Featured Artist & Iconic Detroit Illustrator, David W. Smith

Artist Color MI Michigan detroit giving homeless illustration Im with David michigan michigan mittens pontiac Tshirt

David is 55 years old and has worked for some of the largest Ad Agencies in the Country. He has created story boards for Vlasic, Chrysler, Chevrolet and many others. When our economy took a turn for the worse, David lost his job. Eventually he lost his home and car. David had been homeless for over 2 years.

In July of 2014 David walked through the doors of our Mitten factory, suitcase in tow, looking for work. It didn't take long to realize that David did not fit the general stereotype of what society might think of someone who is homeless. 

David is a kind, soft spoken, gentleman. He is a brilliant artist and a gentle soul. He was broken, hurting and brave. We knew that he came to us for a reason, whether he realized it or not. Destiny had intervened.

Shortly after we began reaching out to some of David's former colleagues who were shocked to learn of his situation, they too wanted to help. We created a Facebook page, I'm with David in an effort to reach anyone that might be able to help David to find work and a brighter future.

With the combined efforts of Michigan Mittens and a few friends we were able to get David into a rental home and off the streets. 

Michigan Mittens hired David to create the artwork for our new "Color MI Michigan" T-shirt (seen above). We will donate part of the proceeds from the sale of each of these fun shirts back to David. 

The need to find David full time, consistent employment is greater than ever to allow him to stay in his rental home and move forward. 

David's gift is in the (almost) forgotten art of hand illustration. He is very fast too. In the age of technology it has become very difficult to find employment in the field that computers have taken over. But we have faith that there is still a need and a place for David's amazing talent.

If you know of a potential employment opportunity, please share David's story and if you are able, please donate to the Go Fund Me account here: Go Fund Me 

Follow David's Journey on Facebook here: I'm with David

Email David directly here: dwsdetroit@gmail.com


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  • John O'Hea on

    Any update I can get on David? How to help? I worked with David many times while I was at BBDO.

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