I feel like as soon as the heat came, things definitely started to heat up over in RaMalik Illustrations land!
I (perhaps thankfully!?) don't have any deep philosophical thoughts for this blog post. I instead wanted to do a brief chat over the water-cooler about all of the cool things that have happened this month!
To address the title of this blog post, I was recently contacted by Ms. Della Crews of News 12 New Jersey! This is HUGE! It'd be like if NY1 or another big channel contacted you for a segment. It's featured ALL over New Jersey, and it's an incredible way to get some exposure but also to show some local positivity.
So anyway, I was just driving home, thinking life was all normal and boring and whatnot. As I was pulling into my driveway, I get a call from a number I didn't recognize. I picked it up, thinking maybe it was a staffing agency or something.
I said. hello.
The very pleasant woman on the other end of the phone says hello and introduces herself as Della Crews of News 12 New Jersey !!!
I was sitting in my car like O________O ?!?... UMM QUE?! NO BUT WHO IS THIS REALLY?!
I was hosted by Ms. Crews of Channel 12 for a 30 second segment!!! I contacted her with the news that I did a reading/performance at the first elementary school I ever went to in NJ, called Slackwood Elementary (Slackwood PTO) and she wanted some more information for the show that night! I've never jumped and screamed like that before in my life. Haha. It was amazing.
She THEN contacted me to come in AGAIN on August 8th! It's going to be a live interview that you should definitely tune into. As soon as things get closer, I'll send out a shoutout again. :)
Also this month, I got up and went to the Art All Night - Trenton event to vend and sell my books and merchandise.
Let me tell you...this event was SO jumpin'! I've never seen art be so celebrated with so much love. I sold an incredible amount of books and made some truly wonderful friends! People stopped just to tell me they loved my work or just to strike up interesting conversation. I even met another deeply spiritual woman who immediately knew my own gifts without me saying. o_O There was live music. Food trucks. A silent rave party in one corner. It was hot as I don't know what so I had to let the chest hang out, but it was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. Thank you to all the new friends and new supporters of my work!
Special shoutout to the woman with the rainbow shirt, too. She is goals. Thanks also to Tina L. Dent for always coming through in the clutch with setup materials too! haha
Last but not least, I participated in my first official book signing event at Amalgam Comics in Philadelphia, PA! The event was a success, making new friends and chatting up with old ones who came through! One particuarly amazing moment was when a little boy came with his parents. The parents bought the book (thank you!), and read to him on the floor. The boy loved it so much that he made Dad read it to him twice right there on the spot. I had to capture the moment that you can see below.
But what made this event so special was that I was sharing in this moment with the nationally recognized Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. run by the only black woman to ever own a comic book shop on the East Coast! She and her store have even been on: MSNBC, NBC, CNN, CNN Money among other media outlets.
Thank you Amalgam for the love and allowing me in your space! It was tremendous.
On a smaller but no less important aside, two pretty cool things happened!
Firstly, Carefree, Like Me! has officially gone international!
I was contacted by a fellow from London on Instagram who I didn't know. He explained that he just happened to see my work on the cover of Sunne's Gift and was impressed by the art. He looked me up and found Carefree, Like Me! He wanted to send some love but also offer a cool opportunity too. I'll let you see the conversation for yourself :) I was very hype. lol. (His Insta name shared with his permission)
Beyond that, I also saw that my old middle school hung up the article about me in the school library! I haven't read or gone there yet, but it was still amazing to have them represent and show me love like that. :)
All this to say, June has been an exciting month as always! Looking forward to sharing all that July has brought me too! :)
Lots of love and until next time!