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Painting Al Fresco with Maddi

Maddi is a young man who is multi-lingual, a talented visual artist, and now homeless. He’s been coming to GLIDE frequently, and we have enjoyed getting to know him better. He graciously shared his story with us.  

I was born in Kuwait, but I was born as a non-citizen, without documents. My mom is Kuwaiti but in that country they don’t give you citizenship even if your mom is a citizen. Very unfair. So we emigrated to New Mexico.
I got my B.A. in foreign languages — French, Spanish, and Italian. I came out here to get my master’s at the Academy of Art University for illustration and fine arts. I recently became homeless and just found out about GLIDE and I’m very thankful for it. I became homeless after living in the Sunset in a house with two other housemates. I feel like I have a problem with organization and foresight.

I was actually just going to the DMV to get my ID when I came by GLIDE again to get some food. I’m very thankful for it. Not that getting food out of the trash is that bad. You know, it’s San Francisco so they sort everything out so it’s easy to get the food without the trash and people have been really loving and open. It’s an eye-opening experience, more than anything, these last 20 days. I’m finding out about all the resources and programs the City offers, and just how it is to live in the streets. I’m planning to put it all into a graphic novel.

I’m painting outside at Fisherman’s Wharf and I’m also painting in the Mission. My friend led me here after we were hanging out in the Mission. Mostly I have just been eating here. I’ve also been trying to locate a residence, but I have a tarp so it keeps the ground dry. It’s been okay not to have a shelter of any sort because I usually end up feeling like I’m imprisoned because I can’t leave a room once I sign a lease. It’s been nice to be out and about and painting in public.

Maddi_outside GLIDE

A sketch of Ellis Street in front of GLIDE.

Eating at GLIDE has been really good. It’s been a resource when I just cannot find food. Honestly I’ve become accustomed to eating out of trash cans, and a lot of times someone will come up to ask you if you want some food. I’ve been eating here a couple times a week, while I’m out and about, trying to put my portfolio together. One application goes to Germany, the other goes to Florence. It’s been easier to not have a residence and do the things that I’m doing because when I had a residence it was so hard to just leave the house and see what I could see. In a lot of ways, you have to lose everything to look around and see what’s available.
An example of Maddi’s work: “Mock advertising illustration for Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream done in acrylic paint.” You can find more of Maddi’s work at http://theartofmaddi.com/ as well as on Instagram @hamad.ani