Wearable Art

Little Artist Does Big Things

Santana Draper wanted to help those less fortunate. So, he did.

By Katie McNew August 11, 2014

What a guy, that Santana Draper. He’s an artist. He’s an entrepreneur. He’s a philanthropist. And did I mention he’s 12?

Photo provided by Paper Toy

"It actually started when I was four," says Draper, who speaks with a humble confidence. That’s when he taught himself to draw. (I think I was playing with my favorite Strawberry Shortcake figurine when I was four, but I digress.) Then, as he says, "I started seeing a lot of people who were less fortunate than me. Fashion was in and is still in, so I thought that was a good way to raise money and give back."

So, what do you do when you’re an artist with a knack for fashion and a philanthropic heart? You start a clothing company, which is exactly what he did in 2012 with the launch of Paper Toy, a clothing company whose mission is to inspire “good will and individual style.” (Yeah, do the math. He was 10.) His graphic tees are adorned with original sketches and labeled with a series number for authenticity, just like a work of art. And the kicker is that Paper Toy donates a portion of all its proceeds to Kids' Meals, a Houston organization dedicated to feeding kids in need.

Why Kids' Meals? we asked. "I wanted to start locally," says Santana, and "I wanted to start with the children before moving onto adults, because they are still young and they still have a chance to be something greater."

Like I said, what a guy, that Santana Draper. Check out his work here.

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