Just seeing the image by Renderosity member Darklimit with the following description below made me curious:
Campaign against negative labeling of children, collaboration with sick kids hospital.
"When you label a child he/she takes on that persona for the rest of their lives."
I wanted to know more about the background, how this idea came about and most of all, how it was got started. So, Darklimit and I started a conversation about the project.
When did you start this?
This campaign is part of an ongoing project I started back in 2013.
Why did you start this?
I started this particular campaign - the labeling of children- which is an issue that I witness almost daily, parents labeling their kids stupid, dumb, worthless. Using negative terminology which hurts children and they take on this persona for the rest of their lives.
How did you start this?
After I was contacted by a solider of the U.S army, concerning his daughter who has been in intensive care since her birth at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. He saw my art and wanted me to create some personal characters for her. This then became a project I dedicated my life to, helping children. Shining a light on the things society ignores.
I donate my art work and books I write and illustrate myself to charities and sick kids foundations.
How did this solider find you?
He found me on deviantart. I have been posting my art there over the years. I received an inbox from him stating his daughter was born with omphalocele, a condition where a child is born with their organs out of their abdomen. When I saw the picture of her, my heart melted. It was that very moment I realized that an opportunity had opened for me to fully live my purpose and dreams, which was creating art for the well being of children and everyone in general.
He also stated that his daughter had a huge collection of stuffed toys with big eyes but wanted a character customized for only her. This is what I specialize in so after seeing more pictures of her I crafted a cartoon butterfly that I believed captured her nature, spirit and charm (http://darklimitarts.deviantart.com/art/Haley-359510366 )
The character was used for her campaign and as wallpapers for her room.
Soon after, I started writing and illustrating children books that I now donate to charity and hospitals. I am currently working on my next new book "SpellBound" which I plan to release this summer.
How do you witness this?
I do counseling part-time mainly for kids from broken homes, homeless and living in poverty. I grew up without both my parents due to divorce, so being able to relate to these children has made the world of difference. I have dedicated my life and art to this cause. These issues plague our society and are often overlooked. Children are being labeled negatively and it's affecting them into their adult life and many can't shake the stigma and poor self image