Sunday, September 7, 2008

Peter "Awilo" Kithene: Hero

I wanted to try another example of a photo in text using clipping masks, so I thought of Peter—Awilo to us—who was named CNN's "Medical Marvel" hero in 2007. I did a photo session of him back in 2003 not long before he married our longtime friend, Katrina.

"Hero" is a fitting word to describe Awilo. As an orphan (at age 12) in a small Kenyan village, he not only found the strength to raise his siblings, but went on to pursue an education in order to help others. He studied pre-med and psychology at the University of Washington, but not for the purpose of building his own wealth. Instead, he devotes his time and energy to the improvement of medical care in Kenya. Along with Katrina, he founded Mama Maria—a nonprofit organization that brings needed resources to people like Awilo, people who may one day follow his example of service. Read more about Peter's remarkable life and their organization when you have a minute.

And now for a few technical comments...
You can see that a simple one word clipping mask can be very powerful. All I did was type the word "HERO" in a big font and then used the clipping mask technique explained in my Monthly Special post. I used the text formatting palette to bring the letters closer together and then I added a black background layer. That's it. Very simple and appealing. It would make a good graphic for, say, a New York Times Magazine cover story. (hint. hint. NY Times editorial board. Just a suggestion.)