If you dig up old childhood photos of Bo, you’ll see that not much has changed in his interests. He wrote and illustrated his first book in kindergarten and continues drawing and writing to this day – only now it’s become his work. Bo’s Creation Station gives homage to his favorite childhood pastime and allows him to share his artwork and stories with the world.
Bo, a Vaya Health member with an intellectual and/or developmental disability, pulls his artwork and stories from his own imagination, comics, TV shows and real life. He tried working for a company prior to starting his own business, but he found his imagination being limited. Instead of drawing from inspiration, he was required to draw what was asked of him by the company which conflicted with his natural instincts. Now, working for himself and eliminating the middleman, he’s able to let his imagination flow and make his own money. Since March, Bo’s work has been featured on the Threadless website where people can pick a drawing and have it printed directly on any number of pieces, such as clothing, home decor and framed prints.
Data is half seal and half dog. He is a seal pup! There once was a crazy wildfire but Data (with some help from his friend Dennis) saved everyone, putting the fire out with his tail. They then lived happily ever after.
But it’s not the money that means the most to Bo, though he does enjoys earning his own. It’s the exposure he gets from being able to show the world his work. Much of his socialization comes from the internet through making comments on Facebook and YouTube, and he loves sharing his prints and stories with others.
Jim Cox was the star quarterback when he was just a pup. This is him getting ready to play football, just before a game. Check out that streeeetch!
“For him, it’s just seeing his art being put out there,” said Sarah, Bo’s staff member. “He gets a huge sense of pride from it. To have his art on the internet and that sense of reward from selling it, it really means a lot to him.”
His art is not just a sense of pride – it’s also a comfort to Bo. He draws every single day, even sleeping with his drawings. It’s a self-soothing exercise for him while also a way to express his creativity. And Bo has an endless amount of creativity. Although he has a strong affection for puppies, his drawings are not all just regular dogs. They can be depicted in Tai-Chi and exercise poses or even hybrid seal pups with a puppy face. Roosters, parrots, comic characters and even his own Super Bo Fish Man also make an appearance.
What it all comes down to is a nostalgia for the past. Having stories read to him, watching cartoons and playing his favorite movies on VHS tapes are happy childhood memories that he gets to relive by creating his own, and he wants others to experience it with him. One special person that he now shares it with is his new nephew.
What a super boy! Super Bo saved the world from Krypto, the bad dog, and locked him away in the Pet Zoo! This year, Super Bo helped Bolt discover and distribute the vaccine.
The two already share a special connection as his nephew is one of Bo’s biggest supporters. Bo’s sister bought several items of baby clothing with Bo’s prints before his nephew was even born. Now, Bo gets to see his artwork displayed in real life on his new favorite person. It gives him a whole new sense of pride and joy.
To view Bo’s work and the stories that accompany them, visit bofish100.threadless.com.
Find your favorite piece, pick a product to have it printed on and support a local artist. Nothing would make Bo prouder.
View other Vaya member businesses and read their stories on our Microenterprise Directory.