In Person: Local Artist Robert Liu-Trujillo

This year’s BAICFF poster was designed by Oakland native Robert Liu-Trujillo, and it brings to life this year’s theme, The Power of Kids, and is a visual celebration of the festival’s international diversity.

Betty Soskin by Robert Liu-TrujilloLiu-Trujillo’s  gorgeous illustrations will be on display during the festival in Chabot’s Astronomy Hall, and he will be on hand for part of the weekend to answer any questions you have about his work, so be sure to take the time to visit this special exhibit while at the festival.

He’s a co-founder of Trust Your Struggle, a bi-coastal collective, based in California and New York, of visual artists, educators, and cultural workers dedicated to social justice, environmental sustainability, and community activism through art. He also contributes to the Bull Horn Blog, a publication by writers and illustrators dedicated to incorporating activism and social action into children’s literature. Liu-Trujillo exemplifies many of the qualities that make the Bay Area art scene so unique and wonderful, and he’s very connected to the region’s specific history and politics.

Marlon Riggs by Robert Liu-Trujillo

Liu-Trujillo has illustrated numerous children’s books, but he is also the author-illustrator for his own original work, Furqan’s First Flat Top, a delightful, beautifully-illustrated story about a young boy’s anxiety at getting his first cool hairstyle. He funded the publication of this book through a successful Kickstarter campaign, and it’s been embraced by devoted and enthusiastic readers.

The watercolor illustrations featured in this article are from a new series he created about Black history. Shown here are lovingly-rendered images of National Park Ranger Betty Soskin (who at 98 years old is the oldest working Park Ranger in the US, and who serves at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California), and filmmaker Marlon Riggs (also a poet, gay right activist, and educator, who lived in Oakland).

See his website for more of his excellent art and an overview of his ongoing projects. Liu-Trujillo’s impressive accomplishments are just the beginning of a long and promising career!

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