Inspiring stuff Tag

Butterfly in the Sky (Reading Rainbow) – Trailer

This is a really inspiring documentary about “READING RAINBOW” featuring the creators of the incredible show that touched so many of us as youngins. PLEASE watch it, rent it, go see it in theaters, share it. It’s all about spreading the love of reading and learning. #readingrainbow #Documentary #ButterflyInTheSky

Dig this? Check out my last art print “I’m a Reader”

VIDEO: My Fav Art Books 4

Somehow I forgot to post this video here last year. I think after Palestine and moving my brain went alesewhere but here is a video of some of my favorite art books. Check it out! Note: I define art books as mostly pictoral books exploring various generes of art such as photography, fashion design, illustration, animation, filmmaking, cooking, dance, public art, and more. its not everyone’s cup of tea as far as “art books” go, but its my absolute jam. A mix of styles, interests, and disciplies. Enjoy.

Dig this? Check out My Fav Art Books 3 or cop my first art book “Art of Rob”.

Open letter to SCWBI + their response

So a week agao I saw Danielle Davis, Sarah Proudman, Hatem Aly, Omar Abed, and M.O. Yuksei draft a powerful letter calling out the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCWBI) for their silence on thousands of Palestinian children being killed by the Israeli and US govt. You can read and sign that letter here: LINK

And this was the Scwbi response. You can read the entire response here.

My thoughts: They are a pro Israeli institution but don’t want to say it plainly. They voice support for other countries but ignore Palestine. I feel like they have been problematic for a long time too. I have a hunch and feeling that the only reason they have included more opportunities and grants for Black folks or people of color is because the people demanded it from the industry. If you’re a former member like me or a current member, let me know what you think right now. What’s your take? Doesnt matter if you agree or disagree with me. I know the talk I see from fellow authors isn’t one of praise. This stance though is wack. It relates to book bans for me too. Why? There are lies groups like them, mainstream US media, and other forces are trying to protect. The truth? Still putting my finger on what that is.

This is a post I wrote about my visit to their conference back in 2010 or 2011. Some things about them were very positive. But I couldnt shake the feeling that Bipoc were ignored or an afterthought back then and I still feel it today. It feels like the few Bipoc, Queer, Muslim creators who are highlighted are not enough and that they are comfortable with the stats where they are. Could they improve? Maybe, but if I have to explain the meaning of genoicde to you in the context of Palestine right now and you still don’t get it, I think you don’t want to see it. I feel like we should build something in their place for those in the kidlit world who do support a ceasefire and who value Bipoc communites from the beginning, not as an afterthought.

To all kid lit organizations, agencies, publishers, etc . Don’t be a quiet org afraid to learn. Speak up and speak out. Talk to children about the Nakba, about ethnic studies, critical race theory, gender, sexuality, politics, etc at a level they can understand. Stop bitching about making white Jewish, white, heterosexual, or conservative families feel discomfort. We all need to know each others actual lived experiences and histories from as many sides as possible or “never again” will be visited upon so many more. Whether your kids are comfortable or not, there are hella kids who are experiencing racism, genocidal governments, anti trans hate, and so many other things already, now.

To get a broader context of who is in the kid lit industry from publishers, editors, and agents check out this survey by Lee & Low Books. Animation needs a survey like this too. Thank goodness for the Geena Davis Institute studying how girls and women are portrayed in film. I know I’m not perfect or the moral authority on anything but I’m glad to see Scbwi called out. I’m glad I’m seeing more kidlit folks speaking out, and I believe we all have more to learn and we all must be brave.

Dig this? Check out this post about the Road to Apartheid or see the trailer for Israelism

Inspiration Board 44

Hey fam, I hope you’re well. Whew with life this past year and moving, war, family health, inspiration has gone down the tube. I mean, I still read, listen, watch, feel, and experience but I have felt exhausted and uninspired to keep it real. I still create because I’ve been doing this for a long ass time, but sometimes it needs to be said that you don’t feel it. Anyway, for the past 6 months or so these are some things that fed or made me feeeeeeel.

Starting from top to bottom, left to right:

  1. The Purpose of Power – book by Alicia Garza. Reallly great read and reminder that the fight is long ahead (Organizing/Activism)

2. Texas Book Festival – 1st time visiting this historic book fest in Austin,TX. Shout out to Lee & Low, Reading Rockets, and the Fest (event)

3. The Spirit of the Palestinian People! – With over 75 years of colonialization they still stand and it is both painful and inspiring to have to witness time and time again. Thank you to the everyday people and the Palestinian organizers! (Resistance)

4. Dr. Marc Lamont Hill– Marc has been doing a lot of work to question society from multiple viewpoints and I’m thankful (Journalism)

5. Bisan Wizard– I’m in awe of this young journalist who has been sharing news in Arabic and English, risking her life to show us what US, European, and Israeli wont; what is happening is genocide (Journalist)

6. Jewish Voice for Peace– BIG shout out to my Jewish fam in the US acting up and showing out to show solidarity and prove that questioning Zionism does NOT equal antisemitism. They have lifted the veil for many Jews, Christians, Muslims, and atheists alike. (activists)

7. Olivia Dean – Love this singer songwriters music. Check her out! (music)

8. LaRussell and Tietta – This duo’s work to put their name, art, and biz savvy has been inspiring to watch. From Vallejo Ca (Business/Art)

9. Maurice Carney – I loved learning about what is happening in the Congo from Maurice of “Friends of the Congo” (Activism)

10. Frizzy – Graphic novel about hair, self acceptance and mentorship (Graphic Novel)

11. Sara Trellez– There’s something lifee giving and undesribable about this dance routine Sara gives. I could see and recognize the years of work, talent, research, and history she put into this (Dance)

12. Lowkey – This MC from the UK came to me through my boy Pele. I’m so happy I found Lowkey because his skills and wit inspired me. So smart and so relentless! (Hip Hop)

13.  Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers? – Shout out to Angela Dalton who showed me this book. Contrary to what adults may think, these are exactly the kinds of questions I think kids can and should grapple with. Policing has got to go (Kid Lit)

14. Motaz Azaiza– Brother Motaz is an incredibly talented and brave photographer who once again is showing us in English and Arabic what the regime of Israel is doing to the people of Palestine. Genocide. (Photography)

15. Amanda Seales– I’ve watched Amanda go through being an MC, a singer, a poet, actor, and now social media activist who has challenged and critiqued not only Israel but many other things. And she’s not just talking, listen-you’ll see in addition to living shes also studied! (Social Media)

16. Artie and the Wolk Moon– Great GN about a young Black girl who learns she is part werewolf!! Perfect for older elementary students and middle grade readers (Graphic Novel)

Did you miss the previous inspiration board? Here it is, plus a few more

Inspiration board 43

Inspiration board 42

What’s this? This inspiration board is one of the ways I stay inspired and sane through all of life’s trials, and tribulations, work, etc. I’ve been making inspiration boards full of films, books, music, events, people, artists, movements, and more for over a decade. Do you have an inspiration board? Please share in the comments. Who am I? My name is Rob Liu-Trujillo and I’m an artist working in kid lit, public art, and other disciplines. Go to my website, or follow me on IG or YouTube. You can also cop my first art book here.

Stuff I’ve Been Listening To 25- More SOUL

Flwr Chyld Featuring Sebastian Mikael ( Georgia-US) – Eucalyptus 2023

I discovered this jam through Sebastian Mikael and LOVE Flwr Chyld’s production style!! Incredible feel for good soul!

What is this? This series is called “Stuff I’ve been listening to” and this is my place to share music that I listen to while I work, process, decompress, and live life. Some of it is new, some old. But I’m always listening. I share in the hopes that you will find something that inspires you. Please share with a fellow music lover.

Cleo Sol ( London-UK) – Go Baby 2023

If you haven’t heard Cleo Sol yet, do yourself a favor and listen to this singer songwriter’s work as a solo artist and collaborator w/ folks like Sault, Little Simz, and more.

Moonchild (Los Angeles, US) – Too Good 2021

I first heard Moonchild some 5 or 6 years ago. They are primarily a trio that plays a blend of Jazz and Soul. Very talented group that writes and produces their stuff.

Olivia Dean (London, UK) – No Man 2023

On a weekend bday trip my wife was playing some music on Spotify and this song came on. I had to rewind it of “course and discovered an amazingly talented young vocalist from the UK. “Ladies room” from this LP and “Be my own boyfriend” are also my jam.

Adi Oasis (Brooklyn, US) – Mystic Lover 2022

I came across Adi aka Adeline playing a bass cover of Patrice Rushen’s “Forgive Me Nots” and was blown away by this bad add bass player and singer songwriter. She’s originally from France but has called the US home for awhile.

Brainstory (Los Angeles, US) – Dead End 2019

Can’t remember how I came across this group, but they are on Big Crown Records who have been consistently been pumping out some of the most gorgeous Soul from a multicultural cast of characters in LA and beyond.

Sam Willis (Hastings, UK) – Don’t Doubt It 2023

Can’t remember how I came across Sam, I think another artist I follow mentioned him. Either way, solid single!!

AstralBlak AKA Zulu Zuluu (Minneapolis, US) – Fades 2016

I love this group. They started off as Zulu but changed their name to AstralBlak.

Jennah Bell w/ Claudio Olachea (Oakland, US) – Can You See it? 2023

I first heard Jennah Bell maybe 10 years ago and have loved a little bit of everything she has put out since! She’s a versatile singer, songwriter, and guitarist from my home town! If you dig her too, check out “Hammer”, “Another Louisiana”, or “Candied Daylight”.

And here are some even older joints…

Maxwell (New York, US) – Sumthin Sumthin MellowSmooth 1997

We all love Maxwell, but unless you watched the first love scene in the film Love Jones you might have missed this remix of the classic “Sumthin Sumthin” on the soundtrack. Still hits!

DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ayah (Philadelphia US/Toronto CA) – Maybe We Can Just 2011

DJ Jazzy Jeff and singer Ayah did this EP project mixing some old and new for a fly blend of soul back in 2011 or 2010. Hear the whole project here.

Anita Baker (Detroit, US) – Talk to Me 1990

Grew up on this woman’s music playing on the living room stereo. This is one of my favorites from Ms Baker.

Stevie Wonder (Los Angeles, US) – Superwoman 1972

Classic deep cut from Stevie!!

DIG THE MUSIC? THERE’S MORE! 

STUFF I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO 24: SYNTHS
STUFF I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO 23: MORE JAZZ
STUFF I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO 21: RAPS
STUFF I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO 18: HOUSE
STUFF I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO 17: SOUL

Ok thats it fam, if you dug this share it with a friend, comment with some musical suggestions, and if you want to support me you can do so at my shop.

Stuff I’ve Been Listening To 24 – Synths

Loose Ends (UK) – Hanging on a string 1984
Always loved Loose Ends and this classic track from them.

Welcome welcome. Here is a new post with some of my favorite synths, mostly across soul, jazz, funk, hip hop, and rock. I didn’t always know that I loved synths, I just like good music. But after hearing some chatter about synths in general and some of the machines created to make the sounds, I thought I’d share some of my favorites, not the best synths ever. This is totally subjective. Enjoy.
Little Dragon (Sweden) - A Place to belong (2007)
This is the first Little Dragon song I heard from my boy Miguel. Fonky.
We Are King (Minneapolis/LA) – The Greatest (2015)
Agggh, one of the illest soul groups of recent to write and produce w/ synths!!
Squarepusher (UK) – Plaistow Flex Out (2001)
Was turned on to Squarepusher by my homie and drummer Valentino 
Pink Floyd (UK) – On the Run (1973)
Always loved this Pink Floyd album! 
Kool & The Gang (Jersey City) – Summer Madness (1974)
Classic joint from a classic jazz, rock, soul band.

What is this? 

This series is called “Stuff I’ve been listening to” and this is my place to share music that I listen to while I work, process, decompress, and live life. Some of it is new, some old. But I’m always listening. I share in the hopes that you will find something that inspires you. Please share with a fellow music lover.

Satoshi & Makoto (Japan) – Crepuscule Leger (2017)
New! Don’t know much about these cats, but I dig it.
Jneiro Jarel (Philadelphia) – Soul Starr (2005)
Discovered Jeniro aka Dr Who Dat? at the record store and became an instant fan. 
Björk (Iceland) – Hyperballad (1995)
Heard Bjork through one of my best friends in the 90s and was blown away
Zion I w/ Mikos da Gawd (Oakland) – Saving Souls (2016)
RIP Zumbi, this is one of countless synth flavored Zion I songs


Did you miss the last installment of this series? 

Stuff I’ve been listening to 23: More Jazz
Stuff I’ve been listening to 22: Instrumentals
Stuff I’ve been listening to 21: Raps
Stuff I’ve been listening to 17: Soul
Stuff I’ve been listening to 19: UK Artists
Sexual Harassment (Midwest US) – I need a freak (1983)
House party track tried and true. First heard it as a child.
Chaka Khan (Chicago) – What Cha Gonna do for Me? (1981)
Radio classic on kiss fm in the Bay
Marcos Valle (Brazil) – Naō Tem Nada Naō (1973)
Found this cut via Madlib!
Kraftwerk (Germany) – Numbers (1981)
These cats are German, but this is straight up electro classic hip hop material. 

Ok, one last one fam….
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein (Austin) – Kids (2016)

Discovered the guys through the Stranger Things soundtrack which was both old and new, simple, yet amazing! Reminds me of 80s movies and that was the point! Keep listening to new and old music. There are tons of great artists still coming out with music. If you’re not sure where to look, check out your local DJ, playlists, mixes, and your local independent radio stations……

Inspiration board 43

Hey fam, I hope you’re well. It has been a rough one for me lately but trying to hold on to it. Check out some of these things that have been dope to me recently. Keep going.

Starting from top to bottom, left to right:

1. Major Taylor Iron Riders -video by The Pro’s Closet (Cycling/Fitness)

2. Odessa– Middle grade graphic novel by Jonathan Hill (book)

3. Giant Robot– Doc about an AAPI magazine/store (film)

4. Monica Martin– Vocalist, songwriter from the midwest (music)

5. El Michel’s Affair x Black Thought– I’m still somehow (music)

6. 1000% Me– Doc about being mixed by W. Kamau Bell (film)

7. Art of Cam Kendell from Fart Quest (art)

8. Hidari– Stop motion animated samurai (stop mo animation)

9. The Nakba– Educational video about the Nakba in Palestine (history)

10. Chang Can Dunk– Narrative film about personal goals (film)

11. Cymone Wilder– is an incredible lettering artist (lettering)

12. This Was Our Pact All ages graphic novel by Ryan Andrews (book)

13.  Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur– Animated show based on comic (tv)

14. Endea Owens – Where the Nubians Grow (music)

15. Turning Red– Animated film by Pixar (animation)

16. The Last of Us– Post apocalyptic tv show based on video game (tv)

Did you miss the previous inspiration board? Here it is, plus a few more

Inspiration board 42

Inspiration board 41

What’s this? This inspiration board is one of the ways I stay inspired and sane through all of life’s trials, and tribulations, work, etc. I’ve been making inspiration boards full of films, books, music, events, people, artists, movements, and more for over a decade. Do you have an inspiration board? Please share in the comments.Who am I? My name is Rob Liu-Trujillo and I’m an artist working in kid lit, public art, and other disciplines. Go to my website, or follow me on IG or YouTube. You can also cop my first art book here.

Chinese pioneers in Reggae, Ska, and Rock Steady

Wow, the more you know. I LOVED listening to this video and it just goes to show there is so many stories yet to be told. I did not know that VP Records stood for Vincent and Patricia-two Jamaicans who were ethnically Asian and mixed! Wow. This video talks about several Chinese pioneers in Jamaican music and who consider themselves “Jamaican”, that’s it.

Check out this video that expands on Patricia Chin, co founder of VP Records who are known world wide for distributing reggae and dancehall music.

Dig this? Check out this doc about Giant Robot Magazine!

Major Taylor Iron Riders

Thoroughly enjoyed watching this and learning about the Major Taylor Iron Riders. I did this illustration of the original L&M Riders. As a former kid who loved riding and who has gotten back on in the past two years I’m really excited about riding again.

Dig this? Check out this piece about Tony Coleman (Bikes 4 Life) and this mini comic about BMX riding.