Homeless man goes from being ‘invisible’ to overnight sensation due to his skill
A homeless man has gone from being "invisible" to an overnight sensation after he began designing and selling cotton bags in Birmingham.
Kevin World has managed to sell more than 200 of his hand-drawn bags in the city, with his sudden success taking him somewhat by surprise.
Mr World said his life is transformed after his bags – for which he only asks a "donation from the heart" – became an unexpected hit.
Each bag is uniquely designed, featuring puns. There is no fixed fee charged for the artwork but Kevin says on average people pay about £3 for a bag.
Kevin became homeless five years ago due to a family tragedy, reports Birmingham Live .
Life on the streets has not been easy for him, as he suffers from depression and anxiety.
But since starting to draw less than a year ago, it has helped him cope.
He decided to combine the need to save on plastic bags and help the environment with his artistic skills.
Kevin said: “For years I've been putting on a mask and smiling but there's been a lot of tears behind that mask, now drawing is helping me interact with people.
“It passes the time away because a lot of people walk past and you do feel pretty invisible.”
His bag selling business is called The Bag Issue, a pun on The Big Issue magazine which is also sold by street vendors.
He said: “Instead of giving handouts to homeless people you get something back in return, one of these bags.
“You wouldn't believe how crazy it's gotten over the last two to three weeks, it's just exploded.”
The designs on the bags are based on his ‘wacky’ sense of humour and include gags like 'give peas a chance' with a design of them picketing.
Art students constantly complimented his work at the start of his short sketching career and that is when he noticed he had real talent.
He has become a successful and popular figure around Birmingham's Navigation Street.
Kevin even advertises The Bag Issue.
He pays £5 for someone with a bag plastered in his logos to walk around the area and drum up interest.
The bags have done so well that people have told Kevin they are already being resold on the internet for between £60-£80 which he says makes him feel proud but a little cheated.
Homeless charity The Red Bag Co is trying to get Kevin his own stall to sell his work at the German Market which starts on November 7.
Kevin said: "It would be brilliant to get a stall on German Market.
“We want people to be proud that it started in Birmingham, that it was born in Birmingham and take it to other cities.”
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