Featured Image is from May’s Fresno Drink and Draw event, Sakura! With Model Katy French, held at Fulton 55.

Heads up, Starlings, I will be live on CentralValleyTalk.com THIS Thursday morning, June 7, 2018 at 11:00 AM talking art, writing, #ILOVEARTBRO, Fresno Drink and Draw, Forsakenstars.com, but mostly (hopefully) my upcoming Spiral Legion-themed art show at the Community Media Access Collaborative – CMAC! I’ll be their featured artist for the July Arthop! So tune in at 11:00 AM in just a few short hours! (Yeah, I should Totally be sleeping right now.) Thanks!


In case you missed it, here is the segment, now on YouTube!


I had all these delusions of the luxury of time that I would have, so I only scratched the surface of everything I wanted to talk about, but since you’re here, the notes I took with me to the interview are posted in full below.

Also, there’s at least one correction so far: I credited Shannon East for giving me the idea for the coloring book/art book–I misspoke and meant to say Shannon Eaton. If you are familiar with me or my blog, then you know Shannon was my gracious host for the Arts Consortium Artists’ Studio Tour a few weeks back. I may have been thinking of my buddy John East, who just had a baby not too long ago. My apologies, Shannon!

The advantage to posting my notes is that there are clickable links! Yay!

Who the Hell am I?
I’m Rob Lopez, a science-fiction, horror and fantasy writer and artist. I’m a Central Valley native—born in Dinuba, raised in Orange Cove, and I went to high school and college in Reedley. I’ve lived in Selma, Kingsburg and Fresno, and recently I moved back home to Orange Cove, where I work in the office of the Julia A. Lopez Child Development Center, named after my grandmother on my dad’s side. I spend a lot of time in Visalia these days as a member of the Arts Consortium and a vendor at #ILOVEARTBRO. I still spend a lot of time in Fresno as well, at Arthop, Heroes Comic Book store and Fresno Drink and Draw at Fulton 55 (currently on hiatus until September).

How do I create my stories?
I don’t just create stories, but I build worlds, usually with conceptual art that helps me visualize my characters and settings. I’ve got two big, distinct universes: Spiral Legion and Forsaken Stars.
In Spiral Legion, humanity must genetically alter themselves to face the Shrekar, an alien threat with the ability to wipe out technology; so they splice themselves with the DNA of extinct animals and/or aliens they encounter, to give themselves wings, enhanced speed, strength or agility or powers.
Forsaken Stars is a universe where God returned to judge the living and the dead, but a few demons, witches, gremlins and humans escaped to distant stars, but now it appears the universe is collapsing, so a penitent Vampire named Azzi wants to gain an audience with God, enlisting space captain Sera Besh and a few old friends to help him.
I’ve also got a few stories that fall somewhere in between these universes. One is The Echo Girl, which is a very personal story that grew out of my time at the K-Jewel Writer’s Group. And another is Black Gum, which came out of a desire to write more family friendly stuff while still tackling issues of race and violence and belonging.

How do I tell my stories?
I’ve always told them with a mix of words and pictures, but a few years ago I joined the Fresno Scifi and Fantasy Writers Group and started getting serious about my short story writing. You can find a lot of it at forsakenstars.com or on amazon at Amazon.com/author/roblopez.
The last year or so, the pendulum swung and I’ve been drawing, sketching and digitally inking and coloring illustrations based on many of my stories. On my pc I use Clip Studio Paint Pro with a Huion tablet and stylus. In February I finally purchased an iPad and I’ve been using apps like Medibang Paint and Procreate, which I really like. I use a Bamboo Sketch stylus with the iPad. I’ve been gearing up for a Spiral Legion themed art show and back in December I started talking with the folks at CMAC to host it.

What is available for purchase and where?
Lots of stuff is available online at amazon or at imagekind.com/artists/robsojourn and you can also hire me for services at my wordpress art page roblopezart.wordpress.com If you find me at a vendor fair or comic-con, then I usually have prints and books on hand like Prelude to Spiral Legion, The Echo Girl and my new art book/coloring book Strange Space.

Where will I be?
I have to check out Arthop at CMAC with expressionist painter Betty Berk. During the month of June, CMAC will be featuring her work.
An award winning local artist, Betty Berk will be exhibited at Community Media Access Collaborative, CMAC, for the month of June, 2018. Come join her at First Thursday Art Hop on June 7. Berk’s works are filled with exciting color compositions that celebrate life through bright color and expressive brush work. Betty Berk lives in Visalia where she finds inspiration in hills, mountains and the countryside of orange crops and wild flowers. Often carting home pots of flowers from the local nursery’s, she sets up still life subjects to paint in free spirited oil paintings. To see more of her work, you can visit Betty’s website here.

Next Week
#ILOVEARTBRO is at the Cellar Door in Visalia most Wednesday Nights.
Organizer Ryan Mayo tells me they will have three amazing bands for June 13 – The Act Naturals, Style Like Revelators, and Gypsy Vision! Admission at the door is $5, doors open at 7pm and it’s 21+
101 W Main St, Visalia, CA 93291 Details can be found on facebook at #ILOVEARTBRO or Instagram @Iloveartbro

Next Month
My Big Show is at CMAC – Community Media Access Collaborative – and debuts during Arthop Thursday, July 5, 2018, from 5PM to 8PM. I’ll be featuring works from my science-fiction horror universe Spiral Legion, as well as a few pieces from my other more supernatural universe Forsaken Stars and some from the Fresno Drink and Draw live drawing events that have been held at Fulton 55.
CMAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering voices in the community through media. They offer tools and training to create and distribute high-quality video content that is of interest to local audiences. This modern facility features a production studio, editing suites, meeting rooms, classroom space, and a computer lab, along with a variety of portable production gear. It also houses an automated broadcast center, which delivers programming to CMAC TV channels on Comcast, AT&T U-verse, and the Internet.
CMAC is located in the historic Fresno Met building in downtown – 1555 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721

Summer and Beyond
I just participated in the Monday Mixer at Strummers just up the street. It’s put on by Love the Captive and they’ve got great music, art, poetry, drinks and food as well. I hope to do it again soon.

Of course I’d like to do more arthops, maybe Taste the Arts in October, and I really need to get back to writing!

Shout Outs
I’ve got to give a big thanks to Marc Blake, curator of the K-Jewel Gallery. He was instrumental in shifting my storytelling and artistic endeavors into a higher gear. Arthop starts at the K-Jewel Gallery!
Leslie Abney is the creator of Fresno Drink and Draw, and this event has not only improved my figure drawing, but it’s connected me to so many wonderful and talented folks I can’t even begin to say how my life has been changed for the better.

My family and the folks at the Julia Lopez Child Development Center are pretty much my patrons; they afford me the ability to get out and do these events. Particularly my dad, Robert Sr., who often attends these events with me, and my mom, Juanita, who is one of the best, strongest people I know. My brother Ricardo has kept me and my car running for years. My nephews and nieces also really make life worth living, they’re a joy.

A few other folks, like Jeanette Rivera, who I like to call the Queen of Arthop, Joanie Gray-Constable recently of the Arts Consortium in Visalia, now joyfully retired; the folks at the Chris Sorensen Studio and Gallery, and Charlie Vang, George and Janet Smith of CMAC. And of course, Carole Love Forbes, Amber Artista and Mike Briggs of CentralValleyTalk.com for giving me this platform to share my dreams. Thank you.

Bluebird Patch NEW

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