Augmented Reality (AR), Comic Books & 1960s Activism
I have the honor of being selected as an artist by the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute CCCADI as part of their Mi Querido Barrio project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. I was inspired to create an AR (Augmented Reality) based on the Young Lords Party garbage offensive of August 1969. For this project I art directed a piece based on this demonstration and brought on legendary artist Carlos Pacheco (Superman, Captain America, X-Men, Avengers) to illustrate my ideas. Next I approached the amazingly talented Christopher Sotomayor to digitally paint the piece. The multi-talented powerhouse that is the theater company Universes, provided an excerpt from the song American written by UNIVERSES' William Ruiz for their play Party People and it was mixed especially for this video by D-Stroy Melendez. The video was directed by myself and animated by José A. Gutierrez Rivera. This video will be part of an AR that will be viewable when you walk with your smartphone or tablet on 110th Street between Park and Lexington in East Harlem, or as we endearingly refer to it as Mi Querido Barrio.

The New York Times profiled me in their City Blog for a piece entitled: With a Virtual Tour, Preserving the History of East Harlem

Here are some reference photos I used for my art direction:
Young Lords Party ©Michael Ambramson
© Michael Abramson from Palante: Young Lords Party

Here is the sketch by Carlos Pacheco based on my art direction and photo references:
Young Lords Party

These are the final pencils and inks by Carlos Pacheco. We added a woman in the front and expanded the height of the image to include the fist and brooms:
Young Lords Party

Here is the basic color guide I prepared for digital painter Christopher Sotomayor. My main points were to maintain the Puerto Rican flag with a light blue triangle symbolizing the independence movement, the purple berets, the buttons on berets and the dashiki in the front:
Young Lords Party

Here are the final colors as digitally painted by the master Christopher Sotomayor who's credits include coloring for Marvel's Avengers, X-Men, Hulk, Captain America, etc. He does an amazing job here of bringing the flames of protest to life:
Young Lords Party

This gives you a behind the scenes of my creative process with my artists. I'll be posting other stories as this project moves forward to give you all an inside look into my work at Studio Edgardo.

Edgardo's Blog
Writing about art and design. That is what this blog is all about. At Studio Edgardo, our approach to our work can be compared to the work of an artist creating a new masterpiece. Here you will read about our technique and you will also get insight that will help you with your next project. At times we will also discuss current trends in design, web, video and art and how they relate to our studio and our work.