Sunday, December 16, 2012

KICKSTARTER Project --- URBAN MAGE: The Legacy Chronicles Book 1.

URBAN MAGE: The Legacy Chronicles is aimed at science fiction & fantasy lovers. Its an Ancient Urban Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure that mixes action inspired by African Mythology & other cultures.

GlyphX is a smart but unfocused young man trying to find his way in the world or at least a corner to call his own. He comes across realities better suited for nightmares.....werewolves..and what are these Jackals?
Mystic pyramids and lands with a beautiful Priestess as his guide
And oh yeah, vampyres..and he can't forget about Stalkers?
There's a war coming and he's going to find himself right in the middle of it,
next to some Demon Priests who seem to be the center of the trouble.

You're help is needed to bring help this project succeed on Kickstarter.
Click on the link OR the image below to be learn more about URBAN MAGE: The Legacy Chronicles Book 1. 
Donate $$$$$ to become a Backer to receive some Exclusive Rewards.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FYI & Acknowledgement.

Peace and thank you to the many Followers and Readers of 360BEYOND: A Journey Into Creativity and Thought.  There are more interviews on the way with some very innovative Creatives, from all across the world.  From local to global, creativity and the arts are bridges to our neighbors whether on the block or across the oceans.

I've added a section of Featured Sponsors, who are very important to some amazing things behind the scenes, so in this section their banners and info will be displayed.  Please click and follow them to learn more about what they can do for your business.  There are two now but the list will grow very quickly.

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Contact me at

Until the next post;
Stay Positive,
Stay Healthy,
Stay Creative!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Milton J. Davis, Author and Publishing Force of Nature

As it relates to your earliest memory as an artist, did Art choose you or did you choose Art? The Art of writing that is, explain.
Good question. I think the art chose me. As I look back I’ve been writing of and on since the fifth grade. I never thought of it as a talent. It was just something I did when I felt like doing it.

Who or What were your earliest inspirations and present influences that inspire your art/comics/writing?
I read non-fiction, mostly history, until high school. The first writer to catch my interest was James Baldwin. I love the way he could say so much with so few words. My second inspiration was Frank Herbert’s Dune. It was the first time I read a science fiction novel where the world building felt real. It became my standard for world building. The book that made me think what I write was possible is Segu by Maryse Conde. It was the first fiction book I read using African history as the backdrop.

Charles R. Saunders is my most important present influence. We met online shortly after I finished Meji and we’ve been friends ever since. If I’d read Imaro when it was originally released I probably would have tried my hand at writing Sword and Soul years ago.
How important is it to study your art and how do you approach keeping your skills sharp?
It’s very important to study your art. I took two writing courses when I decided I wanted to write, and I’m constantly reading. Some authors I read not because I particularly like their work, but I read them because the writer is considered good and I want to figure out why.  As far as my skills, I write every day. I think that’s the key.

What are some books that are on your personal shelf?
 Wow. That’s a long list. I just completed The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabelle Walker, a book about the Great Migration. Fiction wise I have all of Charles R. Saunders books, the first two books of the Acacia trilogy by David Anthony Durham, and Dances with Dragons by George R.R. Martin waiting in the wings. And a slew of books by my independent writing friends.

Are there any titles that you are currently reading?
I’m currently reading the Tarik al Fattash, a history of the rule of Askia Muhammad, one of the rulers of the Songhai Empire. I’m also reading Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman, an excellent alternate history/steampunk/horror mash up by Balogun. 

Give us a description of your Creative Lab or Studio where you work and how is the environment a co-creator or partner in ultimately what you create?
I write either in my study or at the kitchen table. It’s nothing fancy. I don’t need much, just a clear space and some good music.

If Art can save the world, then that makes the Artist a Superhero; and every Hero needs theme music.  Name the song or songs that you listen to for inspiration as you create?
My musical inspirations change based on what I’m writing. I have a jazz playlist that I usually put on when I’m writing in my study. It includes songs by Herbie Hancock, Esmerelda Spalding, Al Jarreau, and others. I’ve recently been checking out the soundtrack to Inception, and I love me some reggae.

What techniques & tools do you employ to bring ideas to life?
My ideas come from many sources, but I think the main two sources are history and music. I’m constantly reading history, which has been a gold mine for many writers. I love music, and sometimes the mood and lyrics of a song will spark an image that I’ll build a story around. In general, my Sword and Soul stories are inspired by history while most of my science fiction is inspired by music.

How would you describe your writing style or artistic technique?
When I decided to write I wanted my style to be exciting and efficient. I like books where the writer describes things by using the right words, not by being verbose. I also wanted my books to be action filled. Based on the feedback I’ve seemed to have accomplished my goal. I still have a ways to go yet.

In terms of personal projects, what is the Flagship creative project for your company and how did you come up with the idea for the concept? 
Meji started it all. I had the idea for the book for years but it didn’t really come together until I got deep into my research of African history and culture. I wanted to write a book that celebrated these things while also displaying the beauty and diversity of the continent. This book set the tone for everything I’ve written since.

What are some of the most immediate follow-up projects?
I’m currently working on Woman of the Woods, which will be my first Sword and Soul novel with a female main character. I’m also working on my first publishing only book, Once Upon A Time In Afrika, a Sword and Soul novel by Balogun. I’m also laying the groundwork to release Charles R. Saunders first new trilogy since Imaro and Dossouye, titles Abengoni

The Griots Anthology had been very successful.       I released it last year and it has become a flagship for Sword and Soul. If anyone was to ask you, 'what is sword and soul?' you could give them a copy of Griots. We're currently working on Griots: Sisters of the Spear, an anthology of Sword and Soul stories featuring women of color. Our sisters have been seriously neglected in this industry, so this is our way of giving them their recognition and respect. The stories have been selected; the anthology should be available early 2013.

Talk about the difficulties of being an independent artist and the hurdles you've overcome to produce and publish your own works.
The biggest challenge of independent writing is that you have to do everything yourself. You have to handle it like a business, which it is. Everything is a challenge; writing, artwork, editing, printing, etc. I had my own business a while ago so I have some experience at this. It’s been a challenge but it’s working out well.

What is your preferred medium for your stories; comic book, graphic novel, animation or movie?
My preferred medium is novel. I’d love to see my works 3D animated, and a movie would be great, too. Graphic novel would probably be my last choice, but in terms of cost it’s probably the most realistic.

Here's a fun question.  Name a mainstream project/character or an independent project and/or character that you'd love to work on or revamp and what would you do to put your twist on it?
I can’t answer that one. I don’t have an interest in doing that. I’d rather concentrate my energy on creating new and hopefully unique characters.

For the independent artist, how has technology affected the way you are able to do business or make progress on your art?  For example, but not limited to: Finding Clients? Artistic Collaboration? Getting work done?
Today’s technology is essential to what I do. Ten years ago it wouldn’t have been possible. Print on Demand, social networking and e-books have leveled the playing field and freed writers from the limits of mainstream publishing. I think the internet has been the greatest tool for not only selling and promoting my books, but for also finding and collaborating with other artists.

Here are two questions about event presentations, conferences, fairs etc. 
What are the conferences that are on your yearly schedule to attend?
I attend OnyxCon every year. I’m looking to expand to other conferences once my sales get more consistent. I have my eyes set on Dragoncon.

What advice do you give to aspiring artists of all mediums about the importance of events and how do you prepare to maximize your potential at these fairs?
I think it’s important to attend these events. You expose yourself to potential customers and you get immediate feedback on your work.

On the idea of Art Imitates Life or Life Imitates Art, is the role of Art in human existence a catalyst for behavior and community building or is Art a mirror to reflect the world of what was and what is?
I think it goes both ways. I think art imitates and influences life. I believe this very strongly. Many artists and writers accept this and I think they create art for that very purpose. Other artists create for themselves and don’t concern themselves with the influence their work might have. I write for myself, but I also write to create positive images of black men and women with a sense of pride and place.

Due to budget cuts for schools, classes and after-school programs, primarily in black and Latino communities, the youth are not getting exposed or are exposed to very little physical education and the arts.  How important do you feel the arts are to the lives of the youth?
I think art is vitally important. Children must have a venue to explore and express their imaginations. That’s where progress comes from. Without the fresh imagination of youth there is no change.

Whether it's the concept of Six Degrees of Separation or Its A Small World, the culture to are smaller than outsiders know.  To bridge the gap between yourself and your peers, do you belong to any artist groups or forums, if so which ones?
I’m a very active member of the Black Science Fiction Society. I also participate on my own social site, Wagadu. I spend a fair amount of time at SFreader, Blacksuperhero, and of course, Facebook. It’s essential as an independent writer to participate on social networking sites. It’s how you get the word out.

Now to bridge the gap between your art and the public at large, give the name and address of your sites and forums where people can see your creativity and how people can get in contact with you for commissions and/or to follow your work?
My site is This is where you can find and purchase my books. My social venue is This where I post stories, share ideas and fellowship with Sword and Soul fans. I’m also on Twitter (Milton Davis @thegriot) and Facebook.

What impact would you like your art to make on the world?
Wow, that’s a deep question. I have modest expectations. I just hope people enjoy my writing, and that people find it positive uplifting.

What are your favorite quotes or philosophies of life that help you improve as a person or artist?
My favorite quote? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I think it’s the perfect quote that explains how to deal with big challenges. Take it step by step, a little at a time.

That's it for now and If you or any visual artists or writers would be interested in an interview, be sure to contact me via one of the links below:
Be sure to connect with me on:

Stay Creative,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Awesome Arts Fest: The DuSable Arts & Crafts Festival

Come out and enjoy and incredible time of fun, entertainment, education and culture! One of the finest fest that Chicago has to offer. The DuSable Museum of African American History is a cultural treasure and their fest has something for everyone.  360BEYOND will be there and so should you! Who knows, maybe your picture will be featured in a review of The 38th Arts & Crafts Festival, this Sat. and Sun. from 1pm - 8pm.....and its FREE :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Art Appreciation - The BLACKOUT Tour, Uraeus & Mshindo Kuumba I.

On April 15th, 2012 at the Bridgeport Art Center, activist/artist Turtel Onli hosted a meet  and greet reception of two talented forces; Uraeus and Mshindo Kuumba I. 

Uraeus is a writer/publisher of an acclaimed literary property called Jaycen Wise, who in Uraeus’ own words ‘is an immortal warrior / scholar  hailing from The Golden Ages of Antiquity.  Jaycen Wise battles the forces of darkness and ignorance to spread knowledge, wisdom and peace.  Uraeus explained that his inspiration for Jaycen Wise evolved from bedtime stories he would tell his sons, tired of the fairytales/stories that lack any mention of African Culture or history.  In a figurative and literal sense, Uraeus and Jaycen Wise share the same mission.  The latest project is called Jaycen Wise: Way Of The Warrior.  In addition, Uraeus has introduced a new hero worthy of her own book called Indigo: Essence of The Assassin.  I won’t say anymore about it just pick it up.

Uraeus has a perfect creative partner, the creative talent of Master Illustrator and Visionary, Mshindo Kuumba I. 

Mshindo has illustrated hundreds of images for books, animation and much more.  For his creator owned project, Anikulapo (He Has Death In His Pocket), Mshindo has used his artistry to craft a story around a very imposing hero which promises to be a must have graphic novel for 2012.  

Uraeus & Mshindo complete their creative trinity, with Charlie ‘Fab’ Goublie, an amazing artist/publisher as well.  Charlie has his own space opera project entitled, Corsairs.  These three artists, unite as co-contributors to their projects and conduct the BLACKOUT Tour.  From city to city, con to con the BLACKOUT Tour has been a vehicle for promotion. 

Onli Studios was host location and guests had the opportunity to mingle with the artists.  Fresh snacks and intimate conversations about art and life, were on the menu and if you were there, your soul was well fed.

Stay tuned and look out for each of their project in 2012 and beyond, you will not be disappointed.  For more info on the artists, please visit the links below and support.





Stay Creative,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

C2E2 360 REVIEW!

Organized by ReedPOP, C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo) was held this past weekend, April 13th -15th and the colorful and creative event did not disappoint.  Each day held workshops, panels, movie trailer presentations and special guests surrounded by exhibitions of comics and artists.  Shia LaBeouf, John Cusack, Chad Michael Murray, John Barrowman & Sean Astin were just a few of the entertainment guests that were in attendance for autograph sessions.  In addition, comic book fans were treated to the appearance of Top Cow Productions, NUKO Toys (A brilliant company with collectible trading cards apps for the iPad & iPhone), Archaia, VIZ Media, Megaton Crush, Marvel and DC/Scott Snyder (Writer of Batman) & David Finch (Artist/Dark Knight).  Of course, one of my favorite places of C2E2 is Artist Alley where great talents do commissions and sell their art; some were Alvin Lee, Khary Randolph, Shawn Alleyne, William Jamison,  Eric Cooper & many more.

The workshops / panels were awesome & informative as well.  One in particular was held on Friday called Black Comix Lounge where the diversity in the industry was discussed. Hosted by Ytasha Womack, the panel included Stanford Carpenter (School of the Art Institute of Chicago),  Mshindo Kuumba I., Ashley Woods & Turtel Onli.

If you missed C2E2 this year, be sure to catch them next year in 2013.  It was an exciting experience and great time!

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Stay Creative,