Peer Artist's Creations Offer Solutions to Others
We’ve previously shared the story of young Javin Baker, a peer leader at Perry Wellness Center who is working on a book of creative drawings and writings. Work continues on his book, which features the character, Chris, who represents Javin’s struggles, thoughts, and opinions.
“It is fun to think up solutions to problems that confront me, “Javin explains. “I let Chris find answers for me and try to capture the facial expressions, body language, and comments he shares as he considers and solves the problems.”
Javin works closely with artist and staff member Jeff Williams, who serves as the young artist’s creative mentor. “It really is fun to mentor and support peers with a given talent for art,” Jeff notes. “It was vital in my younger years to have approval and advice from like-minded individuals in my life.” He sees his work with Javin as a continuation of this process. In Jeff’s case, mentoring and his own talent and dedication led to national art awards and an exhibition at the Louvre. In Javin’s case, his future is still a work in process.
Javin is now working on his latest volume of work, known as “My Pride and Joy.” The tabletop book includes many comic panels that illustrate scenes from his own life and depict the ongoing story of recovery for an individual dealing with mental illness. Javin’s creative expression is not only therapeutic for him, but offers inspiration to others with behavioral health problems. We look forward to seeing this talented young man share his creativity with a larger audience.
In the photo above, Javin Baker works on his latest creative work while surrounded by previous sketchbooks.