The Old Man Inspired By True Story

The Old Man is my personal project inspired by true story that occurred to me on the Fourth of July. The illustration and the story were featured on the Boston Globe, Boston.com and the SCAD website.


The Fourth of July of 2014 was particularly memorable to me because we had a huge thunderstorm. Hundreds of family, friends and couples came to see the fireworks but it was truly a chaos. Fireworks went earlier than the original scheduled time because of the severe weather condition. The police force was evacuating people urgently, hundreds of people were running everywhere to avoid the rain, and most of all, it was POURING like a waterfall. I mean, pouring as if there were a giant hole in the sky.

As we were frantically rushing to the station, we ran into the old man in a wheelchair devastated to look for help on the side of the road. His skinny body was trapped in a big chunky wheelchair that got stuck in the puddle. My brother and I were trying to get his wheelchair out among the frantic crowd. The old man seemed to have some sort of a muscular disability because he was having difficulties enunciating words together.

When we finally got him out of the puddle and settled him down a little bit, we found out he came all the way from Salem which was 2 hours away Boston by a train. We asked him where his guardian was and how he got himself here (to this chaos). He raised his glasses stained with raindrops and gave us a smile that was as innocent as a child's. Then, he replied with his best effort. "I came here alone... I wanted to see the fireworks."

His answer truly touched my heart, and I decided to depict the story inspired by this heart warming incident through my own personal project. The whole project almost felt like a healing process to me, trying to capture the man's innocence and unimaginable strength.