Exile Poster Project 2012

"I AM"

My poster for the Exile Poster Project 2012 Exhibition which focused on Homeless Youth. The initial creative sparks for the image were identity and child-likeness. I respond most deeply to the fact that young people on the street have missed the power and beauty and freedom of being a child. No matter how far removed emotionally they become, the inner longings of childhood are still a part of who they are. The tragedy is that without the opportunity to fully experience this profound time of life, their life journey is fractured. A serious, survival instinct sets in, but perhaps at the expense of joy, playfulness, and wonder. In the creation of this character, I sought to catch the complexity of standing alone in the gap between childhood and adulthood. The imagery plays with the themes of strength & weakness, as well as the formation of self. The crown-like shapes of the hair were not in the original sketches but happened as I was painting. I began to like the twist this symbol brought to the story being told. The title of the piece, I AM, is embedded in the base of the composition.