There are multiple mental-health benefits to journaling. I write daily. That's why I developed a line of dot-grid journals with covers featuring my original art. I modeled the manuscript after my format of choice. The journals are available in hardcover and paperback exclusively at Amazon! My goal with this series of books is to help you find yourself through self-exploration and documentation of thought. Record and recognize your patterns. Your greatest investment is in yourself.
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In 2006 I was initiated into the Lukumi faith as a Santera of Yemoja Mayelewo, Oni Oni. To date, this has been the most profound and self-enriching thing I have ever done. The artwork featured on this journal pays tribute to the three pillar female Orishas: Oya, Yemoja and Oshun. The original was featured in the exhibition Divine Feminine at Arts Garage in Delray Beach, Florida. Whether or not you practice Santeria, you will feel the power of these entities in nature, humanity and your own sub-conscious.
Tigers are my spirit animal. (I'm not sure if that's true, I've not taken a Buzzfeed test or anything.) I have always held a fascination for the creatures. They are fierce, powerful predators with a reserved, unassuming demeanor. Their loyalty goes untethered. Tigers find their way into my illustrations frequently. She Roars is a nod to my mother, the Queen of everything. She protected my sister and me, fostered our interests and armed us with the knowlege and support to be strong, independent women. Actual quote as my mother, 16 year old sister and 10 year old me were tearing up carpeting and re-painting the living room: "I'm not raising two helpless women. You're going to learn how to do things for yourself."
Byakkotai is the product of downtime while at my boutique speakeasy tattoo studio The Urban Machine in Miami's graffiti-rich Wynwood District. I have since moved on from that location, but my practice persists. And once again my headliner is a noble tiger. The story begins with my self-dubbed title "Creative Ninja." Upon further research I discovered Ninjas, cool as they may be, are like 99¢ hit-men, taking on any contract they are presented with for just about any compensation. The noble and protectors of nobility are samurais. I upgraded my resume to "Creative Samurai" before settling upon "Creative Sophisticate." The Byakkotai, or "White Tiger Unit," was a group of around 305 young teenage samurai of the Aizu Domain, who fought in the Boshin War (1868–1869) on the side of the Tokugawa shogunate. I am white, I love tigers, I kill it in my studio and Miami is famously known as "The 305." Read more about this band of young soldiers on Wikipedia.
My Samurai Tiger serves in the home of a tattoo client whose tattoo was completely unrelated. He saw my alarmingly meticulous drawing and had to have it. Mission accomplished.
This piece is very near and dear to my heart. I drew it for a very good friend who has always been there for me. She's the kind of friend that we don't talk every day, or even every week, once it was years...but when that text pops up it's like no time lapsed at all. This Demon is within all of us. He's goodly scary, maliciously kind and harmfully supportive. I had no real vision in mind as I started to draw. It was automatic, and if you believe in Automatic Writing, then you may believe that The Devil herself guided my hand. I don't believe in any of that nonsense. Satan is a Christian concept and they can have it. My religion teaches no hate, preaches no recompense and fosters no fear. I have always been drawn to the macabre and horrific. Perhaps I too "am strange and unusual." Look closely at this guy's essence. He is bold in appearance yet awkward in application. He can't open a door without scratching the knob. But does he intend this destruction or is he simply unloved and therefore ungroomed to navigate his way? My friend and I dissected our feelings with such filters. I drew this to remind her keep the course. We're all delicious and sour. Everything is medicine and poison, the difference is dosage.
Where my BMXers at? This is a true throwback piece from 1996. I remember sitting on my mom's couch with my 20-inch Diamondback Reactor positioned in front of me. My substrate was a cold-press toothy paper and my pencils ranged from 6H to 6B plus Ebony because black is not black enough. I was using one of those blonde wooden TV trays from Kmart (or similar). We did everything on this folding desk technology: smashed toes, pinched fingers and most importantly kept from actually having to talk to each other during dinner.
I was a tall girl, so at 22 years old and 5'10", my BMX bike and I were somewhat unmatched. I'm more than twice that age now, same height (thankfully) and still whipping on 20-inch blades.