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‘For My Son’
I have been invited to share a word with you about a project that is dear to my heart and hopefully familiar to you.
“Furqan’s First Flat Top” is my first self published children’s book that center’s around the relationship between a father and son, building trust, and a hair cut. The spark for this story began almost two years ago as I was practicing my art. It started with one image and a paragraph. Then it expanded into storyboards, concept art, manuscript writing, rewriting, and planning. I have taken a great amount of time to cultivate this story because it speaks to me, it inspires me, and I believe it will connect with many other fathers and sons.
I’m a 34 year old man of color. I come from a long line of mixed families. My dad is Korean, Mexican, and Apache Indian. My mother is African American. I was born in Oakland and grew up all over the Bay Area here in California. I have been an artist for as long as I have memories. I studied with friends, crews of artists, schools, children, and on my own. I’ve worked tons of jobs, but being an art teacher in public schools here and in New York City is probably the most consistent besides creating illustration as a freelance artist.
I rediscovered a love for stories reading with my son.
But, when I became a dad I found it difficult to find culturally diverse children’s books for my son. I feel that telling stories like “Furqan’s First” is a way for me to do both. I chose to launch my story through crowd funding because I knew that I didn’t need permission or approval from major publishers to tell it. I’ve had conversations with family, friends, and new friends about my stories. I knew that I had a community that would respond to it because friends, family, and fellow creatives would always ask when my story was going to drop. They encouraged and supported me through praise and constructive criticism. Now is the time.
Telling stories is my dream. Blessings!
Robert ‘Tres’ Trujillo is a Bay Area raised visual artist and father who employs the use of illustration, storytelling, and public art to tell tales.