When artist and automotive designer Brian Peterson moved to Santa Ana, California three months ago, he couldn’t help but notice the large homeless population in the area. A spiritual man and follower of the Christian faith, Peter believes in helping others and taking action through love, even if it means stepping outside of his comfort zone.
For Peterson, this meant revisiting the art of painting, picking up a paintbrush for the first time in seven years: “This notion gave me the courage to both take action and befriend these people, and gave me the heart to put my talents to good use,” he told My Modern Metropolis. His project is called ‘Faces of Santa Ana’, and includes a wide range of interesting individuals such as Daryl (above), a man Peterson says has a “big heart and colourful personality”.
Honouring the experiences of his new friends on the street, Peterson gave a face to the homeless community. Each heartfelt portrait is signed by its muse, adding an even more personal touch to the image. He said: “I believe their stories and testimony are just as integral to the success of the piece as my paint and brushstrokes.”
The finished paintings are displayed outside in downtown Santa Ana, and the proceeds from sales go towards the rehabilitation of Peterson’s subjects. “The portraits that we feature are real people, with real stories, that need real help.” Through his art, Peterson hoped to change the lives of those who need it most, and ended up making some new friends in the process.
Take a look at more of his amazing work below!
Peterson working on a painting of Matt, who dreams of becoming a musician.
This is Simon, a welder. He has bucked the odds, and is close to finding employment.
Here he is signing his portrait.
Here are the completed pieces on display in downtown Santa Ana.
Anyone else have all the feels right now?