Mermaids

Troubled Waters

I had an interesting last few days.

My younger cousin and I have been dialoguing a lot more recently and it’s opened my eyes to so many new things. One would be, I’ve never realized how similar we are as adults. I remember us running around as children and always having a great deal in common, but was blind to the fact that it transferred into adulthood.

We spoke about our family and our ethnicity and so many wonderful things. She is raising a child of her own and she is doing an amazing job, even being dealt a shitty hand. I am in awe of her. At 21 she has more maturity than some people twice her age.

This all sparked conversation in my own home about race and ethnicity and even more wonderful things. As that conversation was happening, I was sent some links to something that made me sick on Twitter.

People were (and still are) complaining about the race of a girl cast to play the new Ariel in Disney’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid.

What a bunch of fuckwits. Talk about a waste of space.

I’ve drawn and designed mermaids many times in my life and now I do so professionally, and I assure you, no where does it state they have to be a certain shade. I’ve even designed some with a lavender skin, or a greenish hue, sometimes pink; sometimes blue.

In the words of Jim Morrison, people are strange.

There are events going on in our country that are in dire need of attention, but these are the things some choose to get angry about.

It’s maddening.

The Shining Sea

I have a niece that I already know will very much look up to the new Ariel. Right now, her favorite is Moana for similar reasons. That alone makes me smile. That alone makes me want to give every one of those people complaining a great, big Jersey hello. (That’s the middle finger for those of you that’ve never been out here.)

So with that said, I hardly ever do fan art. About 98% of my art are originals. That being the case, I am going to make an exception for this next one and maybe a few others. After all, I plan on doing more of these for this movie coming up if time allows.

A Little Mermaid © 2019 Snapping Turtle Arts | cardcastlesinthesky.com

The following early concept is one of a limited edition series I’m doing on mermaids. This first one was inspired by the new Ariel.

Instead of me going back at some of those people that are spreading racist ideals on Twitter, this is going to be my retaliation. Share it if you can. Art speaks and it also teaches. Let the art teach. Maybe they can see its beauty and learn something.

Let the art teach.

J

Blood in the Streets: Part III, The Children

Why

TheChildrenIt’s been just a few short months since the first two parts of this series were shared. Already, there have been a shocking number of more violent incidents. During that short time, a famous athlete, Mr. Colin Kaepernick has gained national attention for his form of silent protest. Other athletes, soldiers, and even students have followed in his footsteps.

Still it feels like we are no closer to a solution.

What is the solution? Is there a solution?

These are questions that can be heard tossed around on both sides. It’s obvious something needs to be done but not many people seem to have a clue where to begin. Many feel fear of “stirring the pot” so to speak, and my response is simply-perhaps the proverbial pot needs to be stirred.
We need to keep dialoging. We need to be uncomfortable in the conversations and situations in order to come to a positive middle ground. I’ve often feared bringing up these conversations myself; being one of the first ones. Some may say I’m placing a target on my forehead. I’m fully aware that I may be doing just that. This one, however, is personal to me. When my friends and family already have targets on their forehead, I guess I might as well join the bunch.

Vines

There have even been children who have fallen victim to this sort of warped society we’re living in both physically and mentally. As a PTSD sufferer myself, I have suggested to friends that there should be massive group therapies (as well as individual) taking place. These options need to be enacted in order to treat the trauma not only these children, but also adults, are facing.

Trayvon Martin was one of the first names in these modern times to hit home for me. So much so that I felt the need to speak up then too. That could have been my son. That could have been your son. The media and politicians like to spin these as “black issues” that only effect black people. That could not be farther from the truth. This is a human rights issue. The moment atrocities like this occur, it becomes everyone’s issue—whether you like it or not.

Sadly, we need to explain these issues to our children. As a parent of a young, sensitive child I understand how painfully difficult this can be. The weight of having to do such a thing could make us want to avoid the situation all-together. Though their lives could be the price we pay for avoiding these touchy topics.

So let’s continue talking, and moving, and changing, so that perhaps in our not-so-distant future there will no longer be blood in the streets. No more blood from my brother, your brother, sister, father, son, mother, daughter, cousin, lover, friend, or anyone.

Blood in the Streets Series

This series is dedicated to all of the people of color that have supported me both emotionally and professionally not only over these past few years, but through my entire life.

This one is for you Miss Sophia, “Filly” Felicia, Val, Meli, Ashley, Amor, Jess, Jason, O, Viv, Tony, Pam, Curt, Ka, Gloria, Ra, Hahn, and countless others.

I value and appreciate you.

Blood in the Streets: Introduction & Part I, The Men

Why

Blood in the Streets is a three part necessary storm created due to modern injustice and violence in our current society. Although some of these occurrences are limited to the United States, their effects have been felt globally.

  • Part one of the series is titled “The Men” touching on topics of police brutality while highlighting the innocent lives taken due to senseless violence.
  • Part two is titled “The Women” and aims at spotlighting the lesser heard stories of women brutalized; sometimes for seemingly no reason at all.
  • Part three concludes the series with “The Children” and delves deep into fear and ignorance while highlighting the lives of children taken too soon.

CardCastles understands some of these topics are uncomfortable. With that said, the material shared within is not recommended for users under the age of 18.


The Men

TheMan

July brought in a heat that no one was expecting. I’m not talking about the kind of heat generated by the sun, or the kind manufactured by man, but the kind that seems to take on a life of its own once started.

On July 5th, video circulated the internet of something you may have seen an infinite amount of times portrayed on COPS. An unarmed black man was pinned down to the ground with a knee in his chest. We didn’t have much knowledge on what took place before. What was different this time was the end result. The officer fired into the man’s chest killing him. The officer’s life didn’t appear to be in any danger. He simply could not contain the suspect. That man’s name is Alton Sterling, and his funeral was just last Friday, July 15th.

This is not the first time this has happened. Nor is it the first time there has been evidence of such a thing. Though now, in today’s world of technology, the Average Joe can be a journalist. There was video everywhere and it circulated quickly.

No matter what side of the fence you stand on, there is no denying that black men die at the hands of police at an alarming rate. We can sit here and debate guilt. We can sit here and have a race war.

I’d rather ask you simply this:

If you believe there is corruption and you believe that innocent lives can sometimes be taken by people wearing the good guy suit, then why is it so hard for some to believe this is happening right in front of their faces?

Have we become so caught up in political ideals that we can no longer see right from wrong?

Vines

Disturbingly, less than 24 hours later, on July 6th, the world took in more news and video of a senseless killing. This time, from the up-close perspective of the victim’s girlfriend who sat in the car with him as his life slipped away. The video begins with a bleeding Philando Castile, whose arm is visibly swollen from a gunshot wound. His girlfriend is heard pleading with police trying to make sense of why her boyfriend had just been shot if he was complying. As she calmly speaks, perhaps most disturbing of all was the fact that his daughter can be heard in the backseat. Castile slips away on camera, in front of them both. His girlfriend is seen being thrown to the ground and cuffed shortly after. The video was a recording of the FB Live stream his girlfriend sent out during the incident.

The black community will tell you this sort of thing has been going on for centuries. The only difference now is we have video evidence.

I’m going to let that statement sink in for a moment, because it seems not to be with most of the media pitting us against each other.

There is something to be said about racism in this country, and how it seems to be just as alive today as it was back in the days of slavery. Some may not want to accept this, exclaiming “Oh no, but we’ve come so far.” Though, with all of the death, the harsh realities at our feet, and blood in the streets, you simply cannot be blind to it any longer.