Wednesday 22 June 2016

‘Strike One’ Children book & my Royce Felton collaboration Journey | Thinking outside the box.

on Wednesday 22 June 2016 - 16:55:32 | by sasha

When my son Daniel was, diagnose with Autism. It was a true blessing to find Fullerton Cares Autism Foundation. It opened a many great doorways into the heart of community who also have families, whose loved ones, also challenged with many spectrums of Autism.

Fate had placed my son in the same class room with Larry Houser’s son. This is where my family and I started to become affiliated with the founder of Fullerton Cares Autism Foundation (Larry Houser), and developed a greater appreciation for this man’s passion to open the door to other families. Spend time meeting and engaging time with Boyd Houser, who helped inspire Larry for a greater purpose with Autism, by creating hope and opportunities throughout Fullerton.

Incredible enough one of the open doors allowed me to meet a very unbelievable woman named Jess Nerren, whose son Royce Felten was at the time fighting with Cancer and diagnosed with Autistic. I became a loyalist to Royce story, and stayed in tuned to his progress as this young survivalist.

Meanwhile through numerous Fullerton Care’s Autism events, I found myself building the courage to create Dan’s World children books. These books would share insightfulness about how a family of worms relate to a young worm name Dan with autism.

As we make a journey in life, things happen for a reason. There are things that we retain and other things that you cannot recall the events exactly. What stood out in one given moment is seeing a heartfelt Royce Felten tell me his dream. I saw myself in him so many years ago.

Then, as a child, my dreams were very much out of my reach, because too many hardships. That was the first thing that I could relate too. Second, he had a life threatening condition. Which I also face on a day to day bases (Factor V Leiden) a chronic blood clotting issue. Lastly, he and my son both share Autism. These life components for Royce and me is what made a beautiful idea come to life.

He came over to my house and together we began our collaboration. Fullerton Care’s Autism Foundation and Royce mother supported us all the way. It was that extra confidence to ensure Royce’s vision and my partnership with him a daily nourishment.

Royce vision was to illuminate an analogy from his life fighting cancer and surviving it. Into a book filled with cancer spawned zombies and a hero arises to save people from facing the same fate. Truly, it was a concept out of my normal children’s illustration. Part of me had anxieties in my own ability to produce it. I almost feared it would be a disappointment. Then I heard all my teachers from the Art Institute. Words that I choose to ignore – until, I was faced with this particular challenge.

“Think outside the box” my teachers would say. Don’t live in the comfort zone. Do something that would challenge you to go beyond the norm. This is what I used to fuel my goals to divulge deep into the collaboration project with my younger partner. I had to figure out how to illustrate a story that wouldn’t be overly gruesome and would be humorous for the age group it had been intended for, and touch other ages too.
I found the root of ‘thinking outside the box’ back to when I hung around with my younger sibling brothers. When we would all sit on the bed sprawled out to read a comic book. We would laugh so hard over the odd ball situations illustrated. That is exactly what helped template Royce dream, and put the drive in motion through all the illustrations. Quirky humor and stay on the path to understanding how the cancerous zombies came to life.

Now my young collaborator is holding the product of his dream. It moved me to see him autograph his very first book. That type of strength goes a long way for Royce. He needed just another element that will wield him to say, “ Yes, I can”.

YES ROYCE! YES YOU CAN!” I will continue to say.

If you are interested in Strike One. Find out more here: STRIKE ONE Info.

Related Links to this experience:

Child with Autism and Cancer Co-Authors Book with Autism Parent Through Support of Fullerton Cares Autism Foundation
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