Shit, I just woke up and the original intro I had for this issue is a blank to me now.
FUCK, I had a clear monologue prepared from picking cotton today and now its a blur.
Eh, oh well.
*Boyz II Men End of the Road plays in the background. No Literally its playing, Spoiler Alert.
Guys, this is it…Kinda.
Its finally happened, I’ve caught up with all the photoshoots I’ve done since I began this journey since July 2016. Kinda.
Jano, explain all these kindas.
When I started when this photography part of my art journey, the whole point was to gain experience working with models because for the bulk of my life has been me doing events, What ensued the summer of 2016 was a myriad of quests of trying to capture ideas with the lens of my camera. There are a few side quest I am still pursing, but for right now I am all caught up with all my adventures.
I do have images from doing a workshop for the nonprofit organization Back To Black, and from my New Years Florida vacation but those are just events to me. Not to say that I won’t do events any more but 1. they don’t feel essential to my art quest, and 2. at this point right now they feel like filler episodes. And personally I am not a fan of filler episodes, I will not be like Naruto.
I rather be like Attack on Titan, Seven Deadly Sins, Fairy Tail, and My Hero Academia and have off seasons and come back when I have something significant.
From this point on the monthly issue format you have gotten accustomed to will dissipate into the ether, and I will be updating this site on a more random sporadic basis. It’ll be ironic that even after I make this issue that I still have monthly issues.
In the meantime, I’ll be focusing on coloring my comic series. I had this bad habit in recent months of saying I would get my issue out at the beginning of the month so that I could get it out the way. But obviously there were times I wouldn’t and my foolish mindset was to focus only on that and nothing else would get done since that was the only thing I was focused on.
Smh at my damn self and my raggedy thought process.
Also with that being said I’m not accepting any commissions of any sorts, not that I had an influx of orders or anything.
I’ll still be updating my social media channels (see side navigation) with images every month from previous adventures, and if you don’t follow me on anything then subscribe via email (see side navigation) to be notified when the updates occur.
In the meantime check out this issue, to help me fundraise for my comic quest.
For now guys that’s it, see ya’ll again hopefully…..maybe…….
First and fucking foremost, I am legit upset that I didn’t get superpowers from this spider bite on my leg. The only thing I got is 1. immense fragging pain 2. probably a huge bill for going to the Emergency Room for the first time in years, and 3. I didn’t get to wear my Vegeta costume that I ordered for Halloween last year, but didn’t arrive until after aforementioned Holiday because I was passed out in pain. NO NIGGA WE AIN’T YEETING HERE.
Maybe later in this issue but at this current point, nope this is a yeet free zone.
So for those who have not been paying attention on any of my social media channels and never clicked on my about me page. The picture above is of me, and I just did my first art show. I know right I am a pretty dude, and thank youuuuuu.
The lead up to this was legit unexpected but deeply appreciated it.
Side note, to avoid the excessive use of pronouns I will be referring to some people by their IG names.
So September day whilst I was picking cotton, well making sure the cotton was up to par before it got sent out to random cunts who I’ll probably never meet. One of the field slaves I shuck and jive with, PurpleKloudz, randomly started talking, ya know about anime, art, dreams to be chased and nigga shit. He was telling me how one of his goals was to be in an art show before the year is over, I was like yooooo go ahead and follow your dreams. As the convo went on,I found out it was an anime and art show that he was going to be in.
Hold up, I like anime and I’m an artist. The voices of my ancestors told me I needed to be part of this. Spoiler Alert, When the voices of your ancestors speak you listen, always.
I asked him for more details and how I could be a part of it, he said he would talk to our other slave we shuck and jive with for the scraps master give us, JohnnyLovely.
Look I get it, I am laying it on thick with the slave cotton field references, but I legit work in a plantation that contains majority cotton so I am allowed to say these things. Hella allowed, especially since this is my damn site.
So at some point after a day of picking cotton, me and both of the aforementioned fellow slaves had a nerd gathering in the parking lot. Thats where it went down. YEET YEET.
JohnnyLovely told me about how this is the second anime and art show that his friend was having. I asked could I show any of my pieces, and he was like ummmm idk. Fuck it, I’ll try anyway and I did. He gave me the information of the person who was orchestrating the event. I sent him the links to all of my galleries, ALL of my galleries. Need a reminder, no problem. Starting from oldest to the most recent we have Miasmic Emancipation, Velvet Sweaters,Numinously Noir, Emerald Evisceration and oh yeah my house party invites just for good measure.
And he said I was in. YEET YEET NIGGA. Actually Yeet didn’t really do justice for how excited I was, especially when you hear people saying you shouldn’t draw the things you draw. Well fuck you naysayers, especially those I am genetically linked to.
The next step was to choose which images I wanted to display. Eventually I chose the 3 below.
Yep that last one was def chosen. Not gonna lie the process was hard. When it was all said and done,I hit up one of my friends I use to pick cotton with at another field a few years ago. I asked him would he mind printing out my images for the show, and he said sure. It was going good but due to the amount of colors I use in my drawings, I kinda killed his blue printhead. Yea, I wasn’t expecting that. So for images 2 and 3, I had to go to Office Max to get those printed out. Pretty sure they were confused and concerned about what I had them make.
As if I give a fuck, Spoiler Alert I don’t.
I got my frames and bam, I was all set.Since I finally got my images printed and frame I could actually start posting ads for it on social media. The last thing I wanted to do was post I was going to be in an art show and not have my stuff ready. The day before I met with the organizer of the show, and briefly dropped off the above pieces along with some small ones I had made when I did the pop art show in 2017. I got home, did my hair because my hair was an arid dry mess, and passed the fuck out.
The day of the show came, and I wish I requested off. I was excited, legit excited as fuck. Me and my girl left the cotton field, grabbed food from Chick Fil A, and went back to my place. I changed first then she did. Joy is when you get to wear a shirt you ordered a month ago for the first time at a kool event that you are in.While she did I meditated, because sometimes you got to do that before something major in your life is about to happen. On the way there I legit was trying to find a song to amp me, this is the bad thing about primary listening to somber music. I did find some pleasure in Rapsody’s Nina and Cleo and J.Cole’s Middle Child. In hindsight I wish I remembered Awerooh’s- Its My turn now, that was my shit, 3 years ago when I was developing my website.
Eh, maybe next time.
We got to Camp North End, did a brief photoshoot before we headed to the event. Yo, real shit I am legit awkward in front of a camera, I am. Yea I take selfies but full body poses aren’t a thing I’m use to doing, even though I tell others what to do when I am behind the lens. The event didn’t start until 7, but I wanted to be there to see the set up process and place flyers for my site, and a copy of my book series for people to view.
The night flew by after that honestly. Lush Lofi flowed in the background,feeling as if I was in an episode of Samurai Champloo. Her and I walked around for a while at some point we saw our fellow slaves who were also having their art exhibited, the one’s told me about the show. As the night went on, I was both the subject and the usual detached observer while I took photos of the event. Its a weird feeling since I am never am the subject of an event.
I promise sometimes I feel like I am the unborn child of Samantha White and Lionel Higgins from Dear White People.
Our other slave friends showed up, and we were all like AWWW SHIT NIGGA. She helped get people to look at book, Yaaaaaaas honey Yaaaaaaas. In case anyone hasn’t noticed I’m shy as shit, so her amping me up defiantly helped my spirit. My friend who printed one of my images came with his wife and daughter, and at some point the 5 of us walked around. Eventually we doubled back to the event and they head out.
Another slave showed up, who I met in an odd way. Well not really odd considered the digital word we live in. We work at the same place, but our first interaction was when she liked a post I did of me starting a book on AfroFuturism by YTasha L. Womack.
I still need to finish that book.
At the time I didn’t know who she was, until one day at work I was stopped and she was like I think I liked your post. Oh shit, wasn’t ready. The convo couldn’t last long because if masta see’s us lil field niggas not picking his cotton we gets in bigs trouble, and we don’t wants no trouble.
But Jano, how is this relevant to the story?
I’m about to get to that, impatient ass.
She showed up with her daughter, and she was thoroughly impressed with the pieces that me and our fellow field slaves had to put up. From the perspective that we had worked hard to create something, and going to the extra effort of making our work being seen to the public something that some people hesitate to do. The fact that the artist space was primarily created by and for black artist thrilled her more. Thrilled her to the point that she felt inspired to do something similar and create an AfroFuturism con here in Charlotte.
Now you get the relevance.
Oh shit, that would be awesome. I’ve been hoping to do shows especially black themed sci fi art shows, it would be an added bonus if there was one here in Charlotte. Hopefully this will manifest into something flourishes, heavily.
The night trickled on, at some point there was a group photo taken of me and the other artist. Still awkward as hell for me to pose, so fucking awkward. After that me and some of the people I pick cotton with went on to go play Cards Against Humanity. I bounced back to the event to get my prints, at some point the dude who organized all this said there would be another one in March. Nigga I’m so down.
And thats it. I was talking with JohnnyLovely a few times before the day of the show. At some point he said a black art renaissance is heading towards Charlotte, and after this I can see it happening. Another conversation, I made reference to Dear White People, how after the Black Face Party there were a series of events that occurred after and it affected everyone differently. My ancestors say that both of our feelings are accurate. Was this event an adequate save point and it will propel me into another direction that will benefit me greatly or will I stagnate and float on in a void of despair?
Spoiler Alert, either result will be chronicled here as usual.
Hopefully this clearing will lead to an oasis that splinters many paths of abundance. In the meantime to see photos from the even go here.
Pretty sure this was a big save point in my art journey. Speaking of save points I’m gonna resume from the one in Final Fantasy 7 and hopefully beat it before the year is over. Also next issue we will go back to the regular flowing timeline. This was an omg I need to talk about it now so my spirit can go back to chill mode, and I have.
Damn its that time of year again. Time for that nigger heat, the heat that oppressed my ancestors my ancestors in the times of slavery.
So this issue is a lengthy one. Longer than the mermaid saga. This saga started September 2017 and ended June 2018.
So we are gonna skip how I don’t know how I feel about the series finale of Game of Thrones. Thats who rules over Westeros?? Never would have thought, even though apparently there were signs according to all the recent theories Google feels the need to suggest to me.
Anyway, make sure your wifi is on for this. It is a whole anime arc.
The saga of the summer projects ended, and the feeling was comparable to how the calm after big anime boss battles. Need examples that put your favorite heroes through hell, sure. Togoru, Sensui, Freeza, Majin Buu, The Dark Moon Clan, Lady Debonair, Mistress 9, Doflamingo, Apocalypse, Thanos, The Night King,Shredder (Not the 1990’s cartoon one, he was a joke), need I go on.
Niggas were exhausted, more so mentally than physically. I was over the whole model search and legit just wanted to chill, finish act 2 of my book series, play video games and beat my meat in bliss. Ya know simple shit.
That legit didn’t last long.
At some point in September a friend I use to pick cotton with at my least favorite plantation, (Ikea for those who don’t know my life), hit me up. He told me about a girl that he thought would be a good model for me. He sent me her IG profile and I agreed.
Honestly at this point in time I had no idea what I wanted to bring to life, legit didn’t. The only thing saw artistically was inking act 2 of Azure Ascendance, nothing else mattered. Never the less I messaged her and tried to think of a concept and a possible location.
I didn’t have shit. None, No such shit existed.
I would scroll on my IG timelines and would lean toward flowery and Japanese themes. At some point I even went to Plato’s Closet to browse for possible things I may want to use. We would communicate during this process, I know this sounds vague in contrast to my usual vivid details but this part of the saga is a blur to me. Maybe it was because I didn’t have clue where the fuck I was going, or maybe it was because the job I just started after not working for 9 weeks was having me wake up early as fuck to set up for halloween fuckery.
But one day I found a path to follow, and man it was a fucking path that will probably take a few hours to type. First google The Black Tape Project, go ahead I’ll wait.
This project has actually been in existence since 2013. When I saw it years ago I thought the concept was pretty kool and wanted to do something similar to it. Legit forgot all about it until one September day when I saw something pop on IG. In that moment abstract ideas I previously had amalgamated into one grand idea.
And when it did she stopped replying to my messages. Of course.
Jano, did you chase her down for this idea?
Nigga fuck no. After the war of summer 2017 my spirit no longer has no urge to chase people down who don’t want to be part of my life or art journey. She got one email to see if she was still down but after that, nah bruh.
So here I was with this idea with no one to shoot it with. Sadly even though I have mostly female friends, I’m pretty sure none of them would be down for me to cover their bodies in ribbons while being naked in front of me. Spoiler Alert, I’m the cutest loser you will ever meet.
So off to craigslist I go.
I knew what I wanted I wanted a brown, dark skin girl with natural hair. Usually I don’t have a preferred genotype for the ideas I’ve done but this time I did. Replies were scarce as fuck. But before we continue can someone tell me why this white woman replied when I clearly stated that I desire the opposite of her. I even had a picture as an example. NIGGGAAAA!!!!
Dear White People, when I say I want a brown skin female you don’t meet the requirements. Your basic Becky aesthetic can be taken elsewhere.
Anyway at some point that fall I considered one of my coworkers for the part since met the criteria. Since I got a possible model for this project I started the how the fuck am I going to pull this off part, because ya know that is important. First, my homegirl who I shot in the park, let me borrow her eldest daughters cotton candy machine. I actually didn’t use since the shoot took longer to do than expected, and I didn’t want stop her from making cotton candy. Second, since my mermaid cosplay friend, knows the way of cosplay culture I asked her what can I use to adhere ribbons to the skin that won’t cause any type of discomfort. She told me of a spray that I found in hobby lobby one day post cotton field. I tried it on myself while shopping, yea that shit stuck.
I had told my coworker that I needed to get her measurements and I needed to test the spray on her. We attempted to make plans for this to happen, did it tho? Nah, not at all. After several attempts I said fuck it, especially since she told me she had gotten a second job, and ironically the days we planned on something came up.
Spoiler Alert, I’m so over that happening in all avenues of my life.
At this point it is December 2017, and the idea of shooting someone outside who was only ribbon cladded was as dead as the flowers I hoped to capture as a backdrop in this saga. Plus not gonna lie I’m not a cold weather person, not all….unless I’m getting paid. So figured I’d aim to do the shoot in the spring.
The way my life goes it would probably be spring when I found someone.
The search continued. I thought I found a potential one but of course she fizzled out of existence too, honestly there isn’t a point in bringing her up. Another friend who I met during the the mermaid saga, was interested but decided against it for reasons I’m not mad at.
If you give me a legit reason why you don’t want to do a shoot, opposed to just vanishing out of my life after saying you were down I won’t cast stones. Its only when you ghost me do I throw stones, salt, shade and sarcasm. All the painful S’s. Especially if you don’t reply to my message but like my fucking post on social media.
Fast forward to March 2018. One of my homegirls who I shucked and jived with at the plantation wanted to get dinner, we met at Zoe’s Kitchen and talked about how our lives were going. I told her about the shoot I was trying to do, and asked did she have any friends that I may want to shoot for it. She pulled out her phone and showed me her coworker…OMG.
Nigga, I was floored. She was gorgeous, I told her I want her for my bday (no literally my bday was coming up soon) she would be a great gift so I could end this search. She told me she would ask her and man this mystic hybrid was hopeful as fuck. The next time I saw her was at my bday party the following week, and her friend was down.
Blessed Be!! Hail to the guardians of the watch tower.
I got her contact info, and we set up a meeting sometime during the following week.
Real Shit she was kool as fuck. I told her the whole project and was excited. She told me she never modeled before aside from this one thing at college where she was essentially the token black person on the college brochure. I took her measurements, and told her as it warmed up we could start thinking about a date. In the meantime I asked what her favorite type of candy was and liquor choices. She told me gummy bears and was down for any type of spirit consumption. As spring approached I bought a candy dish and a fan off Amazon. In May we met at Hobby Lobby one day post cotton field to see if the ribbons I wanted to use would be a good contrast on her. They won’t. The original intent was pastel colors but they appeared more sheer than anything. I chose 2 variations of the pink and purple I desired.
Side note, I like how after I actual found someone who I wanted and they solidified that they were down things flowed effortlessly.
When we got in the parking lot we talked about a date. She had told me that every Saturday in June she would be off in addition to the Tuesdays she is normally allotted off. We picked the Tuesday the 3rd week of June, and that Saturday as the back up date. In the meantime, my jobs project had ended and I began my 4 months of unemployment.
Not gonna lie,I legit kinda miss being unemployed. All I did was draw, chase my art dreams, eat and sleep in late. Sucks I couldn’t afford to turn on my a/c but I survived….somehow.
Anyway, at some point I fashioned a floral crown from supplies from Party City and Dollar Tree. Yay for the crown making experience points I gained during the mermaid epic. But the cape was a whole different thing. Spoiler alert, I don’t know how to sew, at all. Yay for my homegirls who told me about Hem tape and my cosplay friend who told me about chiffon because my cape may have not existed at all. Rigging the ornament of the cape was the hardest part. As the date came closer she bought a pair of shoes that were way better than anything I could have imagined.
The week came of the shoot FINALLY. OMFG, this took forever. If you think reading this was arduous try living it. That Monday I had called Mcgill Rose Garden to see that there were no events occurring the following day. This garden is legit kool as shit, however it is only open for a few hours a day and it is a popular place people like to have events. The last thing I need is for the background to be loaded with gawking people. That is way more editing than I prefer to do.
They told me no, so the rest of the day I spent buying gummy bears, making a new version of Jano Juice, buying a glass royalty would use and image training on how I wanted the shoot to go and hoped the awkward loss of words that occurred a few weeks prior wouldn’t repeat itself. At some point that night she called me to tell me that we couldn’t do the shoot the next day for a very good reason, her period came.
But Jano why does that matter?
Spoiler Alert, she is going to only be wearing ribbons. Only Ribbons. Pretty sure a females menstrual cycle involves light and heavy blood flow. And from what I heard the first few days are the heaviest, and the last thing that is desired is blood oozing from her while shooting. That is a whole lot of discomfort for her that can be avoided if we rescheduled. So we did for that Saturday. What is a few days compared to several months?
The day before I walked the venue again since I haven’t been there in months, and did the whole visualization thing. My only other hope was that the cops wouldn’t be called on us, that was def a thing last summer. Black people were getting the policed called on them for simple things like living, pretty sure someone would do it if they saw a black girl wearing only ribbons being shot by black photographer with a Black Dynamite Afro for following his dreams if they had the chance. On god my anxiety was high as fuck the night before.
Anyway, the morning came and I did not hear anything from her around the time we were supposed to meet up. My mind started to swell with fear and a million thoughts raced through my head. Was all this for nothing? Would she vanish on me like other models have the past few months? Fuck am I just trash to be thrown away so easily after all?
And those were only the nice thoughts.
I was having another existential crisis similar to what I had the past few months while trying to do other photoshoots, that to this day I still haven’t done 2 of the desired ones. Nigga its June 2019 still have yet to be done, the two aforementioned shoots were conceived October 2017 and January 2018. NIGGA!! A myriad of thoughts clenched my throat leaving me grasping for air, hoping to not drown in an ocean of depression again.
Yea I’m real fucked up and have a trash complex. Yay for conditioning.
Hold on, Let me breath.
I texted her hoping she had just overslept for good reason, and that was the case. The deepest sigh of relief came from me. But we only a had a few hours that the garden would be open. The goal was to be there by the time it opened, mainly to avoid human background traffic. Plus it would be less hot as fuck earlier in the morning, it would still be hot as fuck but not less as fuck. The place opened at 10, and that is when she got to my house around that time. She got to my place, stripped and I applied the ribbons as hastily as I could. There wasn’t any major issues, other than the adhesive getting stuck to me sometimes. I stuck to my design as much as I could, the application wasn’t as neat as desired but I knew I could fix it in photoshop. We got to the venue around 12ish, the place closes at 3.
Luckily barely anyone was there, the few that were there observed proper etiquette of staying the fuck out of our way. I poured her Jano Juice Volume 3 for effect, nice to know I can make good mixed drinks. If this art journey fails maybe I’ll be a bartender. I told her to channel the royal, bad and boujee side she keeps locked away. And she did successfully and elegantly. For someone who never modeled before she did a legit good job. It was worth the wait, of course I would prefer if my ideas didn’t take months to fucking flourish but whatever.
Anyway to see the culmination of my 10 month journey, go here.
That is the end of this epic, I would say saga but I feel epic is more appropriate given the length of time it took to do this. It damn near equated to a whole school year. Since this ribbon concept worked, hopefully I can do it again in another shoot. But will I? No seriously, I have no idea. I def want to but these model searches are so fucking taxing. If you are interested email me, with photos of yourself and please be in Charlotte, N.C.
Moral of the story; keep in touch with your friends from the cotton field they may help you follow your dreams.
Or something, infer what you want from this. Or not. I don’t care.
Thats it for now, I’m going to do something that doesn’t involve typing a narrative for 4 hours, like rewatch Durarara for the fourth time and getting for ConCarolinas.