How To Draw Black People Vol.2 update #1
Thank you for your time, if you have it. ICYMI, I am currently running a Kickstarter for the second volume of HTDBP. During October, I plan to post updates here and on the Kickstarter landing page. These updates will also journal the process and how things are going, so you will find it here if you want.
Kickstarter Part Deux
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Malik Ali Ibn Rasheed Shabazz. I am a writer and an artist, and I have professionally made art and comic books for more than ten years. Most people know me from the first volume of How To Draw Black People, but I made comic books long before that. Given that it is ADHD acceptance month and I have both, I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify with people new to this series and me.
Shabazz Arts started as Night-M.A.I.R.S. press which was just me. I was still in college, and my daughter, Aurelia, was born. So I quit my jobs at the Staples center and CVS, working as a cashier to stay home with her. It was a win-win for me. I got to work from home and raise my child while her mother was away at work. That's when I got on Facebook and shortly after that transitioned to "The Art of Malik Shabazz." After nine years, I gained 25,000 followers and 5000+ friends and followers combined across two personal accounts. But then, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Miriam Carey, Walter Scott, and many other names are etched in my mind forever happened. Comics have always been political in America. Our world was wide open to the discourse that wrapped up the entire nation.
I'm sure I don't need to describe the type of factionalism many others have explained better than I can. There have been battle lines between comic book artists for quite some time now (no pun intended, but it is good). My battlefront was Blackness in comics.
How To Draw Black People seemed to like the perfect opportunity to do some good and make something that could serve as a financial bedrock for the kind of stories that I wanted to tell. I'm not proud or ashamed to admit that my first motivation was the amount of money I could make. Although I was honest in creating a tutorial book that focused on Black features, it still felt like exploiting my race.
My first intention was to create a book similar to a generic "how to draw" title. However, when it finally came time to write the book, I realized two things: 1. I had no blueprint 2. Drawing Black people is not a simple as it sounds.
I put myself under tremendous stress, and eventually, I burned myself out. However, I was stretched far beyond my means and unable to stop myself. I was sure I was okay and that a bit of rest was all I needed; that or another energy drink. Still, I could never catch up on sleep, and the caffeine was not helping. My anxiety reached OCD levels. I could only manage to work on How To Draw Black People here and there before I had to continue working as a Uber/Lyft driver.
After months of incremental work, I finished the first volume and rushed it out to print before it was truly ready.
There's a lot more context I am leaving out for my privacy and that of other people. TL;DR: During the making of The first volume of "How To Draw Black People," I was going through autistic burnout, but I didn't know what autism was.
That brings me back to ADHD, autism, and what acceptance looks like for me.
ADHD Acceptance Month