I went to Heflin Elementary School for six years, O'Donnell Middle School for three years, and Alief Hastings High School for four years. I'm a lifer and one time well into or after college, we had a Heflin Elementary School reunion. I'm told that's weird, but Alief is just a weird, special place.
Some famous alums include Beyoncé (for a semester at Elsik), Rashard Lewis, Tila Tequila, Michael and Martellus Bennett, and I wondered what would happen if every school combined forces and work as one instead of having dumb high school rivalries (Elsuck, amirite?). Like if all those alums except Tila Tequila got together to do something great. It'd be pretty awesome. Like, the Alief's first school, Alief Hastings High School, has the Fighting Bears, and the rival sister school, Alief Elsik High School, has the Mighty Rams, the newest school, Alief Taylor has the Roaring Lions, and Alief Kerr has regular tigers.
Regular tigers? Yeah. I checked.
What would happen if all these schools just…joined forces. Like…literally came together…and protected Alief?
On a flight back home to Alief for Têt, I sketched this idea in Procreate. It went through different stances, but just standing erect was too ominous and X-Men Sentinel-esque. There was an image I ran across on Tumblr years ago of a kid by Mike Cohen that always stuck with me, so I took his little stance and made it for this robot holding Alief's giant sundial pencil.
Once I felt good about the shapes and stylings of the robot, I began on the individual school robots. This was infinitely much tougher.
After getting the thumbs up from my brother and cousins, I traced the robots in Illustrator.
Then I sat on these illustrations for months and worked on other stuff while waiting to go back home in May to photograph the four campuses on the weekend so it wouldn't be creepy. It had been a long while since I've been back in the vicinity of Hastings and boy did it bring back memories. Like falling asleep in the back of French class and getting yelled at by Mr. Katre and him telling me I'm no longer allowed to sit against the wall anymore. There were more memories that was always funny to me.
I often go into things and not know how it'll live, but I'd been thinking about opening a store for Alief-related stuff. Like how Kanye West sells socks that says Calabasas on it, except mine says Alief. But with these, I knew I wanted to at least make something I would've liked as a 15-year-old: stickers.
So look out for these on your TI-84s, Alief Seniors Class of 2019!