I’m excited and honored to announce that my Staten Island Ferry poster has been longlisted for the World Illustration Awards 2022!
Each year the @worldillustraionawards in partnership with the Association of Illustrators (@theaoi) and the Directory of Illustration (@dirillustraion) recognizes the top 500 illustrations from around the world across a variety of categories. This year there were more than 5,000 international entries. I’m humbled to be chosen as part of this elite group, and I want to thank the jury of industry leaders who selected my work.
It’s also wonderful, international exposure for a poster I made honoring a U.S. soldier whose sacrifice has made an international impact. In 2013, Army Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis was serving as part of an international coalition of troops in a Forward Operating Base in Ghazni, Afghanistan. After a 3,000-lb truck bomb tore a hole in their exterior defenses, their base was overrun by insurgents. Ollis was assisting a wounded Polish officer when they were confronted by an attacker wearing a suicide vest. Ollis shot the insurgent but not before the invader was able to trigger his vest. Ollis threw himself toward the attacker, sacrificing himself and shielding the Polish officer from the blast. Ollis has since been awarded Poland’s highest military honor. He was awarded the Silver Star by the U.S. military in 2019 and has been recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Ollis’s family created the SSG Michael Ollis Freedom Foundation, a 501-3B charity devoted to supporting veterans in need. To honor the Staten Island native’s sacrifice, the New-York area’s newest $100 million passenger ferry was named for Ollis. The Foundation commissioned this poster featuring the ferry and the Statue of Liberty in the background. Prints of the poster were presented to dignitaries who attended the ship’s dedication in October 2021. Since then, the Foundation has used profits from sales of the poster to benefit veterans in need and their families.