Category Archives: life

A.B. Do Well – Logo

I’m still going through the missing files I have to replace. The logo I’m posting today is the one I used as a solo rapper. A.B. Do Well was the name I went by, and occasionally still use when in the company of those that remember and respect the name. Not a huge group of people, but definitely a sincere group. The name A.B. Do Well was a combination of things, it was a play on my actual name and a mission statement. A.B. is Abdul-Baqi, the name my mother gave me. It’s Arabic and Islamic, Al-Baqi is one of the 99 attributes of Allah, it means The Eternal/Enduring. Abdul is a title in arabic meaning (devout) servant or slave of God. So my first name translates to The Servant of the Eternal (God). Do Well is my intention and/or practice of making sure I put my best into all of my endeavors. Whatever I do the goal is to do it well. A.B. Do Well when pronounced all together sounds an awful lot like Abdul. That was the thought process behind the stage name way back when I was 19 or 20.

As for the logo I was keeping with the esoteric/mystical theme from the group Sight Beyond Light. For that I took the initials from the group name, SBL, and fashioned them into the All Seeing Eye, which is usually associated with the Eye of Horus and typically is a symbol for the sun. It also alludes to the Third Eye, which is a symbol for higher understanding and enlightenment.  For A.B. Do Well I borrowed the symbol of the Masons, a very widely known fraternal order that is for some reason considered a secret society. Their symbol is the compass and the square, tools for designing and architecture. The roots of the Masons is in building, generally with stones. But the compass and the square to me represent taking the long view and exercising proper and precise planning to achieve wondrous and dynamic goals that leave an indelible mark on society.  That’s a great symbol and philosophy to adopt. A but lofty, but if you don’t dream big, you don’t achieve big. Anyway, here’s a pic of the recreated A.B. Do Well logo.

Nice and simple, but I didn’t use the square because I was saying I had a more rounded view. YOu know how it is, you think you know everything at 20. More than people that have been around long enough to know better. More than ancient orders that have had centuries to think and plan. But like I said, lofty.

I was thinking this is a little to basic and played around with a nice new image based on a more modern logo for the Masons.

I kind of wish I played around more with the logo when I first created it. I’m really liking the update. I guess I have an excuse to start rapping again. This logo shows some growth and refinement. Pretty slick.

Well I’m sure I’ll have another lost logo up soon. Until then, Peace, be well and Do Well.

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Filed under Art, graphics, history, life, logos, music

P & Q Video and Back Story

I made a bunch of iMovie videos for some of my old songs to put on Youtube a few months back. They’re on my video page here, if you haven’t seen ’em check ’em out, they’re fun low budget takes on the songs I barely had money to record.

But anyways, I fully intended to make one for P & Q back then too. The chorus talked about  the if P then Q theory of logic learned in basic algebra, or Sequential One,and I wanted to use the text book Sub-Conscious and I used when we were in high school. A book pretty much every high school student in New York City used since the late 80s. Integrated Mathematics, Course I. I couldn’t find an image for the book online for the life of me, but mysteriously I found it yesterday. I only looked for it because my friend Rah Unique (@rah_unique) tweeted that he was now playing the song using the hash tag #NP, and he shouted me out @countbaqula. So, I found it and it’s very low resolution, but it was enough to make a mock book cover for the song.

 I took this and made this:

I may have gone a little to crazy trying to distress and age the book, but I was a man possessed. I was so happy to finally get a basic image that I played around with it for hours. After making the cover it was time to go ahead and make the video. And there it is below, for you viewing pleasure.

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Sight Beyond Light

Well a while ago my external hard drive said I over worked it and just straight up quit on me. No two weeks notice or anything, super inconsiderate. But when it left it took all the old files I had on it, including the vector file of the logo for my former rap group, Sight Beyond Light. I waited a long time to recreate the image, but I finally did. I also through in the way it was laid out for the first single on Low Tech Records, our super unofficial record label. I mean the music was official, we just never registered it as a business. But that was in 2000.

Anyway, here’s the sticker/artwork for the first single. DJ Eclipse from Fat Beats and NYU Radios Hip-Hop Show, Halftime Radio, was super impressed with the professional presentation. I can’t take all the credit though, my band mate Blu Jemz(formerly JMS Inja) offered his input about the color scheme. Man those were the good old days. The four man crew was A.B. Do Well, that’s what I used to go by , Blu Jemz, Soem(he now goes by sTERRYo), and Sub-Conscious. We would be in the lab constantly. Soem and Blu Jemz made the beats for the most part, but our boys Rio Murray, Omari Toomer and Jon Abrahams also through their sound into the mix. Omari would lend vocals from time to time as well. Enough reminiscing, here’s the logo in question.

The all seeing eye, again I can’t take full credit at all because my brother came up with the initial sketch. I just vectorized it in Adobe Illustrator. Anyway here’s a little video I made for it way after the fact.

 

Also, I always wanted to go all Dark Side of the Moon with the logo, but other members of the band thought it was corny to rip off the Pink FLoyd album cover. I thought it would be so fitting and cool and at the time I’d just seen the Wizard of Oz Set to that album. There were moments when the synch up worked to amazing effect, but those moments were few and far between. Anyways, here’s my homage.

See that, that’s effing brilliant right there.

Well that’s one design file down. I don’t even want to guess how many there are to go, but I suppose the logo for the label is a must. I loved that old Low Tech Logo. Maybe I’ll have it up soon.

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Big City Dare2Draw at MoCCA

I’m a frequent volunteer at MoCCA, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, located in the SOHO neighborhood of New York City. It’s a nice place to look at some original artwork from some of the greats in the Comic Book and Animation fields. The museum helps legitimize the art forms and gives enthusiasts a more high brow place to gather than the local comic book shop. I also attend the Big City Dare2Draw pretty regularly too, The Dare2Draw is interesting in that comic book artists gather to sketch models in action poses, and network. There is usually an informative panel discussion as well, with professionals giving their insight on the industry. Last night I participated in both events at the same time and it was pretty fantastic.

The Dare2Draw was held at MoCCA and I was there as a volunteer, setting up, moving walls and museum fixtures and more interestingly handling original artwork from Bob Kane the creator of Batman, Neal Adams one of the most brilliant artists in the industry, and the work of other artists that have been instrumental in the telling of Batman’s story since 1939. The pieces were delicately handled as the gallery space was moved so we could make room for all the artists to get a good view of the models.

The guests didn’t get to see the back breaking set-up, but here’s the view they did get.

Museum Manager Jack Walsh at the Swag Table.

The Museum got pretty full and it was just about time to get some figure drawing in. But before that Dare2Draw host, TJ Glenn, The Urban Swashbuckler, welcomed the artists to the event and made some announcements about future events and introduced the panelists and other special guests, including famed DC Comics artist, Kyle Baker. Baker, the seated gentleman taking off his jacket, is known for his work on the all ages Plastic Man series, and his gritty Hawkman segment in Wednesday Comics.

TJ Glenn says he dresses like this everyday.

Kyle Baker, Dares 2 Draw.

When the models arrived I stopped taking photos and started sketching. The figure drawing exercise is broken down into 3 secgments, the first is a series of ten poses with a two-minute duration, followed by four 5-minute poses and concluding with two 10-minute poses. I’m not showing all of the sketches, but here are a few of mine.




All in all it was a good time, even with the heavy lifting that followed the event. We had to move the walls back into place and store some dusty metal planks. But, you know when you can’t be philanthropical with money, do it with time and muscles. The next Dare2Draw is March 28. 2012 held at Different Directions at 417 West 57th St. MoCCA’s gallery hours are 12:00Pm until 5:00PM, Tuesday through Sunday. The MoCCA Art Festival is takes place April 28-29 at the 69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY.

Check their websites for upcoming events.

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art
Big City Dare2Draw

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Lupercalia

A while back, years ago even, I was in a comic book character design competition and one of the challenges was to design a character based on the month you were born. I did a good amount of research into my birth month, February and wanted to do something different than the typical Valentine’s Day, President’s Day and Black History month themes associated with the month. I’m pretty vain, like most humans especially those of us in the west, so I was looking into significant historic events that occurred on the day of my birth, February 15. I was not content to  just share my birthday with Galileo, Chris Farley, Susan B. Anthony and Jane Seymour, or a bunch of people a few days apart from my birthday, like Abraham Lincoln(Feb. 12) and Michael Jordan(Feb. 17), I knew there had to be more.

For a long time I felt I ‘d gotten the short end of the stick having been born a day too late to be a Valentine’s day baby. But I hit the mother load when doing the research for the character I was designing. There was a fertility/mating festival held in Ancient Rome on February 15th, it was called Lupercalia and it was magnificent by all accounts. Prior to Caesar ‘s rule, February was the last month of the year. For a while it was just a nebulous span of time between December, the tenth month and March, the first month called Intercalaris. January and February were just a glob of time for a while, but January came to be named after the two-headed god Janus, and February, well February was named after a lamb skin whip used to select your mate for the spring season. This whip was called a Februa, and the ceremony of the Februa occurred on the 15th commemorating the She-Wolf, Lupa who nursed the twin fathers of Rome, Remus and Romulus when they were infants.

So for some reason and ancient celebration made me feel better about my day of birth, and although It’s not a day I celebrate, I figured I remind all of you, on my actual birthday all about it. You can use it as an excuse to buy valentines candy half off and say  it’s in honor of Lupercalia, the original holiday that celebrated love.

As for my character design I did wind up using a lot of cliches, he’s black for Black History Month, and has a Napoleon Complex because it’s the shortest month of the year, and wears purple because it;s the color of amethyst, the birthstone for February. Well , it’s not the most original design, but I had fun coming up with him, I learned something and hopefully  taught you something too.

Here’s the character below.

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