Illustrator - Storyteller - Coffee drinker
Today, in my daily walk, I passed by the hospital that is a block away from mine... a couple of blocks later, a woman dressed in scrubs and looking extremely tired, was sitting, smoking a cigarette.
Before I realized it, I was asking a very dumb question.
"Excuse me, m'am... are you a nurse?"
She looks at me and I could tell she was holding the desire to answer in a most sarcastic manner.
"Yes" she said dryly.
"Uhm..." I say "I just wanted to say thank you for all you guys do... this cannot be easy on you, so... thank you."
She looks at me with what look like a tired and/or sad face, then answers
"You don't have to thank me. Just don't get sick."
I'll try my best, m'am."
I left her there to enjoy whatever time she had left before she had to go back to taking care, probably even saving, as many of us as she could.
Nurses, doctors, scientists, voluntaries... if you are reading this, thank you, thank you, thank you... you're stepping up to confront something new and scary, and while the rest of us are complaining and whining about having to quarantine ourselves, you have to deal with this demon directly daily and say "NO. NOT TODAY YOU DON'T".
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Yup, I ain't gonna sugar coat this... a week and so of this Social Isolation thing and I am already seriously entrenched on hermit mode.
BRING ON WEEK TWO.
Thanks for reading! Stay healthy!
We are now in day four of what is being called "Social Isolation", trying to have a virus dissipate by all of us staying in our homes in the hopes that it runs its course so we can continue our lives as per normal.
I think deep inside many of us know our way of life will not be "normal" for a while, if ever... and that scares us. Many of us are rightfully anxious about the future, let alone our very present. Life as we know it is hitting a hard stop and we cannot wait to have it back.
Since gatherings of 10 or more people are not recommended at the moment, all sports, all plays, all concerts have been either postponed or downright cancelled. Most performers have agreed to step back and advice their fans to do the same. Good idea, really.
...but that leaves a void in people's heart. theater, art, music, even sports fill an emotional need in us that, once taken away, it's hard to deal with. A part of what defines us is empty... and that helps our anxiety grow even more.
As always, art comes to the rescue, this time aided by technology.
Many musicians, several of them that had to cancel current tours, are playing mini concerts every day in all types of social media... some of them do it to stay connected with their fans, some of them request donations for different charities, all of them done it because of their love of music, and for the love of their fans.
Willy Porter, one of my favorite musicians, had his first concert online, from his studio ("Live from the Bunker"), and it was amazingly beautiful. His beautiful songs, his guitar virtuosity, and his message of hope very much helped people gain confidence in the future... he brighten our day and, at least for me, made me believe things will get better. He did it in a way that only those who truly care for others can... his honesty and sincere love of life was felt by all viewers, judging from the messages that kept pouring in during his performance.
Willy, in the small chance you're reading this... thank you so very much. Keep on doing what you do, because it helps us anxious people an awful lot.
Thanks for reading,
The early 90s were a very weird and exciting time for music... there was certainly a lot of quality music being released in a long range of genres, but, prior to a certain movement started in the northwest of America, there was nothing you could hang on to and make it intimately yours.
Then came grunge.
All us college kids were deeply enthralled with it right away. It spoke to us. It spoke about us. It said nothing important and everything that mattered at once.
For a very short moment in time, and very much like the hippie revolution of the 60s, us 90s kids felt connected via music.
I remember fondly how college mates would smoke weed and discuss for hours the lyrics of our favorite songs. I remember how we would spend night after night with our guitars and try to learn to play any song that was famous at the moment. I remember not caring, at all, about what I was going to wear at school, and fully know that neither did my schoolmates. I especially remember driving around LSD (Lake Shore Drive, for you non-Chicago readers) with my dear friend Chris Niemitz, while "Smells like teen spirit" played loudly in the car stereo and us singing at the top of our longs, allowing all our desperation, anger, frustration, and uncertainty loudly come out of us with those lyrics.
And then... puff!
Grunge left as quickly as it arrived.... leaving behind a post-grunge scene that seemed efficient at first but degraded rapidly as corporations took a hold of the genre and completely obliterated it, making way for new angry genres that did not have the deep emotional roots grunge had.
Is it fair to say that music has been deteriorating since then? well, I will admit that it would be presumptuous to say so, but I need to ask...
Has there been any music movement since grunge that speaks so deeply to a group of kids that connects them and makes them see their reality? Is there any kind of music that does more than numb its listener out there now?
If there is, I can't find it. It almost seems like today's music is arranged specifically to NOT be uncomfortable. Today's music makes sure you're just fine and happy... or if it's angry music, it's music that angers you to the point of being frozen and inactive.
I'm sure today's kid realize what kink of shitehole past generations have left for them, but they seem to be happy with just wallowing in their sorrows... still, I truly hope the time will come that, once they're really cornered by what it's expected of them and what they really want to do, they will pick up their loud guitars and, at unison, sing to the world "FUCK YOU! THIS IS MY LIFE YOU'RE MESSING WITH!"
Oh, it will be a glorious day when today's kids find their voice.
Thanks for reading,
Considering how much Disney/Marvel have saturated the superhero movie market in the past decade, it is easy to forget what a breathe of fresh air the first Iron Man movie was... and what a gift to us comic-book nerds!
Sure, there had been good superhero movies in the past and recent past, some even better than this Jon Favreau effort but... this movie was just plain fun to watch, and to watch all over again! (trust me, I've seen it quite a few hundred times at this point).
Adding a super awesome cherry on top of it all was the promise of a united Marvel movie universe in the presence of one uber cool Nick Fury, impeccably played by the one and only Samuel L. Jackson. Us geeks were in Heaven.
Am I happy with all that's been since this movie's premiere? eh... methinks Disney did too much too soon in the second phase and, in the newer Marvel movies, not only is there a certain magic missing from them, they are feeling a bit tiresome. Of course they may surprise me every now and then, but I highly doubt it (but do hope so!).
Anyway, did this illustration in honor of a movie that brought back the kid that loved Marvel comics a while back ago... and that was no easy feat, considering how much I love DC!
Thanks for reading!
Some times... no... MANY times, things will not work out the way you want them to, and many, many times things will head in directions you did not want them to go, or are ready to deal with...
...But these things happen, and will keep happening.
All you can do is breathe.
Breathe, and then work on making things work out.
Breathe, and don't give up.
You will have some, hopefully MANY victories on the way. I promise.
Thanks for reading,
...always wake up with ambitious plans, always end up sleeping on couch with my angels next to me (or on me).
Still, time wasted with pets is never wasted time, really.
Thanks for reading,
A couple of days ago I had what is perhaps one of the coolest dreams I've ever had... it impacted me so much that I just had to draw a part of it.
In the dream, I was busking with a friend o'mine in downtown Chicago and we began singing "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen... not a few notes in, da boss himself walks by, grabs a guitar and begins to sing with us!
The thing about this dream is... there was no exaggeration to it (aside from da boss being there, of course!)... everything seemed like it was real life and, unlike scary dreams where you wake up just when you're about to the killed, we sang the whole song with him! After we were done, he gently puts the guitar down, gives us a look of approval, and walks away... me and my friend just stood there in awe.
Then I woke up. Happy as could be.
I normally like dreaming about zombies and running from them (really!), but this dream most definitely will be a top one for a time to come.
Thanks for reading,
Soda Stereo will always be one of my top five bands. Their music, to this day, is amazing... no one in the rock scene in the latin world sounds like them, and even internationally, few can compare to them.
This illustration is dedicated to Gustavo Cerati, lead singer and guitarist, who sadly left us five years ago this month.
Here's hoping he is rocking hard in Heaven.
Last year I had the privilege to spend a few fantastic days in Mexico City with dear friends of mine.
Such an incredible, cosmopolitan city... I was only there for a few days and I cannot wait to go back... the food, the people, the shops... EVERYTHING. This is one incredible city!
A beautiful highlight, my friends took me to this wonderful bookstore, El Pendulo, en Colonia Roma. It was a three-story bookstore that had not only a delicious restaurant (the tables are on the second floor, surrounded by books!), but also a bar and a concert hall on its roof! Amazing place.
This WiP drawing is from that day... These two men, a guitarist and a violinist, played beautiful renditions of pop songs, as well as a few classical pieces. They played while we had lunch a few tables away from them. It was such a romantic moment!
I cannot recommend this store (heck, this city!) enough... one of my favorite cities in this world.
Thanks for reading,