Poetic Illustrations on YouTube

Poetic Illustrations on YouTube
Poetic Illustrations on YouTube

Lady Pink in the HOUSE (Book)!

(Lady on the Leaf by Lady Pink, Acrylic on Canvas)

Whether she’s tagging a wall in the city, or sitting in a cherry picker seven stories up, buckled into a harness, which she hates, Lady Pink and her crew have taken on jobs wall-size to several stories tall. They work under permits to create murals that transport minds into wonderlands of fantastic realms, far beyond the flat facade of a mundane brick sided building menacingly hanging over a parking lot. Her work leaves a space transformed. It transcends dimension, and transports the viewer elsewhere. Her work allows an audience to step into her world, a vivid place of color and wildly imaginative zone where a visual dance to silent music takes place. Formerly Ecuadorian, and now considered to be a member of the Human Race, Pink’s rebellious acts of self expression are part of a wide spread effort around the city of New York to empower women using graffiti and murals to make bold statements that women hold a presence in what was previously considered to be a “boys club”. 

Meeting Pink was a calm experience that left us a bit lost for words for how to explain the time we spent with her. Did that just happen? Wait. Yes. Uh…..Yeah. I just met one of my heroes. I repeatedly thought. But she wouldn’t want to be called that. Because she’s just doing her thing.  She wouldn’t want to be analyzed. She’s just doing her job. She see’s images, and she puts them onto spaces. For those of us who view her work, and stand back in awe of it, we find it to be the kind of impressive that we view from a distance and wonder how one accomplishes such beauty from a can that sprays with such a rapid pace that many often struggle to adequately manage to apply it, let alone use this material to create a piece of fine art. But Pink is a master of this craft. She wields these cans like Picasso would pick up a brush and place it to canvas. She puts her mask on, and climbs up ladders and just gets the job  done. 

Pink works hard. She’s not prideful. She’s not boastful. She works hard. She’s an animal lover. She’s an inspirational teacher. She’s bold. She’s outspoken. She’s feisty. But she’s calm and extremely compassionate regarding kids and education of youth. I admire her tenacity and gift for mentorship of youth. We were extremely happy with our decision to take our sons with us to meet her. It was an experience we know they will always reflect on, and she was highly responsive to having the boys there. She encouraged their participation and conversation over our meal, and was happy to know that we travel with our kids and teach them about the world, stating that it is important for kids to travel and learn. It was truly an honor to spend time getting to know her, and we look forward to seeing her continue to do just that - her thing!

One of the coolest parts about the experience of meeting Lady Pink was seeing how down to earth she and her family are. We enjoyed meeting and spending time with them and are so thankful for their encouragement of our book. We cannot wait to place a copy of it in their hands! We are honored to have Pink’s participation in our book. We are beyond ecstatic to display her work to introduce her to those who haven’t yet come to know who she is and what she has done. Working with Pink for the image in our book has opened a door to include works by artist Jenny Holzer and photographer Lisa Kahane, and as an artist and a student who studied these women, I’m beyond honored and can’t say with enough gratitude how thankful I am to include them in our work. Ladies, THANK YOU for what you contribute to our country and our world. Thank you for who you are, what you teach, how hard you work, and the messages you send. Thank you for your inspiration, and thank you for saying yes! We are filled with gratitude for your acceptance and look forward to sharing our book with you.

“I’m just doing my thing, you know. There are classes being taught on the theory behind why I do something, or why I make it a certain color. But I’m just doing what I want to do. I’m just doing my thing.”

- Lady Pink

For more information about Lady Pink and her artwork, please visit her website:

Merci Agha Jobrani

Merci Agha Jobrani (English translation: Thank you Mr. Jobrani).

As an Iranian, I am beyond honored to present Mr. Maz Jobrani in our book.  Maz Jobrani is a well known stand up comedian.  He has been in various television shows, movies and has published books.  One of his best sellers, and my favorite is "I'm Not a terrorist, but I've played one on T.V."  I would highly recommend the read.  What is so great about this Poetic Illustrations of Immigrants of the United States is that we have such a diverse selection of heroes.  Some of the individuals hit Jen with intensity, while others hit me the same way.  While others we both are impacted by their story.

When we work on someone's poem and illustration, we do a lot of research to learn as much as we can about the individual.  I remember watching a video of Mr. Jobrani (resource: https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2018/10/07/inside-middle-east-stage-comedy-maz-jobrani-vision-b.cnn)  and there was a very specific line "...I never felt American enough, and I never felt Iranian enough."  That was it.  That was the line that inspired my poem.  I sat with that sentence for almost a week before I started writing.  When I put the words on paper, it was effortless.  Mainly because I have felt the same way.  Not knowing where I belonged. 

In our journey, Jen and I make all efforts to meet with our individuals, our heroes.  We are crazy excited to have Mr. Jobrani's blessing to move forward with having him in the book.  When I tweeted the video (oh yea...I tweet now) and to see Mr. Jobrani not only like the tweet, but respond? oh man...I was beside myself.  We cannot wait to see his show on November 16th, and laugh our ass off. :)

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty, standing with a promise of hope and light in the darkness.

We take this symbol of our passage to freedom pretty seriously.  Many think her tablet beholds a quote, but it actually holds Roman numerals for the date of our Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. The Emma Lazarus quote commonly thought to be on her tablet is actually located on the plaque at her base is one I never tire of. It's message reads: 

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

A broken chain lies at the feet of the statue, symbolizing the freedoms we have in the United States of America. The statue is a welcoming signal to immigrants from all around the world who arrive from the corners of the earth to enter our country at Ellis Island. The seven spikes on the crown of the Statue of Liberty represent the seven oceans and the seven continents on our globe. She holds a torch, which illuminates a pathway to freedoms one has a right to in our country. The statue represents that Liberty is sought here, freedom is won here, and none shall be neglected here. Her torch stays lit for all to seek the shores of freedom by. 

The Statue of Liberty was gifted to the United States by France in 1886. It is a 305 foot tall Copper neoclassical sculpture located on Liberty Island in the New York Harbor in New York City. It was designed by sculptors Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, and Richard Morris Hunt, and built by architect Gustave Eiffel. After originally being constructed in Paris in 1885, it was deconstructed and packed into 214 separate containers and shipped in 350 pieces to the United States where it was reassembled in New York upon it's arrival.

The Hungarian American Publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer galvanized the American public to contribute to the effort by publishing the project in his newspaper, The World. Within six months of publication of the project he raised $100,000 for the statue. 

We encourage you to see her for yourself. Pictures do not do her magnificence justice. Her symbolism is profound. Her presence, indelible.

We decided it was naturally appropriate to pay tribute to the group of individuals we are honoring by visiting the Statue and passing by Ellis Island. In some small way, as we walk the streets those we seek to celebrate in our book have, as we feel the tides under the boat, and as we sail near the lights we see in the distance and can see it as they would have seen it themselves, we are hoping that we are experiencing a small piece of their voyage so that we can honor it, pay tribute to it, and teach you about it. So that you can do the same.

For more information on the Statue of Liberty please see the following links:

Statue of Liberty National Monument
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
Ellis Island National Monument

Ramadan: More than just fasting

Picture source:  https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/happy-ramadan-2019-ramzan-mubarak-wishes-images-quotes-status-wallp...