To the first gentleman out there who has truly inspired me for the first time in my life, more like because it’s the first time I’ve felt it so strongly, so close to me, so ambitious, daring to dream big and knowing what he wants to do. Most importantly of all, knowing what he wants to do and going all out in doing them. Determination and perseverance, that kept him going. He hasn’t done this all alone (though at times he did) but the strong support of those around him, those who share such similar dreams as his made them all come true but because he’s helping the others make their dreams come true too…
Introduction to Peter Draw
Peter Draw is a young Singaporean artist and founder of Happy Drawing™. He started drawing at the age of 3, and began drawing professionally when he was 16 years old. He discovered that his drawings made other people happy too, and he has been drawing happiness for himself and others since.
Born Peter Zhuo Ying Wei, Peter adopted the name ‘Draw’ as a gift from the many children he met over the years who pronounced his surname this way.
In 2006, while volunteering at the Spastic Children’s Association, Peter met Daniel, a teenage boy with cerebral palsy. Despite Daniel’s limitations in the movement of his arms and legs, stroke by stroke, he pushed himself to complete his drawings patiently. Daniel’s love for drawing touched Peter and inspired him to do more with his drawing, with a bigger passion for art and a greater purpose to help children.
He earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for drawing the world’s largest caricature which he dedicated to children as a gift of inspiration. While the previous world record was 180sqm done in 3 days, Peter’s caricature was two times larger at 360sqm, completed in just 3 hours. He took up a 24-Hour Challenge to draw caricatures non-stop in support of Habitat for Humanity. With no food or breaks, Peter drew close to 1,000 caricatures over the 24 hours. He raised more than enough funds, and led a team of young people to help build a home for a family in Indonesia.
Peter has been featured as an “Everyday Hero” by Reader’s Digest Asia in 2008 for his work for children through his art. Peter received the Outstanding Young Person of Singapore Award 2008 in recognition of his contribution to children and world peace from Junior Chamber International.
Peter believes that our children are the future. If we want to change the world, we must start with children. Through his art, he hopes to make a positive difference to the world. Peter loves chocolate ice cream.
Of how I met him, it was through Spotlight Singapore in Cape Town and I’m glad I met him because it opened a little more to that window of mine in life. How he made an impact in others’ lives has truly kept me thinking a lot ever since.
He went out of the usual itinerary of the programme, went to the various villages, slums and schools instead to reach out to the children. While most of the children go to school hungry without breakfast and would only have their first meal in school at lunchtime. When they grow up, some of them hope to work on a ship, be a nurse, a taxi-driver, a teacher, a hair-dresser, a bakery chef, to play football for south africa and be an artist. He drew the drawing as seen below to always remind Morgenson Primary School’s children to never give up on their dreams, no matter how tough life treats them.
What touched me even more was just a simple send-off by a group of students from Morgenson Primary School. Seeing them waiting for Peter since 6am because they heard that his flight was at 6, but it was in fact 6pm. Glad I managed to meet them at the airport to board my flight at 11am, if not for that, it would have been too disappointing!
He’s currently embarking on a project “Protecting YUME” (Yume means Dreams in Japanese). He just left for Japan about two days ago and that the reason being is that he wants to protect the children in Japan. How he would protect the children in Japan is by inspiring courage in them to never give up on their dreams, despite the current situations – To help the Japanese children help themselves and help the people in their community. He’d be visiting schools and get the children to draw pictures of their “dreams” and bring home these drawings to exhibit with Arts House and sell these drawings to raise money to rebuild one school in Japan.
Of what he told me just before his trip has also kept me thinking of how we can view things in another perspective:
People say this is not the best time to see the beautiful sights in Japan. I believe this is the best time to see the most beautiful side of Japan, where our human spirits are the strongest.”
As I’m saying this, I’m glad I met him
and I hope he’s all safe in Japan with his friend.