Photographer and artist Shawn Van Daele’s “Drawing Hope Project” is something of a mix between the Make a Wish Foundation and pure fantasy. Van Daele’s creations go above and beyond reality helping sick kids truly live out their wildest dreams.
Today reports about the Drawing Hope Project that Van Daele has developed taking a sick child’s imaginative drawing and allowing the child to act out the scene by recreating the fantasy with photography. The fantastical photo shoots allow children to do everything from being a butterfly in the garden of enormous flowers to exploring outer space in character as Buzz Lightyear.
Van Daele’s inspiration came from a gift he gave to his grandmother. He explains, “I turned a drawing I did myself when I was six, for my grandmother, into a real-life photo, and that triggered the idea that I could do this on a broader scale, for other families who could use some inspiration in their lives. When you're up against battles like that, the idea that anything is possible is so important.”
Many of the children the artist photographs are waiting for life-saving organ transplants, battling cancer or living with life-threatening heart defects. Van Daele includes messages on his finished photo urging others to register for organ donation and it seems his work has paid off as many Facebook users have become inspired to register after seeing his work. Van Daele adds, “To know that this project has or will, technically, save lives — wow.”
What do you think of this photography project?
Do you think these types of images can inspire families dealing with illness?