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Chicago, Illinois, United States
I'm a south side/Park Manor native, I graduated from Simeon Career Academy class of 2004 and have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the American Academy of Art. Illustrator & Graphic Design are my skills of trade. Typically draw athletes but I also like topical illustrations as well. Contact for commissions: jess.nelsonjr@yahoo.com

Thursday, January 29, 2015



Check out my main man, Marcelo Biott's comic series InfraCity. You can check out 3 chapters, of his story on tumblr. or go to Chicago Comics on Clark & Belmont Challengers Comic & Quimby's in the Bucktown neighborhood. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Paix, amour, liberté et respect

Diverting away from my blog's typical content, I wanted to touch on something that's been in the news recently, the recent terrorist attacks on French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Last week their office was ambushed by two men claiming to be members of Al-Queda (one of the world's most notorious terrorist organizations) and 11 people were shot and killed including the magazine's editor-in-chief Stèphane Charbonnier as well as writers and artist and just office workers, there were few survivors of the attack.

Charlie Hebdo, is a satirical weekly newspaper based in France. It's tone is very profane, irreverent but tongue in cheek views on politics and religion, similar to the Onion here in the United States. The magazine is popular in the western European world, I can't say that I'm entirely familiar with it before news of the attack. They printed a cover with a cartoon drawing of the Prophet Muhammed, a very prominent figure in the Islamic-Muslim religion. The drawing is not particularly offensive or at least not as visually offensive as some of the other illustrations the magazine has produced of other political or religious figures.

I also don't know a whole lot about Islam, or the relations between France and the middle east, but as an artist and an American, I am familiar with creativity being used as a freedom of expression. Here we have magazines like Mad, Onion, and Mad's rival, Cracked and shows like Saturday Night Live or Stephen Colbert, that are built to poke fun at what are typically taboo subjects. I've always felt like these vehicles are entertaining, and honestly they help me better understand the political mumbo jumbo spewed by the so-called experts on CNN or Fox News. 

Here we do have freedom of speech in our constitution, and it allows us as citizens to not only express publicly how we feel on any given subject, but to also address touchy subjects across all forms of media. More and more recently I feel our right to free speech has been constantly challenged and all staunchly defended especially by today's youth and left wing liberals on every topic from abortion, gay rights and even the use of the n-word (more on that in my next article).

As for me, I even use this blog as a platform for me to express the thoughts I have on things I rarely get to address with other people. I believe freedom of expression is a huge part of the Western culture and really its also a huge part of us as a people for us to say how we truly feel about ourselves. Our opinions on things matter and we should not be silenced and told exactly what to say.

That said, we also have to be respectful to each other's beliefs. People protest and stand up for various injustices around the world and then log on to the internet and post negative and derogatory comments about people, and make fun of other nationalities and sexual orientations. People have become more sensitive about their private affairs while simultaneously posting everything out in the opening for everyone to see.

That's what is on the table here, Charlie Hebdo's cover depiction of Muhammed is offensive to the Islamic culture. Historically Islam is notoriously sensitive about the depiction of the prominent religious figure, believing that his image should not displayed in neither a serious or humorous manner due to Quaran statement of not worship idols. However in recent times Shia muslims have become a little more relaxed on the public depictions of Muhammed, but Sunni remain strong in their views of traditional Islamic teachings. This has also played a huge part in the violence that has been a negative image placed upon an otherwise very beautiful culture and region of the world.

While Charlie Hebdo does have the right to post any images and articles on any topical subject matter, they have been sent very clear warnings from Muslim extremist to not continue poking fun at the Prophet. After two major attacks on their headquarters in 2007 and 2010, Charbonnier was warned by his girlfriend and other friends not to continue having artist depict Muhammed in their magazines. In 2011 they posted another image of a scraggly looking Muhammed with a word bubble translated "100 Lashes if you don't die of laughter" which is a play on the controversial flogging punishment delivered to "criminals" in Islamic law.

When the first attacks happened to Charlie's headquarters, Charbonnier should have listened to those concerned for he and his families safety. This is a sensitive culture, and as an artist I feel it is my responsibility to create work that reflects current society from an objective viewpoint. However making light of other cultures customs and belief systems is not something I want to present in my own work and I would hope that even when artist are being satirical that they are also exercising a level of respect toward other people groups.

Now I am by no means condoning the reaction by the so-called Al-Queda soldiers. Violence is not the way to solve any issues and terrorist are pushing their own selfish agendas onto others and creating fear in people while also creating harsh stereotypes about their own culture from which they originate. I am not Islamic but I do believe that there are merits in it's teachings and I believe that anyone has the right to believe in whatever faith that will bring them positivity and prosperity.

More than anything, my prayers are with Charlie Hebdo's staff, their families and with the people of France, as well as the numerous artist and creative minds out there that use their talents as a form of expression. Continue speaking your truths and speak up for the injustices around the world, of course we must always respect each other and live peaceably amongst one another. 

Je Suis Charlie 

Peace, Love, Life and Respect

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The artwork of Stephen Bryant



One of my good friends and fellow American Academy of Art alum, Stephen Bryant, amazing artist and a super cool dude. Check em out and when you're at any of the Comic Cons in the midwest go up and get a sketch from him.