A Very Bobby Christmas. Vol. 1.

ChristmasWell, it’s been a while since we’ve last spoken – or since you’ve last had something to read (from me anyway). Now, the holidays are upon us – and if you’re like me, you’ve been bitten by the Christmas spirit. I’m excited! I can’t wait! I’m ready for Christmas lights, hot chocolate, holiday parties and warm nights by the fire while snow falls just outside the window.

That means I need a lot of Christmas music in my life – so I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite holiday songs by some of my favorite artists. You’ll notice that I wanted to combine powerful instrumentals with beautiful vocals, drama with fun – and most importantly, I wanted the compilation to flow – to quite literally be music to your ears.

I’ve carefully selected each track and artist and arranged them in a way that should leave you feeling all kinds of warm and fuzzy – just in time for Christmas cheer. The playlist has been anchored with Lea Michele (“O’ Holy Night”), Celine Dion (“Ave Maria”) and Josh Groban (“Chestnuts Roasting”). It begins heavily with the unique sound of a capella group Pentatonix and ends with a fun influence. You may also notice, my love for movies and television is sprinkled throughout!

If you like what you see, build this list and burn it for yourself (or get in good with me and I’ll burn it for you!)! Happy holidays and happy listening!

Here’s the 25 song track listing of “A Very Bobby Christmas. Vol. 1″:

1. Vuelie – Frode Fjellheim and Christophe Beck ft. Cantus – from Frozen 

2. White Winter Hymnal – Pentatonix

3. What Child Is This? – The Canadian Tenors

4. Mary, Did You Know? – Pentatonix

5. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Pentatonix

6. Believe – Josh Groban – from The Polar Express 

7. Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People – Jonathan Groff – from Frozen 

8. Where Are You Christmas? - Faith Hill – from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas 

9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry

10. The First Noel – Connie Francis

11. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland

12. O’ Holy Night – Lea Michele – from GLEE 

13. Ave Maria – Celine Dion

14. Chestnuts Roasting – Josh Groban

15. You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch – Thurl Ravenscroft – from How the Grinch Stole Christmas 

16. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

17. Carol of the Bells – Celtic Women

18. Frosty the Snowman – Ella Fitzgerald

19. Text Me Merry Christmas – Straight No Chaser ft. Kristen Bell

20. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley

21. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Idina Menzel ft. Michael Buble

22. Let It Be Christmas – Alan Jackson

23. What’s This? – Danny Elfman – from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas 

24. Deck the Rooftop – GLEE Cast – from GLEE 

25. Holly Jolly Christmas – Michael Buble

BONUS! Here’s the lyric video for Straight No Chaser and Kristen Bell’s new song, “Text Me Merry Christmas.”

New Art: Endanger Cancer, not Elephants

I created this piece, Endanger Cancer, not Elephants, because I love and am passionate about saving elephants – and because I know several breast cancer survivors. I want this to be a symbol of hope for them. On the surface, elephant poaching and cancer may seem like vastly different issues – and you’d be right to say they are, but there exists a commonality between the two: Poaching, like cancer, steals the lives of thousands - and affects many more – each year. Mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, wives and companions die in great numbers – but they don’t have to. At least in an ideal future they don’t.

So, I hope.

I hope for a day when the group of women I know – a group comprised of family, friends and public figures I admire – doesn’t have to live in fear, or with the constant reminders of an aggressive disease. I hope for the healing of their emotional scars – and for their joy in life. With some of these women, I’ve created lasting memories that cannot be destroyed by cancer, or death. But, these are women, and stories, I could miss every day there isn’t a cure.

So, I cling to hope.

Statistics estimate that breast cancer will steal the lives of approximately 40,000 women in the United States (per year). Similarly, in the past four years, over 100,000 elephants have been victims of poaching. Their ivory was stolen. Elephants, a keystone species, are a necessity to their ecosystem – and it’s entirely possible that their ecosystem houses the cure for cancer. The reality is, we’ve identified [some] causes, we’ve evaluated the emotional and monetary impacts and we still work to end these devastating losses – but we don’t know the cure.

But still, I hope.

I hope you view this piece as a symbol and bridge between two very devastating issues. Yes, the face value of what I’m proposing may be a reach, but we can’t afford to stand idly by while a species and ecosystem vanishes. Our inaction could see the disappearance of a cure before it’s even discovered. So I’m taking a step to “Endanger Cancer, not Elephants,” by making equal donations to Susan G. Komen - in honor of those I know – and to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust - for elephants.

I invite you to join me and use the hashtag - #EndangerCancerNotElephants - to say you will. This is my hope. Now, I present:

Endanger Cancer, not Elephants

view more of my art here

(c) 2014. Bobby James.

(c) 2014. Bobby James.

Bobby James enters the “Freak Show”

I’ve spent the morning working on an illustration for my children’s book The Story of Piph. During my creative process, I reviewed tutorials on how to create and fade layers. I thought, “Why not have a little fun?”

When Ryan Murphy announced that American Horror Story: Freak Show would feature the most sinister clown ever recorded, I figured it was time to face my fear. I decided to tackle evil clowns head-on. As a result, I created a collection of art pieces featuring (seemy posts Clownin’ Around and Enter the Circus) those who were vilified by “Pennywise” from Stephen King’s It.

I took a screen cap from the most recent trailer for Freak Show and overlaid my piece titled “Circus Freak.” Enjoy.

Circus Freak meets Freak Show. 2014.

Circus Freak meets Freak Show. 2014.

Blog Feature at “Darden Digest;” link to “Eluxe Magazine”

Elephants - Nat. Geo.

As many of you know, during the week of August 10, I was fundraising and advocating for The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, National Geographic’s Cause An Uproar and Save The Elephants. On social media (facebook and twitter), I announced I’d be donating 100% of my earnings (Aug. 13) to elephant conservation, to celebrate World Elephant Day and my birthday (Aug. 12).  The Olive Garden took notice and I was contacted by Darden’s corporate office to compose a “Sustainability” blog for Darden Digest.

Here’s a link to the blog: Fostering Rorogoi

Late last week, I also received a notification that my post “Sincerely, thank you! We raised…” had been linked by Eluxe Magazine, a digital and print publication based in London and Paris! My post accompanies a video titled “Why the Ivory Trade Must Stop. Now.”

The graphic video epitomizes why I’m taking action in an effort secure a future for elephants and other endangered species.  Take a look, and if you’re as moved as I was when it’s finished - join me.  Extinction is a very real threat for many species like elephants, but it doesn’t have to be.  Together, through our actions and voices, we can protect the cohabitants of our planet and secure their future beside our own.

 

Sincerely, thank you! We raised…

NGCI 037087, Wild WONE7949, CORE NONE7949

UPDATE (8/23):  A $25 donation was made in my honor on August 22, 2014, raising the total amount of funds raised (see below)!

Hello everyone.  First, let me begin by saying thank you to everyone who supported Cause an Uproar, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and Save the Elephants this week, in honor of my birthday.  Last year, we raised a total of $175 for wildlife conservation.  It was my goal to exceed that amount – and I’m happy to announce – we did!  See what we raised per charity, then see the total below.

Cause an Uproar - for National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, between three confirmed donations, we raised $55!  Last Sunday, I vowed to donate 25% of my income – however, a slow day meant an actual donation of 50% ($20) to commemorate World Lion Day!

Rorogoi - Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Rorogoi – Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The David Shedlrick Wildlife Trust - for the Kenyan orphanage run by world renowned author and environmentalist Dame Daphne Sheldrick, between three confirmed donations, we raised $100, including the fostering of an elephant orphan!  As a gift to myself, I made a $50 donation on Wednesday to foster Rorogoi, a beautiful elephant orphan rescued by the trust in 2012. A milk-dependent Rorogoi survived for over a month on her own and found refuge on a compassionate farmer’s land before her rescue.  Born August 10, 2012 (the would-be birthday of my Grandmother), she touched a special place in my heart and I’m extremely proud to be part of Rorogoi’s journey moving forward!

Save the Elephants - Save the Elephants is a notable charity because 100% of donated funds are transferred to the field.  So the money we raised, $125 between three confirmed donations, goes directly to the front-line in the battle against the Ivory Trade.

That’s a grand total of $280 raised to save elephants and big cats!  Oh, and there’s one other thing I forgot to mention – I’ve been vocal on social media (notably twitter) this week about these causes.  I tagged The Olive Garden in one of my tweets this week – and have captured their attention.  They’re interested to learn more about saving big cats and elephants.  This coming week (Tuesday, August 19), I’ll be discussing my goal and these causes with Olive Garden’s media relations!

Again, THANK YOU all!  Together, we are helping to make this world a better place for our majestic and iconic cohabitants of our planet.

Fostering Rorogoi

Rorogoi - Sheldrick Wildlife TrustOn August 14, through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, I opted to foster Rorogoi, a beautiful elephant orphan.

Born August 10, 2012, Rorogoi was 14 months old when she was rescued by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.  Following a likely incident of poaching, Rorogoi survived for over a month on her own.  How she did this is a mystery.  However, her incredible story of heartbreak and survival – and of the farmer who offered her refuge is truly remarkable.  I’m proud to be part of her journey moving forward.

If you’d like to foster an orphaned elephant or rhinoceros calf ($50/year minimum), please visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – Fostering Program.

Together we can make a difference in the lives of these majestic and iconic cohabitants of our planet.