children's textiles

Human Trafficking is closer than you think.

It’s everywhere and it happens to all ages of all backgrounds.
It’s just as bad in the Midwest as it is on the coasts.
There are more slaves today then there has been ever before in human history and it is rapidly expanding every moment.

First of all, human trafficking is modern slavery: the transport or trade of people for the purpose of work (women and girls often trafficked into the commercial sex industry, men and boys into hard labor like construction, and children into textile and agriculture).
It is an annual $34 BILLION industry and growing. More than 30 million people in trafficking situations and 40% of them are CHILDREN. This is happening in your state, in your cities, in your small towns.

It is not just immigrants who are trafficked in America.
Homeless girls are brainwashed by pimps and prostitute themselves sometimes 40 times a night or more and earn nothing but shame and fear. Some are forced to put themselves on pornographic websites at only 10 years old.

Children are kidnapped and forced into hard labor in and out of the country. American children on American ground are taken and being forced to do sexual things and slave themselves for years.

Foreign teenagers and children are brought into America believing they were given an opportunity to make a living and send money home, but they are forced to work and hide.. not knowing English, they believe that if they say anything, American police will kill them and their holders will kill their families.

Only 1% of victims are ever rescued.

This happens everywhere. This happens to anyone. No one is safe.

This is how you can help. GET INVOLVED. Do your research, raise awareness and volunteer to help out organizations that aim to rescue and prevent these horrible things from happening to your sister, your girlfriend, your wife…

Please. As part of the human fucking race this is your responsibility to be the voice of the people who do not have one.

A warm up painting from the other day.  I rarely paint without a pre-drawn sketch or color rough, but sometimes it’s fun to just let go and see what happens – apparently, bright colors!

it’s so weird to see the way fandom has appropriated chinese/east asian red string mythos. like it’s not some sort of predestined fate thing? it’s fun to see all the interpretations that have emerged but almost all of them are born out of complete ignorance of actual folklore

belief varies from place to place what the gist of what actually happens is that every 七夕 (qi xi, aka july seventh, a date for lovers due to yet another folktale), the goddess of children/textiles/lovers makes a list of all the unmarried young people living in the world, and gives the list to an old moon god 月下老人 (literally: old man under the moon, a taoist god in charge of marriage).

then the old man looks at the list, pairs up people according to his shipping preferences, and then goes around tying red string connecting the pair. and thus their couple potential is recognised and the ground set for marriage

like seriously red string is not some sort of romantic soulmate ‘we are perfect and destined for each other’ stuff it’s more about two strangers meeting and setting off on a journey toward marriage. it can just as much apply to arranged marriages and forced marriages as it does toward your One True Love. if red string comes up in a conversation between a chinese parent and their child it’s probably part of a conversation along the lines of ‘why aren’t you married yet how about i pull some strings and find someone for you’.

all of this isn’t to say that it can’t have the romantic connotations western fandom has given it. but honestly i see more uses of red string as a metaphor used by chinese youth as a symbol of unwanted, unfulfilled or forced relationships with an undercurrent of reluctance or confusion (tangled red string, red string that they can’t seem to sever etc.). though it absolutely does also get used to express loneliness and pining and ‘fated to be togetherness’.

but honestly at the end of the day so much of the sentiment around ‘red string’ comes down to the east asian culture of filial piety and familial pressures to marry and fulfill your adult duty? like the mythos is literally about gods seeing all these people who have failed to marry at a certain age and then goes about joining them together based on their own definitions of what is an appropriate match. as @star-crowned-prince puts it it’s more like cupid running around shooting people for reasons, the red string a cupid’s arrow and not much else

fandom treats it… very differently

food for thought i guess

as a kid I had a shirt that said “be a mola” with a South American-looking, stylized bird on it

I don’t know where it came from

my parents didn’t know where it came from

(possibly it belonged to my sister, who’s 12 years older than me?)

none of us had the slightest idea what the slogan might mean

later I discovered the art form, molas, which are a kind of beautiful reverse-applique textiles made by the Kuna people of Panama. I guess the bird kind of bore a passing resemblance to a simplified mola design?

I’ve never seen that shirt or any similar image/text combinations. I still don’t know why the designers want children to be Panamanian textile art or, indeed, how a human even achieves a state of mola-ness

what I’m saying is, if that shirt design shows up at Forever 21, I called it

Look, guys, look!  I actually posted something, haha.

Sorry for the long gap in posts recently, but after I finished my commissions I was feeling sort of unhappy with my art and decided to go back to the drawing board, rather literally, and re-examine what things I both liked and didn’t like about my illustrations. I’m a minimalist in a lot of ways and I was starting to feel like my art was becoming too complicated and drifting towards realism (which always happens, it pisses me off!!), so I toned it back down and now I’m happier with it. For now, I’m sticking to black and white (and gray) to explore keeping things simple. I have a whole bunch in this series to post over the next few days, I’m hoping to compile some of them into a super big secret project someday.  I hope you guys like them!

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We’re not sure exactly where she was born, or when she was born, but we know that Mary Harris was from somewhere in Cork County, Ireland, and immigrated to North America with her family as a child to escape the Irish famine. In her early twenties, she moved to Chicago, where she worked as a dressmaker, and then to Memphis, Tennessee, where she met and married George Jones, a skilled iron molder and staunch unionist. The couple had four children.  Then tragedy struck: a yellow fever epidemic in 1867 took the lives of Mary’s husband and all four children. Mary Harris Jones returned to Chicago where she continued to sew, becoming a dressmaker for the wealthy. “I would look out of the plate glass windows and see the poor, shivering wretches, jobless and hungry, walking alongside the frozen lake front,” she said. “The tropical contrast of their condition with that of the tropical comfort of the people for whom I sewed was painful to me. My employers seemed neither to notice nor to care.” Then came the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Mary once again lost everything.

After the fire, Mary began to travel across the country. The nation was undergoing dramatic change, and industrialization was changing the nature of work. She worked with the Knights of Labor, often giving speeches to inspire the workers during strikes. She organized assistance for workers’ strikes, and prepared for workers’ marches. In June 1897, after Mary addressed the railway union convention, she began to be referred to as “Mother” by the men of the union. The name stuck. That summer, when the 9,000-member Mine Workers called a nationwide strike of bituminous (soft coal) miners and tens of thousands of miners laid down their tools, Mary arrived in Pittsburgh to assist them. She became “Mother Jones” to millions of working men and women across the country for her efforts on behalf of the miners. Mother Jones was so effective the union would send her into mines, to help miners to join unions. In addition to miners, Mother Jones also was very concerned about child workers. To attract attention to the cause of abolishing child labor, in 1903, she led a children’s march of 100 children from the textile mills of Philadelphia to New York City “to show the New York millionaires our grievances.” She led the children all the way to President Theodore Roosevelt’s Long Island home.

A political progressive, she was a founder of the Social Democratic Party in 1898. Mother Jones also helped establish the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905. For all of her social reform and labor activities, she was considered by the authorities to be one of the most dangerous women in America. In 1912, Mother Jones was even charged with a capital offense by a military tribunal in West Virginia and held under house arrest for weeks until popular outrage and national attention forced the governor to release her. In her eighties, Mother Jones settled down near Washington, D.C., in 1921 but continued to travel across the country. She died, possibly aged 100, in 1930.  Her final request was to be buried in the Miners Cemetery in Mt. Olive, Illinois, where you can visit her grave today.