Celebrity Artist David Ilad Helps Survivors of Rape, Sexual Abuse and Incest
While at the GBK Gifting suites for the American Music Awards we met celebrity artist David Ilad who uses dots to draw wonderful portraits and he has decided to make each dot of his current work stand for each victim that he meets or that signs up on his site “Points with Purpose“, anonymously, as survivors of rape, sexual abuse and Incest.
As a survivor of sexual abuse myself, I can tell you first hand, how powerful it is to see David’s beautiful portrait, made of thousands of dots, when you realize that each dot is representing men and women who suffered some type of sexual abuse.
I am proud to have one of those dots represent me and as I read some of the stories on David’s website all I could think of was how great it was to have a place, an event that brings so many together to finally talk about and sometimes, for the first time, share their feelings of guilt, grief and growth.
I thank David for taking a moment to talk with us about his project and especially for the gift he is giving with his work. – JW
David’s celebrity drawing career started over 10 years ago when Jerry Seinfeld saw some of his drawings.
Until that point he had been drawing mostly models and didn’t have much of a portfolio.
Life took a major turn when David was commissioned to draw the entire cast of Seinfeld since at the time it was one of the hottest shows on television. From then on it was like life was put into high speed.
David Ilan has been fortunate to have some of the biggest celebrities pose for him throughout the years. Most of the David’s drawings have been for the celebrities’ private use but some have been created for other reasons. For example, one was made for an auction benefiting the American Cancer Society.
In 2007, David created the concept of “1 Dot = 1 Person” to bring more meaning to his art. Every dot he places on his canvas now represents a real person, and every David Ilan project has a charitable wing. He called his first project (which is still running) Points With Purpose. This project gives a voice to the survivors of rape or sexual abuse.
David has created several portraits using the “1 Dot = 1 Person” concept. People from more than 180 countries have dots placed in their honor in his portraits, including many A-list celebrities. For example, in the portrait he is creating for Special Olympics Southern California, David has placed dots for Scarlett Johansson, Danny DeVito, David Beckham, and Vanessa Williams, just to name a few.
In 2008, David embarked on the Presidential Portrait of Barack Obama, a project that was approved by Obama’s Visual Arts Committee. The Obama Portrait was sponsored by American Airlines and attracted the attention of the Smithsonian museum. It was organized in collaboration with Ken Kragen (who was responsible for “We Are The World” and “Hands Across America”).
Recently David was commissioned by the Jackson Family to do the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait where 1 Dot – 1 Fan.
You can see samples of my work at http://www.DavidIlan.com.
Points With Purpose
From thousands of tragic events, a beautiful drawing is born. My name is David Ilan and I am a celebrity artist. When celebrities pose for me, I create a drawings of them using only dots, a technique called pointillism. For the first time in 10 years I am creating a non-celebrity drawing for a project that is very close to my heart. This project, named Points with Purpose, gives my dots a greater meaning by associating each dot with a real person who has been raped or sexually abused.
If you have been raped or sexually abused you can join the project here (It’s free), giving your real name or an alias, and have the option of sharing your story. There is also a place in the drawing for people who want to support survivors. I add one dot for every person who joins until the drawing is complete. The final drawing will be of a woman looking confident, proud and beautiful. By joining the project, thousands of people with a shared tragic experience will work together to form a work of art meant to show others who go through similar experiences that they too can feel confident, proud and beautiful again.
Every person involved will have a dot drawn to honor them.
Up close we see individuals with a story.
From far we see a woman who has overcome and grown.