Be Strong, Take Heart Poster

 In The Illustration Musings

My good friend Mary, her husband Andy and their beautiful daughters are going through some trying times. In December 2008, Andy was diagnosed with Behcet’s disease. A rare, incurable and highly variable disease. A couple of months ago they held a fundraiser to help raise money for their family, their medical bills, their life. I designed a poster based off a theme for their cause. The image of the angel is an interpretation of the tattoo on Andy’s forearm that says “May Grace Free You Forever.” “Be Strong. Take Heart” is their mantra. Not only for Andy’s recovery from this disease but also them getting to the point to where they are helping others in similar situations. Mary and Andy are two of the strongest people I know. And the ironic thing is I never have met Andy in person. I have gotten to know him through his wife and my friend Mary, through his blog, through his struggles and the brief times I have spoken to him over the phone.

This is the poster that I created to help raise money for their benefit concert on August 8th. It’s all hand drawn, then Tony printed 100 on his letterpress printer at Dock 2 Letterpress. If you are interested in donating to their cause I am sure Mary and Andy would be willing to provide you a poster in return. If there are any left.

Reflecting on this poster, the reasons why it was created, and the impact Behcet’s disease is taking on the Barwick’s certainly gives me pause to always try to remember to live their mantra. “Be Strong. Take Heart.” No matter how hard it may be.

Recommended Posts
Showing 5 comments
  • Lisa Marshall

    Beautifully written – incredible illustration, Joe.

  • Ana

    My heart goes out to them.

  • Andy W. Barwick

    Joe – I have to admit that I still gaze at this poster in amazement. We thought last year was tough before my spine surgery, now things are ten fold worse. I can’t thank you enough for your contribution and your kindness to us throughout our trials. I have some either bad news or really bad news coming down the pipe in the next two weeks and we are going to move forward with some big projects that I want to do now instead of waiting longer on this disease and letting it dictate my life more than it does. We will talk soon. Oh, BTW, I am in Atlanta this week, (June 4-9th) for Neuro chat. I found a girl working at a Figo restaurant that looks eerily like the angel you drew for the fundraiser last year. I will try to get a picture over to you. It is uncanny! Best to you bro! – Andy

  • mayernik

    Andy, that is heartbreaking. I am sorry that you have to endure this disease. Another poster for you, Mary and your foundation is the least I could do. Send me the details when appropriate.

    I would like to see the picture of the girl if you have it, just send it my way.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Start typing and press Enter to search