leave a Response

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Flying in from Germany, Art pilot Flying Fortress comes in for a landing with the Bodega artist series, featuring his classic Teddy Troops mascot. I’m a huge fan of bold and clean design, so I was super excited to get one of my favorite aerosol navigators on board.

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The Teddy Troops mascot has the capability to blend in seamlessly into it’s environment…

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… and at the same time, pop off of the inner city landscape.

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The Flying Fortress Bodega is limited to 100 pieces, and available exclusively at Dekorner’s online shop.

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Each Bodega comes with this limited edition giclee print, signed & numbered by yours truly, edition of 100.

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To make it a little more fun for all you collectors, I decided to grab 10 out of the hundred, I customized the caps white & blue, then shuffled them back into the mix.  These chase Bodega figures are signed and numbered by me as well.

Here’s Flying Fortress and Nychos putting in some heavy work!!! remember to swing by Dekorner to pick up your Flying Fortress Bodega!

~Peace!

My regards to Beaverton…

August 6, 2013 - One Response

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I’ve been very fortunate to work with some awesome clients in my career thus far, among them is Nike’s Jordan Brand. I grew up in the 90′s in what I like to consider the golden era of sneaker culture, this golden era was led by none other then the Air Jordan sneaker. I’ve been a sneaker head since my first pair of Jordan’s in the 6th grade, so you can imagine how excited I was to finally visit the Nike campus.

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It’s always the times when I’m alone…in a city I’ve never been to before, that I realize how blessed I am to do what I do for a living. I’ve been loyal to my art ever since I was a kid, it follows and I lead, all I have to do is believe (corny, but very true). You have to understand, I use to read the back of my Nike boxes before I went to sleep as a kid, the back read “Nike: Beaverton, Oregon, USA” growing up in NYC, that might as well read Mars. I threw my headphones on, tilted my fitted and  jumped on the train to Beaverton.

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I got off the train, and jumped on a Nike shuttle that drove me to the campus. After a long drive way, you get to the pearly gates of sneaker heaven, lol. I had to take a pic at the entrance for all my peeps back in NYC. This place is huge and majestic, I felt like I got dropped off at Professor Xavier’s school for the gifted.

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These time capsules are buried and sealed throughout the campus, can’t even imagine what type of awesome stuff is stashed away for future generations to open up.

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On my way to the Michael Jordan building I pass the Bo Jackson building, it’s like my childhood memories full of Nike commercials are all playing at the same time, I mean… this is where BO KNOWS! was born!!! The inside houses a huge Basketball court which is where most NIke basketball commercials or filmed.

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I walked a little more, passing Nike employees that where all rocking rare Nike Air Roshes and Retro J’s. I never went on campus orientations when picking out a college, but this is what I imagine that feeling like. I was straight up a kid in awe of every detail. I hit this huge lake in the middle of the campus, surrounded by all the Nike buildings, Japanese garden, and several soccer fields, football fields and tennis courts.

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The Nike campus isn’t just corporate, it’s a fully functional sports complex where athletes try out all the latest products, I got to take in a little bit of a Woman’s soccer game that was going on. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t waiting for some Brandi Chastain action to commence, lol.

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My Pops would be very happy to know that there was a huge Bronze statue of Ronaldo by the soccer field, Goooooooooaaaaaaaaalll!!!!!

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The buildings are adorned with these full color banners of all of Nike’s athletes, past and present. The MJ banner is the only one in all red, love it! For my LA peeps, you’ll be happy to know that Kobe was right next to MJ.

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I had to stop in my tracks when I got to the MJ building, I mean this is where it all goes down, no matter where things are outsourced, they are designed here! At this point I linked up with my art director at Jordan Brand and went upstairs to the design floor where it all goes down. NO cameras allowed of course, but it was awesome to meet some of the artist and execs behind the brand. Some of the designers had stuff on their desks that I had designed for Jordan brand in the past, which was awesome to see. I got to see how they picked out patterns, fabrics, styles and fits. I’m not exaggerating when I say there were Jordans everywhere! Jordan brand is an awesome place to work and despite all the revisions and notes that designers go through in the process of making one shoe design, I bet they’re pretty proud to be part of such an awesome brand.

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I took one last picture in the lobby before I left, it was one of the most inspiring and humbling experiences I’ve recently had. You see, I wasn’t just there on a tour, I was there meeting up with an art director I’ve had the pleasure of working with remotely since I lived in NYC. I give this art life my all and it never steers me wrong, not everyone makes it, but if you don’t bust your ass….you don’t stand a chance. The Mets hat came with me on this trip because I had to make sure that everyone who reads this post, knows that Queens was in the building…the MICHAEL JORDAN BUILDING!!!

Tristan Eaton Bodega (BAIT Exclusive)

July 27, 2013 - Leave a Response

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The Bodega artist series continues with art power house and fellow B&A rep artist Tristan Eaton! Tristan is one of those inspirational artist who is always on the move… from murals, toy design, corporate branding to fine art in a high end galleries, he’s got it covered. Tristan Eaton’s orange Bodega features his classic Amazon Queen, which should be familiar to many of his fans. Limited to 100 pieces, the Bodega was released at BAIT’s flagship store in Diamond Bar, CA.

001TristanxkaNOnewdate2_bait_tk_bodega4_bait_tk_bodega3_bait_tk_bodega21_bait_tk_bodegaIt’s always fun to meet peeps that collect our work, thank you for the support!

002kaNOXTrisshirtflyerAs part of the evenings events, we collaborated on this T-shirt promotion for the first 30 fans to purchase a Bodega.

7_bait_tk_bodegab1151adee02b11e291b222000a1f98fa_711_bait_tk_bodegaBait did a great job on the shirts, and if you missed out…you can cop it HERE!

…and if for some weird reason you know who I am and don’t know who Tristan Eaton is? well, CNN did a feature on him just for you!

a584f0cac8a411e29a5b22000a9f15d6_7Thanks again for all the support guys!

Citizen kaNO at the MoMA

June 10, 2013 - Leave a Response

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I’ve been going to Art museums since I was a kid, a credit I owe entirely to the NYC Public School system. Those class trips had a profound influence on what I do till this day. As a kid one of my favorite parts of the trip was ending up in the gift shop checking out books and souvenirs.

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The Museum of Modern Art is one of my favorite art museums in NYC. While back home on a short trip, I managed to land a meeting with one of the MoMA Design and Book Store buyers. The meeting resulted in them officially carrying my book -“CITIZEN KANO, The Art of The Hustle”!

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The MoMA Design and Book store is located in the actual Museum of Modern Art on 11 W53rd Street in midtown. The museum averages 2.5 million visitors a year, so I’m definitely psyched about the exposure!

CK-book-at-MoMAFront and center with some really good company! I’d be fronting really hard if I said I wasn’t super psyched about this. For those of you who don’t have the book, it has forwards by Jackson Publick creator of Adult Swim’s The Venture Brothers, super cartoonist Stephen Destefano and Ray Wong from Intricate Concepts.

Picture_3CITIZEN KANO is the first official published collection of my work, mainly capturing my works from 2007/08. This book has a little bit of everything, character designs, illustrations, paintings, Graff sketches, toy designs and toy customs.

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The book retails for $25 USD, if you don’t have a copy yet, show your support and pick one up from the MoMA store the next time you visit the Museum ;)

A special thank you to Brand Studio Press for making the book happen and to my awesome sister Izay for snapping these pics for me.

Paying my respects…

June 4, 2013 - Leave a Response

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8917_144807699314_341767_nLoosing people in your life never gets easier, no matter how many times it happens. I lost an old friend this weekend who left this earth way too soon. Alexis was a super talented artist and a great friend. We both graduated from the High School of Art & Design, followed by The School of Visual Arts. Upon graduation we both went our professional routes and kept in contact throughout the years. Alexis went on to a blooming design career in the music biz, working with some of her favorite recording artist, something I always admired. She was a beautiful spirit that came along with tons of jokes and snappy comebacks, my favorite type of girl. I’m choosing to celebrate her life, rather then mourn at this moment, I truly believe it’s the way she would of wanted it. Her memory will live on through all of her friends and family, here’s a little snippet of one of the last convo’s we had, gonna miss you a lot homie…

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Pencil Mileage…

May 30, 2013 - Leave a Response

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When I was younger I use to focus on speed and pencil mileage when it came to drawing, this was drilled in us at SVA’s animation department. The mentality of it was…the more you draw, the more bad drawings you got out of your way before the good ones came along. I never questioned it, because at the time 2d animation was huge and it made total sense.

Years after graduation I came to the realization that pencil mileage, just like any other type of mileage needs focus and direction, otherwise you’re just driving in circles and not going anywhere.

Slow down, look at a map, study the options before hitting 90 mph. I learn to slow down and pay attention to what I was doing, I didn’t feel a need to fill up a sketchbook every week anymore. My sketchbooks became more of an exploration and study of where my lines could go and what they could form. I guess in short I am saying….pay attention to what you’re doing and stop rushing your work, it’s important to give it the attention it deserves.

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