It was 5 years ago when photo-illustrator Shawn Van Daele first embarked on a truly magical photo series that would change his life, and others, forever.
He was actually in the middle of completing another project at the time–a 365-day self-portrait challenge–when he found himself taking one of his own childhood drawings and recreating it. The photographer and graphic designer had long-since been practicing the art of photo manipulation, and by blending several of his favorite mediums together, he soon turned the imaginings of his 6-year-old self into a beautiful photo that felt... well, real.
And that's when the idea first popped into his head.
"It inspired me to do the same with other children's drawings," Van Daele told mom.me. "Specifically, kids with health conditions who could use a little 'magic' in their lives, to help them see that anything is possible."
So began the Drawing Hope project, which has now spanned five years, taken him to new places, connected him with hundreds of families, and touched literally thousands of lives.
Photo via Drawing Hope