New Workshop - Unscripted!

Drawing Hope Project: Turning Sick Children’s Drawing to Photographs

January 21st 2013 1:01 PM

Drawing Hope Project

It’s great to see a photographer use their talent for good. The Drawing Hope Project by photographer Shawn Van Daele took the drawings of children with health conditions to create inspirational photographs starring those children. He also successfully funded a children’s book on Indiegogo.

How It All Began

I had an idea. I thought that I could use the talents and abilities I have to do something that people everywhere could find hope and inspiration in. Something good…just for the sake of doing something good. My parents gave me a drawing I did for my Grandma when I was just young (either 4 or 7 years old…I can’t tell from the writing) – and I turned it into a magical ‘real’ photograph. It was then I discoved that I could do the same sort of magic for kids with health conditions…showing them that anything is possible. To see a child’s imagination come to life…despite some horrible ‘unawesome’ situations – it can’t help but give you hope. To use your abilities and talents to bring smiles to ‘sick kids’ (and their families!) – there isn’t anything in the world that feels better than that.

A Lot About The Drawing Hope Project

The idea behind The Drawing Hope Project is to show children with health conditions that anything is possible. Even their imaginations coming to life! I am working to create a series of inspirational children’s books, filled with HOPE. I am taking drawings done by children with health conditions, and turning them into magical photos – starring themselves.

Each child is becoming a special ‘character’ in the storybook, and alongside the awesome adventure they will all be going on in a very magical land…it will also through subtext tell their personal stories, what they have overcome, and bring awareness to their personal causes as well as organ donation.

I have already completed the first 26 photo shoots for the very first book, and am starting to collect drawings and stories towards the second..third…and fourth books! Proceeds from the book are returning to all the foundations, hospitals and groups that have supported the children featured in the story! It’s my hope to have the book available in Spring 2013. Stay tuned!

Drawing Hope Project

A Little Bit About Me

I live in a little village outside of Guelph, Ontario, Canada…with my partner Clint, our 3 insane Boston Terriers (soon to be 4), and own/photograph at Renaissance Studios Photography. The Drawing Hope Project was an idea that turned into something ridiculously magical that has changed many lives – including my own.

I studied drawing and painting for a while at OCAD in Toronto, followed by Graphic Design at Fanshawe in London, Ontario. It was never on my radar to be a photographer, a philanthropist, or the father to 3 (soon to be 4) Boston Terriers.

And that’s just how life goes.

The Drawing Hope Project has brought me so much already; new friends, a growing family of incredibly strong people, and the awareness that life is so very, very fragile. I have learned that being an organ donor is the simplest and most valuable thing you can EVER do (and you can register right here:

You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr and 500px.


Joe is a rising fashion and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He blends creativity and edge with a strong style of lighting and emotion in his photographs. Be sure to check out his work at and connect with him on Google Plus and on Facebook

Comments [1]

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for sharing

    | |