Drawing Thanks is focused on highlighting amazing people who inspire and influence on both local and global scales. It is an outlet for gratitude - a way to say thank you to the people who shape those around them. The amazing individuals highlighted in this project are from all over the world. They range from movers and shakers across the globe, to the friendly faces of my hometown, Vancouver.
Significance: Beginning as a personal self-improvement exercise on January 1st 2018, Drawing Thanks has now moved into its second year of daily ink portraits. This project has evolved to form partnerships and collaborations with Locals Lounge, A Better Life Foundation, West Coast Woodworks, City of Vancouver and more.
In the past few years, there has been a large emphasis on social isolation in Vancouver. This has been acknowledged in Vancouver Foundation’s On The Table Initiative and more recently on CBC’s broadcast titled “Lonely Together: The Plight of Urban Isolation.” Drawing Thanks: The Book will explore the roles gratitude, creativity, collaboration, and community development have in combatting urban isolation, while also providing a window into the various communities and cultures of Vancouver.
Collaborators: City of Vancouver, West Coast Wood Works, Raw Artists Canada, Locals Lounge, VanCity Feature, A Better Life Foundation, Green Coast Rubbish
Personal Duties: Hand Drawing, Community Engagement, Cultural Exploration, Partnership Developments, Copywriting, Interviewing, Transcribing
Challenges: Consistent Daily Installations, Scheduling, Networking
Key Learnings: Drawing Thanks has been, and remains to be, a constant source of learning. Halfway through the first year of the project, the decision was made to find new stories of incredible individuals through cultural immersion. This meant coming up with themes such as “Local Business Leaders Week” and “Local Artists Week.” From there, seven strangers belonging to these cultures would be interviewed and through these developing connections, new communities revealed themselves. This has now become an integral part of the project which serves the purpose of creating relatability and barrier breakdowns between those groups who might consider themselves different and separate from others—allowing cross-sectoral partnerships and friendships to develop.