"Be Brave, America"

As you all probably know, on September 11, 2001 the United States of America was intentionally and deliberately attacked by an unknown terrorist force. Four passenger jetliners were hijacked by crack 3-to-5 man teams of terrorists. These jetliners, laden with passengers and fuel, were used as ballistic missiles to attack buildings in the United States. Two aircraft slammed into the World Trade Center in New York City, causing the collapse of the two 110 story towers and at least two other nearby buildings. A third aircraft caused severe damage to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. while the fourth plane hit a cornfield in Pennsylvania after passengers onboard attacked the terrorists and tried to regain control. With estimated death tolls exceeding 10,000 this is the worst attack on U.S. soil in American history.

Many of us, especially those of us who live far away from New York, have a feeling of helplessness because we can do little to aid those who are suffering. To try to feel that I at least did something to help lessen the pain of others, I have created the above drawing, "Be Brave America," to try to give people some hope for the future. I put all the feeling I could for this drawing, and when I finally viewed upon the finished work I was literally brought to tears.


To all of those who are suffering, please except this picture as my humble gift.

I came up with the idea for this drawing late Tuesday night. The next day I immediately put all of my other art projects on hold and went hard to work on this, trying to get it done as soon as possible. I stayed up until four in the morning to finish this drawing and to pass it along to as many people as possible. People who are big fans of my artwork will immediately recognize the character in this picture as Ladyhawk, my flagship original character. She is normally colored as a red-tailed hawk, but for this special drawing I crossed her with our national bird, the American Bald Eagle. Draped with an American flag and looking to the heavens for hope and inspiration, she is supposed to represent Lady Liberty herself. And while she looks for hope and guidence in the foregrund the emergency rescue workers, true American heros, work tirelessly behind her.

Originally, this drawing was supposed to be interpreted as a ray of hope shining down on the United States of America, despite the devestation it had been dealt. But later on I came up with a second way to interpret this drawing. As you can see, just as in the Great Seal of the United States, Lady Liberty has the olive branch and the thirteen arrows in her talons, representing the choice between peace and war. This could represent our leaders looking into the heavens for God's guidence on whether they should choose the road to peace, or the path to conflict. In either case, I tried to have a lot of hope inspiring symbolism in this picture.

I sent this drawing out to several newspapers to see if I could get it published and it was featured in two of them. The Downers Grove Reporter mentioned my name and gave an internet link to this drawing, and the Bloomington- Normal Indy featuered my drawing in an article on page 6 of their September 18th edition. You can see the article here! This is the first time any of my artwork has been professionally published. My friend down at the comicbook shop told me, "You're a real artist now!"

This drawing was done on 80lb. medium surface Strathmore drawing paper. For the rough pencil work I used a .05mm mechanical pencil with 5H lead. I used 2B lead for line darkening. The result was cleaned up and darkened with Paint Shop Pro 3. The print out was on standard fax/copy paper and was colored with Crayola colored pencils. The lettering and the photo background were added with Paint Shop Pro 7.02. The photo of New York was taken from the CNN website.

Please e-mail me if you save or copy this picture!

I would love to know that you like it!

All text and original multimedia is © 2001 Daniel Keller. All other information is copyrighted by their respective owners.