Moisture.


Images from Lemon Tree








(Lemon Tree was my first time scanning my artwork and making a video)

Smile

(A sketch from high school)



Seamstress Autumn


(Older, anime version of Autumn from Thread pieces. Sketched, scanned, and colored on Gimp)


Threads II

Autumn felt something stick to the back of her neck, like a bug taking unwelcomed settlement on a shoulder. It was something much bigger than a bug though, and bulky. Autumn shifted in her seat, trying to glance over her shoulder. Her movements were restricted, however, her hair feeling like it was pinned to the back of her seat. Autumn was still able to turn just enough to glimpse into her peripheral vision and see what was going on. The classmate who sat behind her had her legs up on the desk she was sitting in, just making herself at home. She was nonchalantly pressing the dirty bottoms of her shoes against Autumn's hair, which was draped over the hood of the chair she sat in.

This classmate of Autumn's always seemed to be trying to push her boundaries, seeing how far out of line she could go before getting in trouble. It was this reason that she was popular, the majority of the other girls in their grade flocking to her and trying to mimic her attitude. Her name was Michelle, the catalyst, the rotten apple. Autumn had been getting teased in school for as long as she could remember, but it was only when Michelle transferred in did it turn into a true psychologically damaging harassment.

There was only the voice of the teacher reciting the lesson in the room. Autumn couldn't bring herself to speak up, it would draw everyone’s attention and put her in the spotlight. Then again, at least she would gain the teacher's attention. Was being a tattle tale and getting Michelle in trouble wise though? She and her friends would hold a grudge and likely try to get back at her in some way. What were the other options? None of the Michelle uninfluenced classmates were sitting close enough to take notice and say something. She and Autumn sat in the back of the room, making it unlikely that the teacher was going to naturally take notice either. Were there any other options? She could just yank out her hair from the foot's hold. Time was passing, the class period was going to finish up soon, and Autumn was still trying to make a decision. Just trying to pull out the courage to act had her mental stream stirring and her adrenaline swelling.

Being chained down and controlled by her own strands, Autumn was beginning to feel like the toys she puppeteered. Taking their example, she finally decided to do nothing. She wasn’t sure if the choice was her being cowardice or wise.

After class, Autumn was face first in her locker when the voices of Michelle and friends passed by. They were intentionally intruding Autumn’s eavesdropping space, their chatter echoing in the metal closet. They were all giggling, a cynical implication in their breath.

“You were trying to see if you could leave a mark?” One said in a sarcastic tone.

“No, a footprint.” That qued a bigger burst of laughter.

“I wonder what happens when she lays in grass. Does it get grass stains?”

“Oh, or what would happen if you tossed her and a red sock in the dryer?”

“What?!”

The laughter suddenly muted as the voices turned the hallway corner, sound travel now blocked by a wall. A minute still usable before next period, Autumn went into the girl’s room. The ever reappearing huddle of girls fixing themselves in the bathroom mirror between classes was starting to dwindle. Autumn took the corner of the end mirror, wishing to stay discreet. It wasn’t really working. Ignoring some wandering eyes, she swept her mane over her shoulder and began brushing the seemingly invisible shoe crud. Not convinced the grime’s microscopic existence was gone, she wet her fingers with the tap water and began finger combing her head of fifteen hundred thousand bothersome strands. When sixth period beckoned with its bell, Autumn and the other two remaining girls dropped whatever prepping they were still doing and scurried off.

“I… don’t… want it brown…” Autumn cried between hiccups, into her balled up fists.

“But it’s going to look so pretty. Don’t you want to look like mommy?”

“Her nose is running,” Mr. Armstrong informed his wife and grabbed a nearby tissue. He brought it to Autumn’s face and tried to sooth her, “But now that it’s a more neutral color, you won’t get teased anymore.”

Autumn sat on a backless chair, her mother stood behind her with brown stained gloves. She was dying Autumn’s hair dark brown using a color rinse for at home jobs.

(To be continued)

Threads



“What if Barbie and Optimus Prime got married?”

“What?! No!”

Autumn stared at Quinn, somewhat perplexed at his reaction. Her large childish eyes drooped down to their bottom corners as she gave it thought. It’s true the damsel in distress and then get hitched scenario is overdone.

“Then Barbie saves Optimus Prime and they become best friends.”

“Never!” Quinn barked.

Both of the children’s heads turned to the door that had begun to creek. The white translucent strings that outstretched and scattered all about the room from the girl's thin fingers dematerialized. Within that second all the standing toys, including a Barbie and eight-inch Optimus Prime, dropped to the floor.

“Hey, you’re being very loud Quinn. Be nice to your little sister,” their mother lectured as she fully opened the door. She looked at her daughter, who was standing on the bed with her hands in front of her. Mrs. Armstrong raised an eyebrow, the girl always seemed to be in that position when she came in. She waved it off, “Dinner’s ready, clean up now, alright? Remember your aunts are coming over.” Both Quinn and Autumn responded with a harmonized “’kay” as their mother left the room.
The two began uncovering the carpet hiding under their toys. Their mother had actually told them to start cleaning a couple hours ago, but when you’re putting away things that keep catching your interest it’s hard to stay focused on your task--especially boring tasks like tidying up. This procrastination habit was even more the case for Autumn and Quinn, since playtime for them was like Toy Story come to life. At this time Autumn only knew she could produce these magical strings that could animate her toys like puppets. Quinn was the only other person that knew about her strange gift.

“There they are!” “Oh my god, did they grow since our last visit?”

"Aaw, they look like -yin and yang balls, their heads side by side like that."

Autumn and Quinn came out to these clich├ęd greetings after stuffing their toys in their closets and under the bed. Their aunts were already here, they sat around the kitchen table while Mrs. Armstrong was preparing coffee. The family formality of hug exchange then took place. Mrs. Armstrong had three sisters, all older than her, all giving off an identical vibe she did not have. It was not just the elaborate way their aunts dressed or their strange yet familiar white hair strands, their mother just felt like the plain Jane amidst the eccentricity. After a short exchange of "How are you doing in school?" and "What's new?" the adults began to drift back into their own conversations.

"So how is the shop doing?" Mrs. Armstrong asked before taking a sip from her mug.

"Wonderful, we're still the top vendors on etsy," one of the aunts chimed.

"What do you think about joining now? We're more than financially stable."

"Mm, I don't think so..."

"Why not? It's not really a family company without you," the second aunt’s features began to shift into a frown.

"She wouldn't let the nickname seamstress sisters grow because you weren't there."

"You know why," Mrs. Armstrong placed her hand on her cheek and leaned her arm against the table. She glanced at her bored-looking children, she spoke a tone softer "I didn't inherit the gift. It’s not my forte.”

The aunt that was trying to convince her sighed, and reluctantly concurred with silence.
"Oh, that reminds me, we brought souvenirs for the munchkins."

Quinn's bored face immediately began to perk up, eyeing the aunt that had begun to shift through her tote bag. The spark in his eyes turned back off when she took out handmade clothes. He would have known what to expect, but it was only until the words "souvenirs for the munchkins" was outspoken that his attention was reactivated.

Hair Care Journey

Black hair is not simply hair. 

It's political, it's misunderstood, it's a physical and emotional and mental struggle. Colored girls are raised in a world that treats their hair like an alien. There is still a lot of misinformation about it, a lot of it even coming from colored girls themselves. Kinky textured hair truly is alien and deviant, and colored girls still in the dark try to take care of it like other hair types. It's only recently with the help of social networking that girls are learning how to take care of it properly. 

This isn't something girls, and boys, with other hair types can truly get. Learning to take care of kinky hair always has trial and error. It's a 'hair care journey.' This is a common phrase in the black hair care world.




(sketched, scanned, and colored on Gimp)