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Stories from the Field
Stories from the Field

Embracing Color


“As I keep drawing, I notice I start picking up new techniques. I keep getting better and better” - Program Participant, 19  [Isaac]

ISAAC holds within his imagination a vast fantasy universe filled with inter-generational family feuds, wise warriors, and tangled love stories. He is passionate about both drawing and storytelling, and has been working on this graphic novel since 8th grade. 

When ISAAC entered our program, it was a pleasure to watch his unbridled joy when talking about his characters and drawing them in new ways. He worked quickly, completing multiple pencil sketches in one session. Curiously, our program manager asked if he ever incorporated color into his artwork. He said that he’d like to learn how, but didn’t want to mess any of his drawings up by making a mistake. She suggested perhaps he draw something small specifically for practicing so he wouldn’t be as attached. The result of his exploration was a fiery explosion of reds and oranges erupting from a small figure. He was impressed. 

In subsequent sessions ISAAC continued taking risks and was delighted with the outcome. In one session, he attached small canvas tiles onto a larger one, creating a 3-d effect. He experimented with melted crayons, mixing them with paint for added vibrancy. “Oooh!”, he exclaimed. “This is going to look delicious on my wall!”

There have been times in ISAAC’s life where people looked at him and didn’t recognize his full potential. He says he wants his artwork to be an inspiration to other youth who may feel limited by where they come from. They can see where he came from and see what he’s created and know their dreams are attainable too.