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Meet the Artist Who Paints and Sells Pictures of the Homeless for a Great Reason

Brian Peterson is changing lives through his unique artwork depicting Santa Ana’s homeless population.

Brian Peterson is a California artist who is changing lives. In his new painting project, Faces of Santa Ana, Peterson paints local homeless residents in Santa Ana, sells the pictures, and uses some of the profits to help them get back on their feet. Each painting sold earns $1,000 for a “love account,” and the subjects are able to ask Peterson for whatever they may need.

Matt, Darryl, Shannon via Instagram @facesofsantaana


Inspired by the book Love Does by Bob Goff, Peterson wanted to create a way to show the effect of love in action. By offering his time and collecting stories from countless homeless people, Peterson has developed a new appreciation of humanity.

River & Rebekah via Instagram @facesofsantaana

Peterson admits that his favorite part of the endeavor is watching how his subjects respond to their finished portraits. They’re energized and grateful for the friendship, love, and hope that the art gives them. After creating the pictures, Peterson has each subject sign the bottom of the portrait.

Image via Brian Peterson

So far, Peterson has completed 10 portraits and plans to finish two more for a gallery showing in February.

To follow his project, check out his Instagram account: @facesofsantaana.

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