What's the deal with the Products? How do they support Haiti ?
I designed and created these custom products based off my paintings and photography of Haiti as well as other parts of my portfolio. The items are available for purchase here when you click SHOP in my online web store. All proceeds benefit Arts Education in Haiti for marginalized Haitian artists as well as basic needs such as food.
Here is an example of how this works:
Some of you know I have been working with artists in Haiti for over half a decade providing tools, workshops, jobs and skills development through my socially responsible freelance digital media and marketing agency - Limage Media Group ( www.limagemedia.com ) and the Nehemiah Records recording studio in Port Au Prince Haiti.
I spent nearly five years living in Haiti. The first two years I resided in Haiti I was living with the poor near a slum with no running water or proper electricity …just a silly Canadian hand washing her clothes and trying to learn the culture while putting band-aids on poverty with my food distribution program in tent cities and local community.
At one point I opened up my home as an attempt at a drop in shelter that welcomed and fed street kids while running a grassroots feeding program out of my Port au Prince kitchen.
I had to try to communicate to donors in Canada on very limited time frames with horribly slow Internet so I could upload photos of my work and prove I was helping people so they could keep sending me donations to continue the work. This was the bee in my bonnet because these donations unfortunately tend to be accompanied by backseat driver criticism.
I felt this was a horrible way to do things, to be a beggar just to help those in need… a beggar of donations…. Words cannot explain how terribly frustrating this was. I hated having to try to take photos of my neighbors I was helping because I was supposed to send accountability reports… making my friends feel like pieces of meat exploited to get the food they deserve… the same people who ate at my dinner table, the people it took me months to win over because of all the other foreigners before me who hurt them… I was determined to change the way helping people was done… the template sucked and I needed to create my own based on my own observations and experiences and that's where this store came into the picture.
The products and accessories I created are a tool to raise funds and awareness for Haitian artists who would not otherwise have the opportunity or tools to create their art. I believe in connecting resources with artists directly to eliminate red tape and support each other through mutual relationships. The funds from the products are going to my friends, those who can not type in English or build a web store and need a bit of help. The proceeds go to those who have shared meals and motorcycle taxies with me..not some random people in a village .. these are my friends and thank you for caring about them.
As an artist I know how frustrating it can be to not have the tools you need to create. With this platform I am hoping to alleviate some of those barriers Haitian Artists face.