This is February. In a few days from now thousands of people will flock to New York for Toy Fair 2015. These are the people who spend their year focused on the wants and needs of children. There will be the store buyers who will look for new the toys that will make a child squeal with glee. The manufacturers and the designers will listen closely to the buyers and think of the ways they will redesign in 2016. Marketers will spend countless hours focused on informing Mommy bloggers about all the wonderful items that will educate and inspire the future generation. In the bright and whirling cacophony of commerce, design and creation everyone will focus on the child.
While all of this transpires, I will take off my artist smock and for day go back to Barstons Child’s Play, the store I have worked in for over 16 years. I will be a clerk again. I will focus on children and joy. I will help parents make the best choices for their little ones. I will fly away from the sickness and sorrow that informs so much of my work, and I will be the one who helps a child.
Then March will come. Thousands of people will flock to Austin, Texas for SXSW2015 (South by Southwest). These are the people that spend their year focused on film, music and cutting edge technology. There will be the storeowners looking for an edgy sound or the newest digital design. There will be the venture capitalists and angel investors looking for the hot new medical device or mobile tech concept. There will be marketers and entertainment bloggers looking for the hottest new act. In this pulsing musical clamor of the arts and tech combined, very few people will focus on the child.
Within the sprawling venue there are three tracks: Film, Music and Interactive. Within the Interactive track is an expo focused on health and innovation. Within the expo there is a microcosm called Impact Pediatric: HealthPitch Competition.
Here they will focus on the child and for them I created the painting “Flying”
I took their logo, a spiraling series of foreshortened dots and turned them into shields. Behind the shields pediatric patients are flying like superheroes.
In the far distance three children fly with symbols of a teardrop for mental anguish, a question for innovation and gears for power of industry.
Closer in a child flies with an exclamation point shield representing patient safety, another child has the symbol of a die for gamification and closer yet a child flies with the symbol of a ribbon that represents all disease.
Along the top of the spiral a girl holds a shield with the medical cross representing institutional medicine. To her right a toddler boy holds a shield emblazoned with the universal symbol for the infant and it represents prematurity. To his right a girl proudly bears a shield with a double helix for the potential of applied genomics.
At the bottom of the spiral and closet to the viewer are the last two children. A boy holds a shield with the pound symbol, the hashtag, representing all things social media. To his left a determined girl flies toward the viewer and upon her shield is the wifi symbol representing the power of interactive tech to spread a culture of health.
On Monday March 16, the finalists will present their interactive concepts that could help pediatric populations. I hope this painting will inspire them. I am glad that Brian Lang from Impact Pediatric asked for my help on this project. I am so very happy to return to my first passion and once again help a child.