I don’t ramble

It’s occurred to me that while I intended to vent verbally, I don’t actually. That’s why I’m an illustrator- because I vent visually.

With that being said, since Trump came into office seemingly an eternity ago, I’ve had a lot to vent about, and so have some of my friends. Billy and Katy Arnold, friends from back home, write these comics and I illustrate them. Enjoy our visual venting:

¡Cuba! Photos

In May of 2014 I traveled to Cuba (legally!) thanks to a research grant from Pratt Institute’s Faculty Development Fund. Since then I co-founded Cuban Artists Network , or CAN! And now we’d like your TAX DEDUCTIBLE donations to help bring art supplies to artists in Cuba. 

Also though, today an exclusive peek at photos from my research trip have been released. I traveled with acclaimed LA based photographer Kenneth Scott- and the photos he took are jaw dropping. Please check them out HERE! Scroll down, and enjoy! (And don’t forget to donate!

21st Century Trad Band!…

…is the title of the newest album by the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet. It is great! But don’t take my word for it. Read about it here, here, or here. GREAT music. And whoa! What’s that? They let me draw all over the album! Front cover! Back cover! Inside on both sides and on the disk too! You got an album surface? I’ll draw on it.

Released by Basin Street Records October 27th! OOOoohhh hello, that’s TODAY! So pick it up HERE right now!

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An Aside

I normally limit my blog to talking about artwork, but I want to bring attention to something that I think is important. I play the #TheColbertReport while I’m drawing and it’s great. I love the show. Stephen Colbert is brilliant and a great way to start my drawing day. However, it went to commercial break, and what I saw was shocking:

This commercial is offensive on so many levels that I’m not sure where to begin. Racist and Sexist – few commercials have either, let alone both. It propagates the stereotype that Asian women exist for the pleasure of men- refining their skills of pleasuring. Or, as the commercial actually states, “For thousands of years, the women of Asia have been mastering the Art of the Welcome: warmth and kindness… You can see it in their eyes.. feel it in their smile… Expand your world of dating, with women from Asia”.

First there’s the ignorant lumping together of all Asians with complete disregard to race and nationalities. Because when getting an Asian woman, does it really matter what kind? They all kind of look the same anyway, right? It’s like saying ‘Middle Eastern Women’- hey, Arab, Israeli, Persian, they’re all the same, or close enough. I’m sure they’d feel that way too.

If you don’t know the difference, if they’re just ‘Women of Asia’ you can also lump them together and say that for thousands of years they’ve been mastering the Art of Welcome. Perhaps it is the Japanese tradition of the geisha? Perhaps it was the sex industry that built up around American GI’s during the Vietnam war? Is it a basic cultural misunderstanding: what is social tact in one culture is seen as submission in another? I’m not sure what the stereotype is based on, but it definitely exists. Asian women are thought of as being exotic beauties who are submissive pleasers, there only to love you long time.

Objectification of human beings leads to very bad things. If you can think of someone as a thing, whether it be a pleasing thing or not, you don’t have to value them as a human, or see them as an individual. How are people able to kill? Because we can lump individuals into groups. It’s ok to hate ‘them‘ or kill ‘them‘ because they‘re one of thesethey‘re the enemy. So then what happens when you have obtained your Woman from Asia, and she turns out to have her own needs… or her own opinions? What if she, god forbid, has just as many faults as white women? Because she’s a human being too? Uggghhh… that is totally not what you signed up for.

Asiandate.com is not the same as jdate, christian mingle or black singles. Those other sites are geared toward dating within your race or religion. Asiandate.com is open only to men who want to expand their world of dating. The site publishes other videos featuring mostly middle aged white men who have successfully obtained a Woman of Asia. Which makes me wonder too- where are these women coming from?

While I know that mail order brides exist, that sex slavery exists and that women across the world are still subjugated and exploited due to extreme poverty, I was shocked to see such a clearly racist and subjugating commercial on cable tv. #ComedyCentral, this is not a joke. Don’t be part of the problem.

AMEC

I’ve been busy. Again. Super busy. But came across this old image I created for a science publication while I was trying to make space on my WD passport. It was a fun drawing to create and wasn’t sure if I’d posted it before. So it’s up on my website for now. www.susangyoung.com for more illustrations and stuff!amec

Cleaning House (adding animation)

I’ve just revised my website- I tweaked the bio, deleted the ‘news’ section (as this blog has replaced that), added SHARE buttons and created an animation section. I’d put it off, as revising my website (in my head) is laborious, time consuming, and generally overwhelming. But much like cleaning my house, once I’d done it, I realized how quick and easy it was, and wondered why I’d lived in squalor for so long.

Take a look! click here!

For Baton Rouge High, we raise our cry…

“… for the school we all adore ….”

So I hear that most people didn’t have a grand time in high school. Most people didn’t like their classmates from high school. Most people don’t say, “wow, I can’t wait to go to my high school reunion and see my old school!” But those people didn’t go to Baton Rouge High.

It was the magnet school for arty kids. No football team, no cheerleaders, but we had a great jazz band, radio station and musical theater- also a great debate team, mu alpha theta, beta club and chess team. For electives you could take Logic, Philosophy, or Yoga- and this was before yoga was hip. Just think, an entire school with nothing but kind of nerdy arty kids- it was great!

So this year they finished renovations on our dear old school and they added a TON. It is gorgeous. It is state of the art. They’ve added a tv station as well as upgrading their radio station. They have black box theater room(s) and practice rooms and a recording studio and an out door amphitheater. It was $58million and it shows. I actually have mixed feelings about this as it was the taxpayer’s $58 million and there is some dire need for charity hospital. But it’s done now, and so I will celebrate the gorgeousness of the school.

But I digress. This past weekend they had a grand opening and fund raising gala. They had asked artists to donate their time and talent by painting fiberglass bulldogs (mascot) to be auctioned off at the gala and so I volunteered. I made my bulldog jazz band themed as I played jazz in high school and it had a huge impact on me- I even ended up with a BA in music! I adored our band directors as they were invested in teaching us not only about music, but about life. They were tremendous people.

So for my jazz band bulldog, I painted instruments from various angles wrapping around the bulldog and then down one leg I painted the three BRHS band directors: Lee Fortier, John Gerbrecht, and Bobby Campo. Here are photos:

It’s all done in acrylic and took a lot longer than I originally anticipated it would. But it was fun and good to paint with real paint – I do so much digital these days!

This past weekend I flew down to Louisiana and toured the school and went to the gala (and my 20 year high school reunion!). At the gala I found two things:

1. My bulldog! On display and ready to be live-auctioned off!

 

and 2: Mr. Gerbrecht in the flesh!

He is such a great person. And I am SO glad that his family won the auction! I couldn’t be happier knowing it’s going to such a wonderful family and that it will mean a great deal to them personally. Yay for dear old Baton Rouge High!

 

Sarah R. Lotfi

Sarah is my niece. And she’s wildly talented. She’s had a passion for film her entire life. I showed her the insides of a camera when she was a toddler and her face dropped open, she gasped and said ‘whoaaaaa….’ as her little legs kicked in the air. I’m sure that’s what made her a brilliant filmmaker… right??

My niece has always loved costuming and history as well, so it’s no wonder she makes amazing period pieces now. She also has had to deal with a great deal. Her two younger siblings both have downs syndrome. Both. In this, her latest film, one of her leads has downs, and there’s lots of pyrotechnics as it’s a WWII movie, and I believe it’s in German as well. She’s impressive, my baby niece. But she’s not a baby any more! She’s 3! I mean, 23! She’s madly talented and a real go-getter. She’s often interviewed in the paper, she was a finalist in the Student Academy Awards for a previous film, she worked an internship for HBO, she somehow got donations to this film to be tax deductible, and is all round impressive. Would you like to see baby pictures? I’m her aunt, I can show you baby pictures.

From the film website http://www.menschenthemovie.com/:

“Menschen is an Austrian / USA co-production, from Belvedere Film, Slack Productions and Schuetzle Company. Sarah R. Lotfi first began developing the concepts for Menschen while she was in production on the award-winning WWII short The Last Bogatyr. Under the guidience of Robert von Dassanowsky, Menschen is a meticulously researched story that deals with the consequences of the Nazi’s T-4 euthanasia program and the value of life.”

At any rate, here is the trailer to her new film.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/44407508″>MENSCHEN Trailer – Bande-Annonce</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user6957249″>Anastasia Cummings</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>