The Man Who Went Searching for Zebras is a fictional story about a former American slave persevering against the odds to find his homeland amongst the migrating herds of zebras in Africa.
Spawned in February 2011, the story's beginnings came from three magic words given to me on a whim by a friend. The words were: zebra, iPod, and tide pools. The story then gestated over a period of months and finally came to its full-length oral form on a boat floating down the Mekong river between Thailand and Lao, in May 2011.
It wasn't until I returned to my home in Hanoi, Vietnam that the story began its second life as painted images. Initially fraught with artist's block, I determined not to give up on the zebras, and chose to try painting the story on a scroll. Over an intense two-week period, the scroll format forced me to resist my inner critic by allowing the images to spool out without stopping or starting over. Finally, 43 meters (141 feet) later, the completed scroll was unrolled down the side of a building in Hanoi in July 2011. Thereafter it was sent as a gift to the friend who provided the original three words of inspiration. It is now living a more peaceful third life in Los Angeles.