It wouldn’t be surprising to hear Keegan Hall has been mistaken for a photographer before. After all, his drawings of star athletes are so intricate they look like photos!
With only pencil and paper, the Seattle-based artist creates breathtakingly intricate scenes that take up to 80 hours to complete. But he isn’t just talented — Keegan is also using his art to make the world a better place for people in need.
Keegan has been working on his craft since childhood. His dream career? A Disney animator. But while he majored in art at the University of Washington, he ultimately decided to take a different path, working for the Seattle Sonics as well as joining small startups.
“Upon graduation, I started to listen to everyone around me telling me, you know, you’re not good enough, it’s not a real career, you’re going to be poor your whole life,” he told Seattle Refined. “The dream of being an artist in an art world was no longer a reality for me.”
Then, his mom, Lisa, passed away unexpectedly in 2014. Growing up, Keegan remembers how excited she’d get seeing his drawings and the way she lifted him up with her encouraging words. She also inspired him with her strength, especially after being diagnosed with cancer. Lisa met chemotherapy and radiation treatments head on, and eventually entered remission. Unfortunately, the cancer came back years later, taking her life.
Losing his mom changed Keegan, but it also brought him back to his passion.
“I kind of kept going back to my time creating art and how much kind of joy that brought her,” he said. “For some reason I just sat down one day and drew a picture of something I hadn’t done in for the last 10 years. I thought I’d start with a picture of Michael Jordan.”
When Keegan shared the drawing online, the positive response encouraged him to keep going. So, he sketched former NFL player Kam Chancellor — who saw it, commissioned another drawing, and gave Keegan a shout-out on Instagram!
“By far the dopest pic I’ve seen yet,” Chancellor wrote. “All I can say is this man is truly blessed with a talent for art and it’s a blessing for me to have encountered your work.”
From there, Keegan’s success kept growing. Thanks to his newfound recognition, he began partnering with famous athletes, musicians, and other celebrities to sell 200 signed prints of individual drawings for $200 each, with the profits going to a charity of their choice. Keegan kicked off the project with Seattle Seahalk player Richard Sherman, and his drawing, “The Huddle,” sold out on the first day, raising $40,000! Since then, Keegan estimates he’s donated an incredible $425,000 to various charities.
What a beautiful way for Keegan to use his talent for good and honor his mom! We know Lisa would be so proud of her son. She already had been for decades.
See Keegan bring his drawings to life in the montage below, and share so others can appreciate his art!
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