Last year, Project Angel Heart volunteers donated more than 11,400 hours of their time to decorate meal bags. The clients receiving them not only loved the bags for the beautiful and heartwarming art, nearly half said the bags helped them feel less isolated.
We caught up with Project Angel Heart Volunteer and Artist Shanna Light to find out what inspires her as an artist and learn more about her experience decorating meal bags.
Q: How long have you been decorating bags for Project Angel Heart? How did you learn about it?
A. I’ve been decorating meal bags now for a little more than two years. I first started decorating bags during the pandemic when there wasn’t much to do while covering the front desk. Then I got brave and decided to take some bags home to see what I could do.
Q: What do you enjoy about decorating meal bags?
A: The joy for me is in hoping my bags make someone smile or help them have a lighter moment in what may be a trying day. I hope they can sense someone cares.
Q: What is your preferred art medium?
A: So far, I’m using colored pencils, which work well on the bags. I’m learning more and more about shading, light, and contrast right now. I hope to expand to other mediums like watercolors and oils, so there may be a class in my future.
Q: What inspires you as an artist?
A: Light, color, and anything that makes me smile. I love to draw my dogs—my boxers show up on many of my bags.
Q. What would you say to individuals/volunteers who are considering bag decorating?
A. Do it! Bag decorating is for everyone! You don’t have to be an artist—I’ve done lots of bags with just circles, squiggles, and color. It’s fun and relaxing. Just be prepared to feel good. 😊