San Francisco

For Memorial Day weekend, my parents and I rented an awesome Dodge Caravan and drove up to Vallejo to visit my eldest brother Erick, my sister-in-law Lillie, their husky-malamute Oso and our beloved Cooper, whom we put under their care since our house was foreclosed and we moved into our apartment that doesn’t allow pets.

Erick had a small gallery show with two other Vallejo artists, classic African-American cartoonist Goodie Goudeau and hip-hop comic artist Age Scott. It was held at the Umpqua Bank, which does annual community events.

Goodie was awarded with a plaque of appreciation by the city of Vallejo for his decades of influential work and also sat with attendees to draw caricatures. Age had work displayed and sold his comic booklets. Erick sold prints, sketch booklets and character trading cards, gave out D.Bot stickers and had his work on display.






Erick’s vivid character paintings were super popular. It was so awesome to see my brother’s work on a wall. He’s been doing gallery showings for years, but this is the first time I’ve finally had the chance to attend one. I’m so stoked to see my big bro doing what he loves!

When I was a kid, Erick was already in high school. We’re 7 years apart, so his interest in art made a very big impression on me at a young age. I’d see him tracing or drawing comics and cartoons, emulating his favorite artists and also getting a feel for his own work. He drew recognizable characters and then later created his own. Erick used tons of mediums, including graphite and airbrush, and then later acrylic and watercolor. Years later, when I entered high school and he was leaving home for college, he gave me his big old tackle box full of acrylic paints and brushes. I “played” with them until I got more serious about painting during my junior and senior years. Today, I continue to paint and draw for enjoyment and Erick and I love discussing artists and comics and using different mediums. He’s probably the biggest influence on my becoming an artist.

Neighborhood events like this gallery show are so awesome. It’s really important for a community to give recognition to their local artists and build upon and maintain its culture. What with the public school system pulling out right-brain stimulating programs like art and music, children will need to be exposed to the Arts in other ways. This is where their local environment comes in. Without the provision of creative outlets to inspire young people to utilize their imagination and support cultural growth, I see a desolate and monochromatic future.

To see more of Erick’s work, check out his blog –
http://erickdamaso.blogspot.com/