hue and saturation


Yaaaas! Who mad tho? She looked great. That shimmer to the dress is LIFE and perfect contrast against her gorgeous skin. It looks great on her body, a body she talks about loving. And she really did just shade all the haters, with her joy. So again I ask, who mad tho? Bwahahaha. Stay fabulous Gabourey. ❤

I wrote down this speech that I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session. Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community. I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, Black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: ‘Dear Lupita,’ it reads, 'I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.’

My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then…Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.

There is no shame in Black beauty.


Lupita Nyong'o

Her remarkable speech from Essence Magazine’s 7th Annual Black Women In Hollywood luncheon where she won the Best Breakthrough Performance Award. Remarkable. Just…remarkable. *tears*

Media is not arbitrary, random, neutral nor apolitical. 

jacktix asked:

Do you have any tips on doing a painted style? I love the way it looks and i keep trying to do it myself, but it turns into an overly smudged and blended mess.

Well the biggest thing is to keep the different color areas sharp; the line where different colors meet should not be smudged together. 

Also (especially when painting faces), highlighting is helpful when wanting to separate parts from the mass (ie. having highlights on the top and the corners of the mouth, sides of the nose etc). 

Also I suggest having a hue/saturation filter adjusted to -100 on the top of the picture if you’re doing a colored painting. Turning that layer on and off you can see your painting black and white, and while on b/w mode it’s easier to see if the different areas are light/dark enough. In general I suggest starting on black and white paintings. I myself found it a lot easier than colored ones when I started doing lineartless digital art the first time.


Danai Gurira in Essence looking REGAL and STUNNING and BEAUTIFUL and FLAWLESS! (Kudos to her and all the artists involved in this spread. It’s exquisite.) Yes, in the same issue with Viola Davis on the cover! Essence showed out this month. There are also several ads in there with multiple shades of Black women featured, including dark Black women, and a feature called “Unsung Heroines of The Civil Rights Movement” which includes a shoutout to Claudette Colvin! Pick up this issue for sure!


Queen Jade is a deaf Jamaican American Black woman and independent filmmaker who needs funding for an incredible film called The Shattered Mind. According to her Kickstarter site:

The film is centered upon a proud Black Deaf family with a captivating story that has never been told before in the mainstream film industry. The Shattered Mind is a 40-minute short film that explores a black deaf family’s journey while their daughter, Zhane Rain struggles to overcome adversity; traumatic childhood past and hearing loss. Zhane Rain is a misplaced teenager who is trying to find herself in a self-respecting Deaf family and to overcoming unusual psychological and neurological conditions. Ultimately, her biggest battle is in dealing with recurring nightmares due to amnesia from the traumatic experience she had as a child. 

She’s right. I’ve not even encountered a synopsis like this for a film. I’m all about supporting new to the screen stories, nuanced stories about Blackness, especially about Black women and Black families.

Her deadline is January 14, 2014 and that is in only 9 days! She needs only $470.00 more as her goal is $2,500.00 and she has $2,030.00 as of this post. Please support if you can! There’s pledge amounts as low as $1.00, $10.00 and $25.00 for those of us without much money but still want to chip in.

Please support via pledge or at least signal boost!

Digital Image Manipulation II has begun! I’m on to my last assignment of the week (the first week is always the shortest). We haven’t really gone over anything besides the basics of getting to know each other and a small refresher of the first Digital Image Manipulation class I took last year. 

The class is mostly done in Photoshop CS5 (I’m using CS6)

A simple pepper image: Create a duplicate of the layer and turn off the first layer, Select the pepper and create a clipping mask, Make any adjustments needed, Work in Quick Mask Mode and paint the pepper using default color, Exiting Quick Mask Mode inverse selection, Play around with the Hue and Saturation. 


Nicki Minaj’s New Fashion Line At KMart

Nicki Minaj recently unveiled her fashion line at Kmart. She’s mentioned that it’s important to her to have a line that everyday people can afford. This makes sense to me since so many celebrity designers’ lines permanently live on clearance racks at Macy’s and the like. Nobody buys them at those prices. 

Above I posted some of the pieces that I think are cute. I really really like the satchel; notice the handles are brass knuckles. I love the hat too; it makes me think of Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation era fashion. 

Her clothes are bright, youthful and inexpensive. I think they’re cool.