These images were created by girls ages 9-13 living in a homeless/transitional housing program and professional artists working in illustration or graphic design. The girls shared personal, meaningful stories from their lives with the designers and the resulting images reflect the unique interests and visions of each girl from their perspective and the designers’ artistic interpretation.
Taylor, Age 13 (left)
I do art because it comforts me when I’m sad. I drew this picture because at camp last year I had many memories. The sunset represents the Arizona sunset, the mountains represent the beautiful mountains I saw, and last but not least the horse. The horse is a main part of my picture because the camp was at a ranch with horses. To me, painting is a great adventure!
Ben Galloway – Taylor’s creative mentor
Taylor is a great young woman and was a joy to work with on this project. She knows herself so well that it was easy to hone in on what she wanted the piece to do and say. Her greatest accomplishment was going to camp for the first time last summer. She wanted commemorate that and the cool things she got to see and do there.
Bob the Panda
LaSiyah, Age 11 (left)
I did a pink panda because pandas are my favorite animals because they are cute and chubby. Also, pink is my favorite color. And the gold [chain] represents a necklace from my mom. The heart means it is healing from a stone cold heart.
Mark Zvonek – LaSiyah’s creative mentor
I had a great time talking with LaSiyah. The thing I found most impressive was how quickly she answered some of her questions which, in turn, inspired this piece. Without hesitation, LaSiyah stated her favorite animal to be a Panda and her favorite colors to be Pink and Black. LaSiya and I discussed giving the Panda a half black and half pink/red heart with symbolizes growth and healing while I added the starburst as a representation to a bright future for this bright girl.
The Picture of Mountains
Kori, Age 9 (left)
I wrote this about my picture because I want my picture to be known and for it to inspire people. It is about a snowy mountain with people on it and there is a restaurant with people and a band and there are houses. Everything in my picture is for the homeless so they can have free meals every day and homes and fresh clean water in the river. The restaurant is the Red Mountain Café Fish Fry from my memories. The mountains and snow give the painting sparkle.
Steve Tansley – Kori’s creative mentor
A light and a spark is how Kori describes herself. She is a young woman who is filled with hope and deep feelings for those around her. Kori is a bubbly, beaming girl ready to please you with her wide grin. Behind the glint in her eyes is an oversized heart that can’t help but think of others in need. She will make the world a better place with fresh water, food and a home for everyone so no one is left without. She’s a bungie- jumper who climbs high mountains. She’s an astronomer with her eyes on the moon and stars and feet planted firmly on the ground. She’s loyal, playful, kindhearted and excited to see you like a golden retriever. Kori helps mend you if you are sad and laughs with you when you are happy. She sees a two-story house in every single story person. In ten years she will be the same person just a little taller. Truth be told, she will be much taller than any of us thanks to her compassion and genuine love for all.
Aeryn, Age 10 (left)
I do art because it makes me feel happy. I drew this wolf because a wolf is my favorite animal since 2nd grade because it is a beautiful animal. They have beautiful fur. I added snow in the background because I love snow and have never been in the snow. I chose blue and green because they are both my favorite colors.
Stephanie Stafford – Aeryn’s creative mentor
This piece is a representation of an inner vision of a little girl named Aeryn. A child’s mind is full of vivid ideas and Aeryn’s is no exception. She refers to herself as a wolf who pushes herself with passion–and sometimes anger–to become something great. To do this, she excels in her classes, especially science and math. She hopes to get to Canada where she can wander and run wild in the snow-covered countryside. Her love for the colors blue and green is only fitting for someone who enjoys being outdoors. Her hope and imagination inspired me to create this piece.
Kelzey, Age 11 (left)
I love pink, purple and teal. I also love the culture of Paris. I chose this piece because I have always wanted to go to Paris, France to see the Eiffel Tower. I love the Eiffel Tower’s structure and the shape. My art makes it feel like less things are impossible.
Todd McQueen – Kelzey’s creative mentor
COURAGE is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to persevere in spite of it. Among an eclectic variety of interests, Kelzey shared with me her love of the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen, and horses. She strikes me as something of an optimistic young warrior on the side of goodness and kindness, a young lady who is determined not to let her fears and worries cripple her nor define the person she aspires to become.
The Masked Woman
Kahlyn, Age 11
The reason I drew this abstract portrait is to show the person on the inside. The specific colors used are my personal favorite. The person in my painting is me. The circle behind me was supposed to be the world, but to me that is the opening to friendship and happiness. This picture is what is on the inside.
Edgar Fernandez – Kahlyn’s creative mentor
Angela Davis has been an inspirational figure for many people, especially young woman of color. Her statements are bold and are reminders that we each have the potential for leaving a lasting mark in our lifetime. Angela has a powerful presence and it is felt in any image of her. The experiences she has had particularly in the United States with regard to injustice that occurs to communities have inspired countless types of people like community leaders, teachers, and of course artist. Therefore, Angela Davis is the positive inspirational figure I have decided to paint by reflecting on the connection I had with my youth artist. This painting outlines the thoughts envisioned with combination of style, color, and inspirational factors we both wanted to cultivate in our pieces. One of the many memorable quotes from my youth artist that inspired me to create this piece was “have a picture of someone positive and paint them abstract to make people think”. Thus this is what manifested after this experience. Youth have deep inspirational thoughts and time should be taken to listen to them more often.