Venezuelan teen promoting drawings on Twitter to assist household get by and pay for his particular food plan amid pandemic

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Samuel Andrés Medina fastidiously chooses from dozens of coloured pencils unfold out on his kitchen desk, buzzing a reggaeton tune as he deftly applies distinction to the Dragon Ball anime character taking form on his sketch pad.

It isn’t only a pastime anymore for the 14-year-old. With out his mom’s information, he started promoting his drawings on his Twitter web page to assist the household get by and to pay for a particular food plan docs say he wants in Venezuela’s troubled financial system.

“Hello. I’m Samuel, I’m promoting my drawings for $1 to assist my mother with my food plan, purchase her a home and a store so she gained’t work on the road and get sick with COVID-19 and purchase peanut butter for me. Thanks, sir and madam,” he tweeted together with photographs of 4 drawings.

It caught the attention of many and he now has greater than 15,000 followers, promoting dozens of drawings he has labored up at a desk between a worn-out sofa and a rusting fridge within the small household house in Barquisimeto, about 5 hours west of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.

“The reality is I didn’t know that I used to be going to attract like that, however time has handed, and I’ve managed to color for actual,” Samuel stated this month, exhibiting his completed drawing of Dragon Ball’s Goku. “And right here it’s.”

In a crisis-wracked nation the place employees earn a median of $2 per thirty days, his gross sales could make a giant distinction for a household price range strained by his want for high-protein meals to take care of a type of malnutrition.

Like hundreds of thousands of different Venezuelans, Samuel and his mom, Magdalena Rodríguez, emigrated seeking higher situations. They went to Colombia in 2019 when widespread energy outages hit her homeland simply as she discovered of her son’s prognosis.

However they got here house in December after she misplaced her job and located growing prejudice in opposition to the rising variety of Venezuelan migrants.

The mom of three now sells snacks from a desk in Barquisimeto’s foremost plaza. She additionally discovered work as a cleaner. Nonetheless, it has been tough to afford the comparatively costly high-protein meals wanted by her son, who additionally has a prognosis of Asperger syndrome, a broad department of the autism spectrum.

“It’s not straightforward,” Rodriguez stated.

Rodriguez, 38, found Samuel’s effort when he requested for her checking account info so that folks may pay for his work.

Samuel, who stated he started drawing at age 5, has an inclination for anime characters, however has additionally portrayed soccer celebrity Cristiano Ronaldo and the animated SpongeBob SquarePants.

Venezuelan artist Oscar Olivares, who runs an artwork academy, noticed Samuel’s tweets and gave him a scholarship to review drawing. Social media followers have additionally gifted him a laptop computer, a set of artists’ pencils — and peanut butter, an excellent supply of protein.

Samuel, who stated he might increase his costs as his abilities advance, want to make YouTube-style movies about videogames when he grows up.

“I’m happy with him, actually. I don’t have phrases,” Rodríguez stated. “However I do really feel offended typically, I really feel helpless, as a result of I feel that at his age, he must be learning, studying, and never desirous to work to assist me, after I’m the one who has to do all the things doable to provide them consolation and nourishment.”

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