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I've returned.
  • Reading: China Marches West; The Lathe of Heaven
Everything has changed.

I am living on the lam in Shanghai, Xi'an, and wherever...

Comics are my daydreams, books my bedtime stories.


Talk to me.


  • Reading: Dictionary of Maqiao & The End of Revolution
Well, upon the occasion of someone actually reading and posting on my former journal entry (from July 2009, no less), I suppose its time to - how do you say - update?

I'm still living in Xi'an, China and still expecting to add to Deviant Art.

Not that much has changed, however. I recently completed the fourth comic of my "Hey, Laowai!" series, which remains out of print. Several others are in various stages of completion. I'm not sure when these will finally be published, but as promised - you'll be the first to know.

I continue to seek commissions and collaborations (Given the deep degree of debt, PAYING gigs are IDEAL).

Also, I should have some pretty-looking art up on the walls of my favorite local post-communist themed hangout, the Liunian Cafe (流年咖啡).

Yeah, so I'll cut the crap. I'm still teaching, reading, and kvetching about the barbarism of humanity.

Still yours,
Tomato the Unshaken

P.S. I'm no longer a certified paying member of DeviantArt. So if you feel like GIFTING me an UPGRADED MEMBERSHIP I would be not only grateful but likely to draw you some sort of Thank-you picture.
  • Reading: Wolf Totem & Dialectics of Enlightement
Summer brings me a surge in time and creativity, of which you will see the fruit right here on DeviantArt.

For starters, I've recently completed my second comic the "Hey, Laowai!" series. I'm not sure when it will be published, but I promise - you'll be the first to know. Until then, you can find it here:….

You can find the first comic in my gallery, or in the May edition of ChinaGrooves magazine, available here:….

As I mentioned a before, I recently received the 2009 Columbia Scholastic Collegiate Gold Circle Award for Cartoon, for the first page of my comic "Santa Fe," published in the Blue Moon literary magazine, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA;….

The issue can be read online here (for those of you not experiencing the wrath of China's firewall):…

I continue to seek collaboration or commissions.

Currently I am working on finishing and posting a variety of personal and professional projects, including a series of autobiographical pages about my year in China, excerpts from my sketchbooks, gifts for friends, a political work inspired by Peter Kuper, and several long awaited visual interpretations of my favorite songs by various musicians. I'm also working to expand my digital repertoire into color, texture, and mixed-medium.

So look for that.

Yours truly,
Tomato the Unshaken
  • Listening to: Air Aid by Menomena, various Russian classics
  • Reading: Ficciones by Borges


Tue Apr 14, 2009, 10:03 AM
!!! Now 215% more devious กกก

Friends and strangers,

Look for my latest comic art published in May's ChinaGrooves magazine!

Also, I am pleased to say that I received the 2009 Columbia Scholastic
Collegiate Gold Circle Award for Cartoon, for the first page of my comic "Santa Fe," published in the Blue Moon literary magazine, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA;….

The issue can be read online here (for those of you not experiencing the wrath of Chinas firewall):…

Let me know if you are interested in collaboration or commissions. I am mostly working on personal projects right now.

Yours truly,

  • Listening to: Joanna Newsome
  • Reading: Everything I can
  • Watching: The Spirit
  • Playing: Mind Games


Thu Feb 12, 2009, 7:41 AM
!!! Now 215% more devious กกก

After all my travels in the last month, I am home again and channeling ideas into new work.

I have a new drawing up, which took me several weeks (delayed while I was in Hong Kong), but finally finished. Being a poor wandering artist I can usually give little more in return for the kindness of others than ink and paper. If I was better at it I could just counterfeit money (kidding, for those of you in the FBI).

Please contact me for commissions, and other creative arrangements. I have many hopes for the new year including a zine, some comics, and digital stuff.

Cool, huh? Keep watching!

[You may have also noticed, as per my title, that I am finally a subscribed member of Deviant Art! Thanks for all of you (Lauren B. in particular) whose commission(s) made it possible and justifiable].

November is coming and going like a fever.

My offer for a $30 commission still stands.

I updated my webpage to include Atom syndication and other goodies. Visit it at the Inspiracy.

Avi and out.
  • Listening to: TED talks
  • Reading: Power, Politics, and Culture; Seeing Like a State
  • Watching: My Own Private Idaho
Friends and strangers,

Yes, we did. Thank you to everyone who organized and voted, even if you voted for McCain, perhaps we can come together now to make this election mean something.

This is a earnest, personal message to say that this election, however historic, will mean nothing without sustained attention, activism, and solidarity, not out of partisan opportunism, but because we have a shared stake in peace, health, community, and fairness, as well as life, liberty, and happiness.

The last eight years have starkly revealed to me the frailty at the heart of our society. But this weakness is not new, nor is it gone or over. I fundamentally believe we must work assiduously to rescue our communities, our environments, our country, and our world from tragedy-- and I mean tragedy in its deepest sense; that the worst kind of harm cannot be undone: history cannot be erased or remade, lives cannot be resurrected, the silenced voices and suppressed possibilities will never be witnessed.

Let us be proud, and eager, and optimistic, but above all let us be honest to ourselves and others. Let us be fair. Let us be humble.

These are my resolutions, for what I hope is not simply an election, but a new era. Unlike New Years resolutions, these I intend to keep ; ) But I need your help, because I am who I am-- the Avi you know-- and some 22 year old kid is not going to change the world alone. With your help, though, I'll give it the best shot I've got. If you don't agree, that's fine. Talk to me, and maybe we can understand each other better. Or write your own list and get together with someone to materialize hopes; Here are goals I want to share with you:

1. End to the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq.
2. Renounce the War of Terror in Afghanistan, and cease belligerent behavior toward Pakistan, Syria, and Iran. Close GITMO and diminish military presence worldwide. Disinvest in the military-industrial complex.

3. Engage with the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice, and comply with UN resolutions (which we ostensibly attacked Iraq for violating) around the world.
4. Meaningfully investigate and try the current Presidential administration for treason and crimes against humanity.

5. Seriously, substantively, and independently work toward preventing and mitigating climate change.
6. Achieve environmental goals and energy independence by focusing primarily and exhaustively on sustainable, environmentally friendly technologies such as geothermal, solar, hydroelectric, biofuel and not those with significant environmental, social, and political externalities (such as oil, coal, nuclear, etc...). Regrid America. Invest in mass transit. Society and economy both benefit the free and cheap movement of people.

7. Provide efficient and affordable universal single payer health care.
8. Regulate finance while preserving and enabling economic growth for the poor majority.
9. Disinvest from the prison-industrial complex.

10. Reform media ownership and the electoral system, protect the vote, include third parties in debate, and otherwise protect against the destruction of our democracy.

11. Focus on lowering the barriers to and raising the quality of education. Increase teacher salaries. Build schools.
12. Broaden civil rights for all Americans, such as homosexual couples, while granting states ultimate control.

13. Increase and protect women's rights and social resources, while acknowledging the moral standards of opponents of the right-to-abortion. Focus on substantial matters of gender equality, while striking a legal medium and most of all, decreasing the need for abortions by providing sufficient resources to women and families.

14. Work towards a new global financial structure based on democratic representation and choice, debt forgiveness, basic needs and services.
15. Seriously improve the quality of life and rights of indigenous Americans, cognizant of the original sin of the American genocide and displacement of our Native people.

16. Demilitarize relations with Mexico.

I know I am reaching far, dreaming, and perhaps ranting, but these are policies the majority of Americans, especially those with historically little political power, can endorse. The problem is, the same forces that have controlled America in the past will continue to act on or through President Obama, and/or retrench. We cannot be complacent. If we can influence even one of these issues, our effort will be worth it.

If you are willing to reply and discuss any of these propositions, including pragmatic goals for how to implement them, please do.

I mean this with the utmost sincerity and depth of my character. It may be ridiculous of me, but I am not willing to entertain my trepidation.

Avi Conant

  • Listening to: TED talks
  • Reading: Power, Politics, and Culture; Seeing Like a State
It's been nearly three-and-a-half years since I signed up to Deviant art, and my life is moving in exciting directions. I've got more art up than ever before, and reorganized my gallery to make it more interesting and accessible. My best work is still here, but much of the older work will be steadily moved to scraps, or taken off-line.

You may have noticed I've been spending a lot more time working on my digital art skills. So if you have the time, please offer your critique. I would love to hear from people with experience and insight, because I'm serious about taking my art further.


I've been using DA so much lately, that I'm thinking of purchasing a one-year subscription. Typically I don't go for that sort of thing, but the site deserves the money and I am interested in the benefits.

That's where you come in. I'd like to do an affordable commission for the price of a paid subscription -> $30 dollars, which is much lower than any of the other work I've done lately, and I hope you will agree: a good deal. I put a lot of work into all of my artistic projects, and yours will be no exception. Plus, it'll be fun, and a way to reward any strange soul who frequents these parts.


Finally, I'm moving! This time next month I'll be living and working in Xi'an, China. I plan to keep up my freelance work while I'm there, and I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to practice. If you live nearby, give me a holler.

Thanks to all my visitors. Keep commenting, updating, and keeping things interesting.

  • Listening to: TED talks
  • Reading: Cradle to Cradle; Seeing Like a State
I've just completed and updated with work for the excellent electro-pop band the Company Kang:, from Walla Walla, WA, now playing in Seattle.

Meanwhile, I've been enjoying an artful summer in my home town of Albuquerque, teaching computer graphics, and completing a few projects of my own.

I'm still working on getting the portfolio section of my personal website up and running, but until then, please enjoy my work here on DA.

If you have commissions or requests, I am currently looking for new work. I do everything from political comics to fantastic scenes and a great deal in-between. I'm really planning to push my boundaries in the coming years with more mediums, more color, and narrative work. So make suggestions and, better yet, make me an offer.

I hope you enjoy browsing my art. Please leave your comments, and return often. I hope to see more of you.

  • Listening to: podcasts - NPR, Bill Moyers, and much more...
  • Reading: Condition of Post-modernity; Beautiful Evidence

A brief update for those who notice.

I no longer attend Whitman College. I am, as they say, a "graduate."

I am teaching computer graphics to children at Sandia Prep School's SummerPrep program in ABQ.

Next year I will be flying to Xi'an, China, to teach English. In the mean time, I hope to provide numerous updates and new work, as I complete it.

Thank you for stopping by. Feel free to leave analytical, critical, or insightful comments. Also, praise and affection are appreciated.

Stop by, browse through, and also expect a new personal website soon, with original art.

  • Listening to: 9 Crimes
  • Reading: The Condition of Postmodernity; Beautiful Evidence
Greetings in the New Year.

Please leave your thoughts and comments. I welcome discussion, whether political, visual, kind or critical words.

I will update with new projects as I am able.


  • Listening to: Keep Your Head Up
Summer has arrived.

I'm on break from my semester courses and looking forward to the next few months with my close companion Casey in Xi'an, China.

As those of you who have been here before or know me are aware, I'm currently studying politics, art, and my-own-future-life at Whitman College. I work for the Pioneer newspaper there where I do illustrations and less frequently, comics.

I'm currently working for a local self-publishing company, doing simple illustrations for hire, and I'm also a freelance graphic designer, making logos for worthy causes and/or paying customers. I've designed logos and posters for the Sweet Onion Food Co-op, Flying Trout Winery (the latter with Casey Roberts,, and KWCW 90.5, the local college radio station.

This summer I'll be working with Ian Beck:, doing graphic design for the web. If you have website needs, you should talk to him.

I'm available for commissions on a sliding scale. Let me know what you can afford, and I'll let you know if I can afford to do what you want.


As you can tell from my work (and my favorites), I'm interested in art that makes an argument or tells a story. My roots are in fantasy, but anything goes... If its creative, and its interesting, and it does something, or even if it just looks pretty, chances are it's worth creating.

For a Better Tomorrow
  • Reading: Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
New updates of illustration and comic work for the Whitman Pioneer.

Please, feel free to comment. I'm interested in improving, always.

For those of you who were wondering what my sketchbook contains. Here's a sample.

Please, feel obligated to leave a message.

Thanks for visiting,

September, 2006.
Well, finally I have a few interesting updates. I've been working on a many other pieces, but  don't have many pictures. Perhaps by this summer I'll have another batch of updates ready including paintings and drawings I've completed in the last year.

Peace, and thanks for stopping by. I intend to reward comments with replies. Communication makes the world go round.

Well, I've done a fair amount of art in the last year but none of it has found it's way online. I'm hereby submitting a few pieces, now and again, and hopefully I'll hear what people think of it. I'm unsatisfied with the number of comments I've recieved, but hoping that updating more regularly will draw people back.

Thanks for looking. Feel free to inquire about pieces or commissions.

I don't expect to write much at this journal, except a quick exhortion to comment on my work. It's a lonely world for art out here, and comments provides both solice and direction.