Shield Your Heart

This project is as "grassroots" as it gets. I am not an organization, a non-profit, nor a corporation. I am an artist who has created and self-funded the art presented here and now I offer it now as a gift to raise awareness and money for YOU CAN THRIVE, an organization that helps individuals with breast cancer to access holistic care.

My name is Derrick Little. I am a visual artist and body painter. I started this "Shield Your Heart" postcard project with photographer Liz Liguori in October 2010 when my dear friend, Deva Prem, was in treatments for her breast cancer. This project became a method for me to cope with Deva's death from Breast Cancer on March 22, 2011.

As a body painter I've painted both the bald heads of chemotherapy patients and the mastectomy scars of women who've had their breast(s) removed. Those type of body paintings always result in powerful images that tell a story as well as award me and my subject a beautiful exchange during the art session. However, due to the sensitivity surrounding the topics of chemo and mastectomies, those type images (no matter how beautiful) are sometimes difficult for people to view. 

For this campaign, I created a body of work that celebrates both the inherent sexuality of the breast/chest and the fact that the breast/chest serves as a physical “shield” over every person’s heart. I've painted 12 traditional symbols of strength on 6 male chests and 6 women’s breasts as metaphoric “shields”. 

The symbols I chose to paint are:
Angel, Bull, Candle, Dragon, Hummingbird, Knot, Koi, Phoenix, Shell, Tiger, Tree, and Wave.  I then added an inspirational quote to each image, based on my interpretation of the symbol.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of Deva's death, I proudly present this body of art in the form of 12 POSTCARDS, available for PURCHASE via DONATION. (With proceeds from every set sold directly benefiting You Can Thrive). I dedicate this art to Deva Prem and every person who has ever been affected by any form of cancer.