From Sea to Shining Sea!
Apologies again for my late posting!
I've gotten so overwhelmed with requests and personal work/teaching that I haven't even had a moment to stay in touch with my favorite people :)
September and early October have really been filled to the brim. (Most incredibly, Carefree, Like Me! has reached East Africa and the Middle East!)
In chronological order, I was very unfortunate and grateful to my good friend Amy for purchasing 18 (yes, EIGHTEEN!) copies of Carefree, Like Me! this September. She distributed it to elementary schools and parents of her choosing, and this was one of the letters I received in return from one parent (and new friend, too!)
Also in September, I officially became a part of the Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania team!!! Young Audiences of NJ and PA is an organization that brings in freelance talent and helps to prepare them for teaching arrangements at schools and organizations. It's a really phenomenal program that I'm honored to be a part of. (Special thanks to my brother Eric Thomas for that opportunity too!) 'm really honored to be counted among artists who: worked and performed for Motown, toured Asia and Europe, perform for the Metropolitan Museum of Art & more. That particular day in September was a meet and greet with a really great chance to connect with the other artists on the roster. There were breakout sessions, live performances, and tastes of workshops that these incredible artists offer to schools in NJ and Eastern PA.
My homie fo' life Kathy FirstnameVassana Soumphonphakdy shared this class assignment from her son that he was really proud to finish! He used my book to complete an assignment in class, and my heart exploded when I got the text lol. Crazy to see it being part of a curriculum! Thank you for sharing that with me!
I'm also super excited to be working with Patricia Peters-Eady next month as well! She runs the Hillside Family Success Center - Homefirst, Inc. in Hillside, NJ. She saw me on Della Crews' News 12 New Jersey taping and immediately reached out to me to work with her and the children in her neighborhood for a reading/workshop. I've never actually seen a parent/child interaction with my book, so this was really special for me to capture too. The little girl pictured was so full of life and immediately started climbing on my legs. I notice most kids see me as a jungle gym though apparently haha.
So grateful to be able to do what I love day in out and day out. :)
I also had my first event as a caricature artist at Tulpehaking Nature Center for their first annual Nature Con event this past Saturday, RIGHT after a 5 hour bus ride from Tufts University where I spoke on a panel about entrepreneurship in the Black Diaspora community. So grateful to both communities for allowing me into that space to rock it out. Both were incredibly fun, but I was so exhausted after the experience!
Thanks to the ever incredible Jennifer Cohan coming through with that strong ticket game LOL, I had a chance to sit in on a live sketch session and talk with comics legend Jim Lee at Princeton University!! It was really inspiring to hear him talk about his non-traditional art path and get to meet the man himself! He had to contend with his immigrant, Korean parents to establish an art career after it was projected that he'd be a doctor. I can't even imagine the courage on him. I'd have run away first! Haha.
Now for some of the COOLEST news, Carefree, Like Me! has officially gone all the way international! Thanks to Elizabeth R. Mealey and her fiance, the book has reached across the Atlantic into the hands of this awesome young man pictured and captured here. Thanks so much for sharing Elizabeth and thanks so much to him for being willing to be seen! Apparently, he wanted to know if this was actually a longer movie!...mebbeh. haha. (SPOILER ALERT - The book is read in its entirety here.) Carefree, Like Me! is ALSO now in Saudi Arabiaaaa! I woke up feeling like death on a toasted bun this past Monday, but this message from my wonderful friend Pilar brightened my otherwise groggy morning. These are her students, and the boy holding the book is in fact Egyptian himself! He was apparently really excited to see Ancient Egyptian characters being represented.
I also happened to notice that Carefree, Like Me! was in Walmart retail stores on Google. I decided to Tweet about it, tweeting directly @ Walmart. I then get a response back. Like, what?!
Like I said, these past two months have been crazy. And October isn't even FINISHED! haha.
Thanks for tuning again and until next time!
Rashad Malik Davis