Inspired by ‘American Dirt’

By Laney
By Laney

Whew! American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like for migrants coming from Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico…look no further. Immigrants do the work Americans find too low paying, demeaning or difficult, but what you don’t know is that washing dishes, cooking, landscaping and all those other labor intensive jobs are a cakewalk compared to what they went through to get here.

American Dirt is the story of Lydia and her brilliant 8 year old son, Luca. They must get out of South and Central America for reasons I won’t ruin for you. Know that you will care about these characters, and that what they experience is the reality for many. Their travels will keep you on the edge of your seat, because survival against the elements, cartels, and border patrol is unlikely.

This story is really a testament to saying goodbye, grief, and to new horizons. What I liked most was the insight Cummins gives to each character, how they process their emotions and trauma through impossible situations.

I’d heard rumblings about people and critics disliking American Dirt… none of which I read. Given the political climate, any book about crossing the border into the United States would be controversial. I highly recommend you give this a chance regardless of what anyone says. Go into it knowing nothing, and out of it rewarded with the knowledge that those who seek to be near us have good reason to.

Dream Cast 🎥 🍿

Lydia: Eiza González

Javier: Benicio del Toro

Sebastian: Michael Peña

The Jackal: Pedro Pascal

Marisol: Adriana Barraza

Lorenzo: Diego Tinoco

Inspired by ‘Kindred’

Inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred

Kindred is a timeless novel about time. Imagine going about your day when you just get snatched into history because you have a connection – unknown to you at the time- to a specific individual you are linked to in history. And what if that time period just so happened to be 1815, when slavery was legal. Imagine this happening to you and you’re black. And a woman. That’s what happens to our protagonist, Dana- whose *now* is 1976. She must learn to survive in a world where she is considered property.

Nothing else I could say would do this justice. Parts of the novel reminded me of 12 Years A Slave. So if you’ve seen that film, you know this a story that will break your heart. Despite the tough subject matter, I recommend you read this. You will be better for it.

I love you, Octavia E. Butler!

Note: Kindred is soon to be adapted into a Netflix limited series. Release date TBA.

The Righteous Gemstones

My latest artlab creations are inspired by the freakin hilarious show The Righteous Gemstones (New episodes Sunday night on HBO (10pm eastern) Some background info on what you’re looking at: Based on each character’s personality, I picked their gemstone and its respective zodiac sign. I don’t know enough about astrology so this took some googling. But once I got each color and symbol down, this took on a life of its own.

Brushes used: calligraphy, round paint, acrylic paint, watercolor (for Eli), airbrush (soft). Likeness of each character hand drawn with calligraphy brush. Custom font created with Fontforge.