Arts & Entertainment

Her Creativity Will Amaze You! Teen Artist Makes Portraits To Honor Fallen Healthcare Workers

Even at a young age, she wanted to do something to honor those who sacrificed the most during the pandemic.



As the death toll from the coronavirus continues to rise in the United States, 15-year-old Xinyi Christine Zhang from South Brunswick Township, NJ wanted to do something to honor the lives of those who passed away after helping patients battle the virus.

The teenager joined her community at church to pray for the lives that have been lost, but she wanted to do more for the frontline workers who have sacrificed so much to help keep others safe.

"I thought there could be something more meaningful I could do for the families of the doctors who lost their lives fighting the pandemic," Zhang told the Lake County Record-Bee.

Xinyi Christine Zhang, 15, has been drawing portraits of frontline workers who have lost their lives while fighting the coronavirus pandemic. @kindnesscrusaderkids

So, she channeled her artistic talent into creating colorful portraits of some of the healthcare workers who died while helping others.

As an artist, Zhang knows that memorial portraits can be expensive, so she started the project, which she calls "Portraits of the Brave," to give the families of those who passed away a unique piece of art to remember them by.

Besides, it was better than sitting around and drawing her friends, whom Zhang says she'd drawn "like 10 times already."

Zhang uses reference photos from the "Lost on the Frontline" website for her portraits. Xinyi Christine Zhang

Zhang finds the subjects for her portraits through the "Lost on the Frontline" project, and most are done with the intention of finding the families once she posts the finished artwork on her website – which is not always an easy task.

"One of my main concerns right now is that these memorials may not be able to reach their family members," Zhang writes on her website. "On the 'Completed Works' page works that have not yet reached their families are marked with an asterisk. If you happen to know the family, please share this website with them!"

Zhang hopes to honor all of the 900 healthcare heroes who passed away during the pandemic. Screenshot: KHN.org

One of Zhang's subjects was Sheena Miles, a retired nurse from Mississippi who lost her life to Covid-19 in May. Zhang was able to contact Miles' son Tom, who expressed his gratitude for the kind gift on social media.

Since memorial portraits can cost thousands of dollars, Zhang hopes to provide the service to families for free. Xinyi Christine Zhang

"When you're going through a loss like that, like the loss of a mom, to get the email from out of the blue just kind of gives you a profound feeling that there are some good people in this world," Miles said. "For her to have such talent at such a young age, and that she really cares about people she doesn't even know — she is what makes America what it is today."

Zhang knows that making portraits of all of the frontline workers who lost their lives during the pandemic is a daunting task, so she's asking anyone with artistic skills to sign up on her website and help contribute to the project.

Each of the portraits takes 6-8 hours to complete. Xinyi Christine Zhang

Zhang hopes to add other fallen heroes to her project, like veterans and fire fighters.

"There are so many people that need to be honored, but I can't do it by myself," Zhang said.

Zhang first sketches the subject digitally and adds colors to bring the portrait to life. Xinyi Christine Zhang

What an inspiring way to honor those who put their lives on the line for our safety. We're sure that any family who receives one of Zhang's portraits will be grateful for her incredible talent.

How can you start something good?

You can learn more about Zhang's project and request a portrait by visiting her website.


Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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