I submitted an illustration for Illustration Friday a few days ago for the topic of scary. It was a fun image of an elephant, a haunted house, and hang gliding mice. Scary indeed...
But today I was confronted by something scarier. The town I live in has a reputation for its high rates in youth suicide. In fact the suicide levels for 10-14 year olds is among the highest in this country. I was just this morning talking to a young lady I know at the local High School's Breakfast Club, where I help at twice a week. She was telling me about her big sister, who is in hospital recovering from a suicide attempt. Why this loss of hope?
As I come in contact with young people in this town, I hear stories of family break down and kids living in complicated situations. Its really not easy for a lot of them an it manifests in all sorts of ways. Suicide is one way; disaffected youth, and homelessness are others things that happen here.
This is a T-shirt design I am working on to raise awareness of Youth Homeless issues. Yes, there is a Banksy influence in it, but I thought that was relevant. Why is it that disaffected and homeless kids are always shown in hoodies?
And another scary thought is that these young people are the future of this country. A lot of them really great kids with a lot of potential, but how many will be able to realise this potential. Despite the huge coal and iron ore mining industries here, people are our greatest and best resource, but so much possible goodness is being lost.
But there is hope. And I try to be part of that, shining my light in the dark.