We all know the truth. Some gifts last longer than others. We buy the toy our little Angel has to have and after fifteen minutes they never touch it again!
Or maybe you're like me. I have bought expensive electronic devices for my cherub and serub and within a week it is cracked or broken or waterlogged. Not a good look either way it happens. Death of a gift is still death, money burned on the altar of childhood wishes brought true.
So we wanted the art designs to last. Whether you mount them in frames or just paste them to the wall, they should endure physically for quite a while and in your child's mind and heart for a lifetime.
One of the first places we sold the designs was at the Annual Kite Festival. It was held at Piedmont Park and lots of people showed up to fly kites in the park and enjoy a day with family and friends.
We sold quite a few designs but we were right next to the face paint lady. We both sold our designs for 10$. And let me tell you, home girl was making bank.
I put myself in their place. Had I been out there that day as a parent visiting the park, not a vendor, I would have probably gone for the face paint, too.
Nevermind that the kid can't even see the designs after seeing themselves in the mirror when the artist is done, that's not the point. The point is, for a few hours my cutie will walk around with a black nose, painted on whiskers and go ROOOAAARRR when people pass her. That's the point!
So I know the allure of the quick, trendy gift that makes the kid feel great for few seconds. Then they get home and wash ten dollars off their face.
I started thinking about what art really is capable of doing, if it is done right.
Great art makes you feel connected to the beauty of life.
It brings a new perspective on life, and memorializes the truth..
It inspires you in a way only great skill on display can.
It gives hugs when you are not their to touch.
It inspires when you are not their to speak.
It moves when being stuck or lazy is easier to do.
Great art, can and does do that.
When Leon drew these I wanted to touch children around the world. I am deeply saddened that more art doesn't include children of all races.
When I was looking for illustrators I was disappointed to see so many limited choices for black children and even fewer for other young faces in america: asian, latinix, south American, first nations and Indian american.
What child doesn't want to see themselves? What child doesn't want to envision themselves as the hero of the story, the subject of a work of art, the inspiration for an artist?
To give children a chance to see their beauty and to be included in the vast array of subjects worth celebrating in art is our mission.
To surround the next generation in an inclusive, accepting environment is the most worthy of goals.
Will you join us?