Equipment Used: Dell Laptop, Wacom Cintiq Drawing Tablet, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
Normally I don’t like to give breakdowns of my work because I like the viewer to interpret the meanings in their own unique way. But for this project I’ll try break down each. Give a small description about every image. I know were living in the ‘short attention span no passion for anything’ era so I want to kind of help the viewer out, but at same time not give to many details, you know ruin the experience. This project is very special to me and I don’t mind breaking it down, hopefully this can be a guide for my future artwork.
0 – Cover – (I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: The brain on the cover is from the piece “Evolution”. I liked the way it came out and thought it would make sense to use, since the title is “Inside My Mind Vol.2” after all. In the middle you’ll see a man standing behind prison bars. The door is open to give the viewer a peek inside the mind of the individual, and a gentlemen is behind the bars is trapped. Hes trapped inside of his thoughts. To me this was the perfect start to the project.
1 – Devil Delight’s
Breakdown: Devil Delight’s is a piece about the traps of society. Money, power, drugs, sex, luxuries: clothes, cars, houses etc. Everything is located inside of a blood soaked bear trap. This piece is not only about the consequences of the addiction of materialism and the addiction of giving in to your own selfish desires in general, but also the it has a racial twist. I had young black children in mind, also it can be seen as a warning, almost a teaching tool. Notice the black babies in the blood soaked floor. This piece was inspired to be a warning about chasing the things of man and not of the righteous. And about avoiding the potential pitfalls of this society. About doing things with the purist intentions, because int the end we cant take none of this shit with us into the kingdom anyway.
This piece wasn’t made to be judgmental, nor do I think materialism or money is evil in moderation. But like anything, too much will destroy you. A person can live their life anyway they want, I can careless. The point I’m trying to making is the chase of self gain will ultimately destroy its occupants. Were all given choices and the choices that we make will determine our fate. Fighting temptation is spiritual as much as it is mental. This society , esp for young black people can force u to make tough decisions, decisions that will destroy u both on the earth and the outer world, but even still, u have to make the correct choices even if the circumstances are unfair.
2 – Righteous Brick Road – (I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: “The Righteous Brick Road” is a semi personal piece. Another teaching piece like “Devil’s Delights”. This piece is more straight forward. Aesthetically it isn’t the most pleasing to the eye but my goal was to focus on the message. “The Righteous Brick Road” is all about staying on an rightuoes path and I gave different key words that can help others, aswell what helped me stay on the path and helped me continue the pursuit of my goals.
The images on each side of the road is the potential consequences of falling off the road. This piece also have racial undertones aswell, similar to “Devil Delight’s”, but can still be used as a general guide for whomever. This society is set up to destroy the righteous with by surrounding people with many negative choices. That with the combination of many corrupt humans designed to entice them to fall off the path.
This project shows the things that can destroyed a person. Vultures, wolves, snakes, I like to use these animals as metaphors for treacherous people, that are out to latch on anybody they feel like they can use to rise to the next level. Bad personal choices, over consumption of material things, drugs etc … can lead to destruction.
As young black man in america, the task of maintaining your vision and avoiding the many traps of this society plus structural and systematic racism is difficult, even sometime almost sometimes impossible. The righteous road is about following that straight path to reach whatever destination your want to reach .
The end of the road shows freedom, although in my opinion there’s no true freedom on earth, freedom can be interpreted both spiritually and freedom on earth aka (avoiding bullshit).
3 – Enlightenment
Breakdown: Enlightenment has alot going on. This a Largely personal piece, but not totally. Its maybe my personal favorite. I made it for anybody that might have reached a point mentally where they feel like they’re enlightened. I think its a place that very few will reach or ever totally understand. In order to reach this destination, one must walk through a mental purgatory that very few make it back from.
This might be a long breakdown lol, Where do I start. Alright, so the large image is a man meditating, sitting on books, the books are symbols for education, knowledge basically. No specific book, because knowledge can come from any source of course, right?
Notice the chain and lock being unbroken and coming of the man brain, which symbolizes his mind becoming free.
Once his mind is open and free, it shows a small child looking a bloody intimidating wolf in the face with no fear. But notice the wolf is at bay, the wolf doesn’t attack the child, normally from a practical stand point a wolf will devour anybody or anything, right?. But the child isn’t afraid but the wolf isn’t attacking him. The man in the image is no longer afraid of the world or his obstacles because his mind is unlocked. He knows the beast can’t harm him now that hes enlightened. He has knowledge of self, and anything obstacles in his way to achieve his goals. He also escape the so called “Matrix” and have no fear of reality.
On the inside hes at peace. Notice the doves, and beautiful mountains and scenery. This shows the feeling of nirvana internally after gaining a knowledge of self. Why worry if you understand your purpose? So the man is finally at peace now that hes enlightened about the things that once hindered him from true happiness.
Lets go back up top, The city is Bumffalo NY, I mean Buffalo. I’m from Buffalo so that part again is personal. The hands holding the pill is holding the infamous “NZT 48” pill from the film “Limitless”. Anybody familiar with the film would know the pill was used to open Eddies mind. So the pill is another symbol showing the viewer the divine godlike feeling a person have once becoming enlightened. (Might have to check the movie out to totally grasp this part, great film BTW)
The smiley faces standing on the outside of his the vision of thought. They’re evil faces, with sharp teeth wearing spiral hypothesizing glasses. The smiley faces represent multiple meanings. The hypothesizing element shows how evil people of this society hypothesize, brainwash, indoctrinate …whatever you want to call it, the masses into becoming “sheep” as they say. Basically controlling the masses for their own wicked purpose. The evilness of the faces represent evil intentions. People being controlled by the wicked, but the man is enlightened so even tho hes surrounded by those people, hes able to remain unaffected by their tactics.
The 2 images on each side are from the movies The Truman Show and Limitless. These movies are 2 of my personal favorites, because I’ve had feelings of feeling like Truman, being trapped in a world that was artificial, not totally meant for me, and also once I discovered my true purpose for being on the earth and conquering some of the internal demons holding me back I’ve felt incredible highs like Eddie Mora from the movie Limitless and this was after experiencing incredible lows.
This is also an detachment piece, About coming detached from the prizes of this society and instead finding spiritual reasons to pursue as an alternative. One of the things that helped me stay focused and alleviate the pain (which still exist) was to figure out how to detach myself from earthly material processions and instead strive for things that man cant provide.
4 – Belly Of The Beast (mmm Food)
Breakdown: “Bell Of The Beast” Is about both the mass incarceration epidemic for american black males and it also shows how the American capitalistic system benefits from the plight of the underclass. The concept is about the “Beast” (The System) feeding off the bodies for economic gain.
So lets start with the image of the bloody beast which is an analogy for the system. The image shows the babies on the plate laying in a pool of blood. The plate is draped in the American flag. He’s holding eating utensils (The Knife & Fork) also salt and pepper shakers are present. The steam coming from his eyes are the lost souls that were consumed by the system. They’re coming from the beast digestive system. Think of it as gas, I suppose.
The money on the top of his head represent profit. Economic gain made from the prisons. But to go deeper into the topic, its not about money being made through privately owned prisons entirely but also about blacks being the american permanent underclass. In order for the capitalistic system to hold up, somebody have to be at the bottom. For some people to win , alot more have to lose for this illusion called the “American Dream” to hold up. And the people at bottom pain is unfortunately also for profit.
The last thing is the troops, they’re protecting the money. Guarding the profits and the system itself.
5 – Illusions of Grandeur ( I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: This piece is about the illusion of success in this society. The illusion of being #1, being at the top. Men striving to become god on earth, when it’s simply impossible. You really can’t be ultra successful without being selfish in this society. No matter how much a person attain, they will never have it all. In order to gain success, you have to sacrifice a piece of your humanity and use people as pawns to reach the top.
But problem is, there is no top. Where does it end? It doesn’t. No matter how much a person attain, they’ll always feel an empty hole on the inside, they’ll never be satisfied.The top is really an illusion and anybody that get close, they’ll get replaced eventually by the next hungry soul.
This also is a personal piece in a way, because I still try to chase the “top” and I know there isn’t one but something inside me drive me to want to be the best at something but why? I don’t know. But no matter what I gain or how good I get at my craft, it’ll never close the hole I feel on inside but yet I still chase it anyway. Me and many others that know they’ll never make it to the top, will still chase.
We live in a capitalistic society built on deceit, deception, lies, back stabbing. In America the goal is to cheat to win. Win by any means necessary and get yours by any means. The images show men with knives in their backs climbing over each other. Every man that made it to the next level was destroyed and including the guy that made it close to the top. Even tough he made it close, he stand couldn’t grab the crown, which is being held on strings by an puppeteer. The elite are the puppeteers, dangling the illusion of success over over the avg person head. Some people will do anything to attain the unattainable, even sale their soul, but no matter what, man will never have it all. Well never achieve true godhood.
6 – Indoctrination ( I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: Indoctrination is a piece about how society is brainwashed from birth. Brainwashed from various outlets: Schools, news media, entertainment media,corporations, government, politicians…etc… The point is, from birth were programmed to follow the system and keep it running smoothly and unhindered.
The image shows a man being brainwashed with a device attached to his head. Television sets are connected to the device. On each television set is different forms of brainwashing. One set has a picture of an nuclear explosion with a cell phone taking a picture of it. Which shows how distracted by technological devices people are. Even tough the world is being destroyed, the person with the phone still needs to get a shot for social media.
Another TV set shows Obama, Clinton and Trump. This piece is also political and has to do with the 2016 Presidential election. I showed all 3 on purpose to show that I have no bias and how all political parties are the same. Republican, Democrat whats the difference? right? People chose political parties the same way people chose sports team to root for. They pick sides. Humanity have a way of forming cliques. Humans have a natural pack mentality, we form packs with those that have similar interest with us. This is a good way to manipulate the mentally weak. If you just blindly follow anybody, they can lead you down whatever road they want.
The next TV set on top shows a luxury sports car parked in front of an expensive house. This television set shows indoctrination by material gain. Materialism, and chasing glamour, “The American Dream”. Society tell us to chase these worldly possessions to appear “successful” when in reality these things are nothing but material that are made by man. They mean nothing. The image of “success” is an illusion. Some people will do anything to have these items and no matter how much they obtain, it’ll never fulfill their needs.
The TV set to the far right shows a red carpet event and a celebrity taking photos. Celebrities are placed on a god like pedestal in America. For whatever reason, these people are seen as cultural figures, and certain people will follow everything they say or do, when in reality they’re human and no different from the rest of us. Worshiping humans is dangerous of course because they have flaws like anybody and you’ll spend so much time obsessed with them that you never discover who you are as a person.
The last TV set is a bunch of corporate logos. Corporations are probably the biggest influencers in our society today. They’ll do or say anything to make money. Advertisers create false scenarios that prey upon naive viewers that have insecurities.
Lastly the evil faces symbolizes haunted thoughts. All the thoughts in his head that he can’t escape. There’s so much confusion, anxiety and stress it becomes unbearable for him to handle. Also uncle Sam is shown as a puppeteer playing both sides (Republican & Democrat) orchestrating the whole process, controlling the masses through indoctrination.
7 – Normal ( I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdowns: Normal is a piece about depression, fighting personal demons and putting on a mask of appearing “normal”. Most people in our society will never reveal the true them, because in order to hold up this facade were force to pretend to be “normal”, even tho we aren’t. False pleasantries, smiles, small talk etc… Its all bullshit, yet we do it and tolerate each other to keep this illusion going. People will dress a certain way, speak a certain way and will do anything to appear “normal” but on the inside will be a totally different person. People have the tendency to lie and create false personas of who they truly want to be.
This piece is also about depression and fighting internal demons. Notice the demons swirling around his skeleton, using it was their personal play ground. These are the internal demons that haunt a person, even tho they appear to be “normal” from the outside looking in. His heart is cold also, hes jaded from a his experiences by the world but yet he still plays the role to function in a society he never was meant to be apart of. On the outside everything is bright, happy,sunshine and rainbows but very dark on inside.
Also made to be a semi personal piece also. Talking about some of the demons I fight internally but yet still have to brush them off and face a society I can’t even relate to. It have an racial element aswell, It discusses the adversity black people face, our grim history and how were still excepted to shut up and be “normal”(assimilate).
8 – Dreams and Nightmares (Escape From The 716) ( I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: “Dreams and Nightmares” is the most personal piece in the project. Its totally about me. The second part of the title is (Escape From The 716). 716 is the area code for Buffalo NY, the city that I’m from. My relationship with my hometown has always been poor. I don’t have to many good memories or experiences in Buffalo. But I’ve learned alot and it has helped my become the person I am, so in a way I’m grateful.
Buffalo is a city that is very segregated, economically deprived and have a severe lack of opportunities. It’s not the easiest place to find a way out, especially if you’re young and black. It’s a place plagued with pitfalls. Its difficult to maintain the vision and discipline to keep striving for the things that you want in life without becoming sidetracked. It’s a place that’s very uninspiring esp for an artist.
This image talks about my dreams to see the world and be “free”. It shows some of the different destinations I always dreamed of visiting. Since I was a child my dream was to see the world before I die. I couldn’t focus in school, I never cared about the topics the teachers were talking about, I spent most of my time drawing and reading my history text book. Reading about past civilizations and checking out all of the pictures of different places around the globe.
OK so lets break it down. The image shows me in my bedroom drawing on my tablet. Drawing an image that symbolizes freedom. The bottom portion is dark, I chose to use greyscale. On the wall you’ll see an image of Satan. I put that there to symbolize fighting the demons, depression, loneliness telling me to quit dreaming and settle but I had to maintain my discipline and strive regardless how far or unrealistic my dreams seem to be. I also had to put in many long hours of sacrifice to perfect my craft. It takes lot of belief to keep moving forward and improving esp when the results aren’t appreciated . The bars on the windows is the feeling of being trapped in the city, and trying to figure out how to create an exit from nothing. Up top are the travel destinations, notice the thought bubbles. So I’m dreaming about my freedom while being trapped in the situation that I’m in.
9 – The Other Side (The Promise Land)
Breakdown: “The Other side” (The Promise Land) is my darkest piece, but it’s wrapped in the prettiest package (Juxtaposition). Pretty bright colors, candy, sweats, chocolate steams, colors, smiling children with ice cream cones, flying unicorns and dragons.This piece is juxtaposed, its cute, calm and fun on the outside, scattered with symbols of darkness.
The “Promise Land” is a place of freedom, “Heaven” I guess that you can say. A place of peace, dreams, stress free easy living. But the “Other Side” represent death, the spiritual world or “Heaven”. Hence the earth looming in the background. I choose to use children again, I use children as a recurring theme in my work because of their innocence they repersent.
So the image shows a fun candy land. Happiness, fictional animals reside here. Kids can be seen at the bottom right kicking a soccer ball , playing. The kids are on a magical flying cloud (nimbus cloud from dragon ball) It has no meaning inparticular, but I thought it looked fly. I digress, the children are seen smiling and happy, sitting down eating ice cream cones having the time of their life. But death(Grim Reaper) is hovering over them, as sort of a guardian type figure. This shows that yes the children are dead and that in fact the candy land is the after life. The graves symbolizes death also.
The piece shows the children having a better life on the other side. Free from the pain of a corrupt world. The promise land offer’s them the life they should’ve had. A life of freedom and happiness, not of pain and confusion.
This also have an racial element. Dedicated to black children that grow up in hopeless circumstances. Unfortunately not everybody will get the things they want in this world, a world created by man, but in they’ll get it on the side., and find the peace and happiness they deserve.
10 – In A Bind (Conquer) ( I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: “In a Bind” is similar to righteous road but it elaborate more on the feeling of being in a society filled with so many pitfalls and traps. But it’s also an uplifting piece. The second part of the title is “Conquer”. Caught in a bind is about the feeling of being trapped and having to find a way around obstacles. This piece is mainly dedicated to young black men. It’s semi personal too, because I’m one myself lol
This the image in the bottom/middle is a Pacman game. The maze, power pellets and ghost. Of course in game, the goal is to make it through the maze, eat the pellets and avoid or eat the ghost make it out. I used Pacman as an analogy for life of a young American black male trapped in society maze. Every corner is an obstacle, a pitfall and the objective is to figure a way out of the maze to reach your destination. I added things that can destroy you on your away to “Success” Police, vultures, snakes, Satan, drugs, etc…
Caught in the bind is about finding a way out of a situation where one wrong turn can finish you off. Being black in america, esp young and black and trying to find a way in a society clearly set for you to fail is difficult. You don’t get too many chances or too much room for error. So this piece is about trying to stay disciplined and making through the maze of life.
The top portion is the “Conquer” aspect. That part is inspirational. It shows the kid with the books with a sword in his back. The buildings with the faces are towering over the child. Hes looking up with no fear. They symbolizes monsters, this part is about trying to navigate your way through city without being devoured by it. Conquering the city and not letting it sallow you. The island and clouds, represent peace or paradise. I use islands alot in my art, they represent freedom, peace and making it to a tranquil environment away from the rat race of the city.
The books are his true weapon, not the sword. I added the books to show, education, knowledge, and having a sharp mind is his true way out. That’s the true key to freedom in this society.Also the birds flying around the buildings are vultures. The vultures represent conniving people that you encounter on your way to your destination.
11 – Last Days (Hell On Earth) ( I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: Hell On Earth (Last Days) is a pretty straight forward piece. This one was 100% about the message. I didn’t care about making it look cool or unique aesthetically. This piece is basically about us living in the last days and the upcoming hell that society is about to experience.
Nuclear war, famine, panic, chaos, pandemic and death. The last days is about how the moral decline of society is taking place as we speak. America is often compared to “Babylon” from the bible. Were experiencing a decline in every area across the board. This society is collapsing from corruption, a rigged political system, economic inequality..etc… Its filled with toxic entertainment media . Many unnecessary distractions that make people lose focus on whats truly important. Also the narcissism that people have from social media and how cold society has become.
Hell ON Earth shows various things, like the man in the yellow hazard suit, the world have many new man made pandemics wiping killing people, which is population control. The lady that’s a snake, a gold digger with a hidden agenda taking a selfie (like those IG chicks) The earth being destroyed, which is the final result when mankind is destroyed from nuclear war. Satan playing with the money, which represent major corporations obsession with making money off the people by any means necessary. Drone strikes, Riots, martial law.
These are all things that well probably witness in our lifetime. This society is on pins and needles and can collapse at any give moment.
12 – Fly Away ( I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: “Fly Away” is a largely personal piece. Inspired from some of the things I’ve been through, But also a piece for anybody that’s experienced depression or loneliness. This one is largely about depression and fighting mental demons. Its some what spiritual also. It also somewhat the depression young blacks face too.
Fly away shows the image of a man with his yes closed, and his fist resting on his forehead. Hes stressed, in pain. Bloody tears is falling from his eyes and the skulls in his mind represent depression. The dark thoughts hes fighting.
Up top the child angel is carrying a baby away, flying towards the moon, stars and clouds. The baby represent his innocence, his soul . His body is just a shell, a damaged shell with nothing left to offer to the world.
The angel is from heaven, and shes taking his soul to the kingdom or heaven. Notice the palace on the moon. Shes taking his soul back to the a peacefully environment away from the earth. Taking him away from the pain of the world.
13 – Indoctrination 2 (REMIX) ( I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: Indoctrination 2 is similar to Indoctrination 1 except its a the indoctrination of black people, esp the black youth solely. Indoctrination 2 is about how the toxic aspects of black entertainment and media leads to mental destruction.
The main image is a young man with a brainwashing device on his head. Media outlets are connected to his brain. The different TV sets shows the some of the different things I feel that indoctrinate black people like drugs, clothes, sex, violence, and other shit. Things that destroy the mind and lead to the death of morals.
The bottom connects some of the causes of our present conditions with history . Like slavery , the crack epidemic and Ronald Reagan involvement. The destruction of Black Wall Street, systemic injustice and many other horrific events. The bottom portion talks about the things that knocked black people off track everytime we started to gain solid footing in America. These things were done on purpose to keep blacks as an underclass.
The young man is smoking, within the smoke clouds are slaves on a chain gang. Showing our enslaved ancestors taking look into the present disappointed.
14 – Knowledge (Freedom) ( I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: Knowledge is about the importance of education and how important it for black children to understand this society and how to survive and it without falling victim to the system.
The image shows 2 black children, a boy and girl reading books. Nurturing their mind. Learning and gaining knowledge. the background shows a wolf and snake lurking, which represent the different people or traps that’s waiting to destroy the children.
But as long as they’re intelligent and understand what awaits, they’ll always have a chance to defeat it. Butterflies and doves are coming from the book and a light is shining. Notice the background is dark. So they’re sitting in the darkness, surrounded by predators. But the books is giving them a light in the dark. Also up top is an guardian angel is sitting on the moon watching over the children to protect them.
15 – Evolution ( I.M.M Vol. 2)
Breakdown: Evolution is about mental evolution. This is another personal piece mostly. Similar to “Enlightenment”. This piece is about mentally growth. This piece is one of my more unique pieces, I kept it flat, totally 2-D. This piece shows what happens when your mind is totally free from influence.
So the bottom shows the man sitting down in pain. Hes depressed, confused and scared. This is the point where most of us start. Before we discover your true selves and were searching for our true identity.
The next step is the “Aha” moment, when you finally start to discover yourself. Your mind is opening and your starting to connect the dots and figure it out and put it all together.
The last stage is the final stage, when your figure things out and you feel almost invincible, almost god like because you have a strong knowledge of self. Life is nothing to fear anymore, because you understand it, you know what you want and have no fear to obtain it. Also there’s a lock over his head. During this stage the lock is broken and his mind is totally free from the matrix.