"...a break for artists constantly in the hustle to enjoy stepping back and into the company of a non-competitive, giving opportunity, where we give something beautiful away because it should be done."

Help Portrait

I remember being told in 2011 when I was in my first year covering the Catalyst Conference in Irvine, CA that this guy Jeremy Cowart was there.

It was a buzz that people were putting in my ear and I quickly found out I should probably discover who this guy is before I accidentally say something stupid to him without knowing it or, even worse, overlook an opportunity to meet him. I had a quick chance to look up his google image and did recognize him walking around the backstage area, and it was also really obvious that the people there that knew him really liked the guy. I ended up that year getting to sit down for lunch with him and talked to him about his illustration art, his eternal struggle of flying between Nashville and LA, and was impressed with both his seeming relaxed solidarity between his art, heart and eye, and his intense drive for self-improvement, entrepreneurship, and business savvy.

So that’s my “how-I-met-a-rockstar” story…

The more I followed him the more I was impressed with his personal work, although you could easily get lost in the quality of his commercial work too.

One of the first projects he authored that caught my attention was Help Portrait,

who’s “mission is to empower photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists to use their skills, tools and expertise to give back to their local community.” So, basically, if you aren’t behind that you’re either apathetic or selfish or too busy – I hoped to be none of those things so I supported it verbally for a couple years, then this last year I decided to take a step.

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Now lets understand something together. Administration is not my strength, it is however my nightmare. I was just tired of waiting for someone else to run one near me. With Orange County having more than 30,000 homeless youth it seemed an opportunity to give a portrait to families in need in time for Christmas was something that just should happen. I reached out to my network of philanthropists, photographers, and hair and makeup artists, and what I got in return was a team who was not only perfect in dealing with my less-than-stellar planning and foresight, but in their own fields are totally and absolutely killing it right now! They showed up ready to work, flexible, loving, joyful, and made this a day that also touched my heart to see such amazingly talented artists give back without demanding anything. It was also such a testament to their hearts that the families wanted pictures with their respective photographer for the day. It was how things should be.

They are my ’96 Bulls.

Andrew James Abajian,

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Dana Grant

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Adam Bartlett

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Lauren Scotti

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Nicole Leever

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Ryan Scott Welsh

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I totally blew it to not get a portrait of Niki Kolb, who did hair and makeup for the whole event because she was so quiet and humble that once everyone was finished she packed up, said thank you and left. I owe you one homie.

Also big thanks to Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks for providing the food and drink for all of us.
The reason Help Portrait is important to me is that it’s a break for artists constantly in the hustle to enjoy stepping back and into the company of a non-competitive, giving opportunity, where we give something beautiful away because it should be done. The team that showed up for this really showed out, and it touched my heart. I am always looking for ways to partner with people who want to leave this world a more beautiful place. Thank you guys.

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