New Year New Toy

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New Year New Toy


Generally, I don’t make new year resolutions, but I do think about things that I want to discard and recall some of the things that bring me joy.


What has continually put a smile on my face is exploring electronic and digital toys that are marketed to children.  They often become part of my art palette.  Playing with these colorful, plastic, low tech technologies has been a source of fascination, creativity and pleasure for many years.

In the 80s I purchased the first children’s drawing tablet that could connect to a tv and display an image as you were creating it and the Gameboy where you could attach a camera.

I was ecstatic when later in the decade I found the Fisher Price pixel vision camera PXL2000.  It was billed as a toy camera that produced black and white images and recorded video and audio on a compact audio cassette.  Priced at $100 it was an expensive toy that didn’t do well in sales.  However, sales increased when video artists stormed into Toys”R”Us and purchased every camera in stock.  I still have my pixel vision as well as a modified one with expanded capabilities.

Here’s an early commercial for the camera

You already know that I have a LEGO 3MP Digital Camera — if not, it’s the camera that I’m holding in one of the photos on the home page of the website.

This new year I treated myself to a Kickstarter funded DYI Kano computer kit that’s designed to demystify the computer and coding.  I’m having a great time with simple coding and was as delighted as a child receiving a gift when viewing the basic circle animation that I created. On to creating immersive environments!

So, for all of you image makers, think about what else could be in your toolbox to expand your palette other than the usual pro and semi pro suspects.

Have fun!

Wishing you the very best in the new year and every day.



Interview with Producer Reuben Canon

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Reuben Cannon is a legendary Hollywood producer.  For more than thirty years he has managed to navigate the peculiarities of Hollywood to cast and produce hundreds of films.  Beginning in the mailroom at a major studio, he later launched the careers of Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis, Danny Glover, Michael J. Fox and many more.

During our interview at the Spelman College Arts & Entertainment Summit, I asked Reuben, now 71, how an African American man who began in an inner-city housing project in Chicago managed to navigate the Hollywood waters and remain relevant for over thirty years.

The short answer is that he has a deep belief in God and a strong work ethic.

More than the television shows and films that he has cast or produced, Reuben is most proud of how he has mentored people who have become successful in the industry.  His face lit up with memories.

What a beautiful spirit. 

It was an honor to interview him.


Princess Zaya Debut

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Makes Its Debut


It’s been a while since I made an animated film but I had an idea for a story for which animation seemed right.

As the story goes — After many years in hiding while her planet was at war, Princess Zaya emerges from a cave and discovers that she is the last survivor of the planet Origan. She finds herself on Earth believing that her status as a princess will be welcomed, but instead discovers that it has no currency. With no home and seemingly no bright future, Princess Zaya finally connects with her true calling and a new purpose.

The story of how and why I created the film is featured on the website
where you can also watch the film.

PRINCESS ZAYA: the bend in origan

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PRINCESS ZAYA: The Bend in Origan



I’ve been working on the remake of a short animated film, Princess Zaya: The Bend in Origan. I wasn’t pleased with the first iteration. The ending never felt quite right and the middle seemed to barely exist.

Usually,  I’m not interested in reworking my films once they are complete, but this one was fairly recent, it felt incomplete and I knew that I had more to say in the story.

I loved the making process for this film. I used a few photographs that I made several years ago to build a story.

I’m just finishing up the website for the project.  By the first week in September you will be able to see the film and the details for how it was made.

In the meantime, you can go to www.bendinorigan and sign up to receive an email notice for when the site is complete.


Welcome Again to Ayomentary

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Yes, it’s true, I’m no longer posting on the popular social media platforms, only here on my website.  I just got tired of feeding the social media bear. If you were once following me elsewhere and are now taking a look at my blog, welcome.

I’ve been working on self portraits.  Some formal, some less so.  This particular one is composed of many separate photos all taken in a small room in my house.  The original is about 30 x 40 and I’m looking forward to printing it out in a few weeks.