Connecting Is My Livelihood

Gabrielle’s Story
“I am because you are, and because we are, I am.”
-Ubuntu/Zulu Philosophy

I came from parents who discovered in the mid-1960s that love transcends skin color.
My mother and father, one from a small farming town in Iowa and the other from Cabrini-Green projects in Chicago, endured trials and tribulations together because of race. Unified, they advocated for the Civil Rights Movement and marched in Chicago with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Because they fought for human rights…I am.

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Painting Is My Livelihood

Kelli’s Story
Painting is my livelihood…and at one point I fought it tooth and nail. Now don’t get me wrong, art has resonated in me always. I remember spending hours as a little kid taking chunks of tree bark and whittling them into shapes on the rough surface of the sidewalk, my days punctuated by more cat doodles than I care to admit. I drew for the sake of drawing; made for the sake of making. That’s just what people do right? Have lunch, make art, breathe, make art. Simple.

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Cartoons Are My Livelihood

Jeff’s Story
I first learned how to draw cartoons by studying the comics section of the Sunday World-Herald. I would spend hours on the living room floor, or in my bedroom, sheets of paper and pens and crayons spread around me, trying my best to recreate Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the many other characters that populated the Sunday Funnies.

My father, however, took a dim view of such endeavors. It’s not that he wasn’t supportive of my wanting to become an artist. After all, he was a singer and musician and very much understood my drive and passion. The issue for him had everything to do with my not coming up with my own characters.

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Design Is My Livelihood

Brad’s Story
When I was a kid my parents always said, “If you love what you do for a living
you’ll never work a day in your life.”

To me, a child only concerned with Spider-Man, G.I. Joe and who would win if
they ever had to battle, that sounded wonderful. I was 12 when I had it all figured
out: I would leave the nest at 18, move to New York and take over the reigns of
Marvel Comics.

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