Help me create art in LA

When I was an art student going to college at The School of Visual Arts I dreamed of traveling. Getting to class was hard enough because I was commuting between my hometown of New Haven, CT to New York City. Some of my friends were studying abroad and taking trips outside of the country. I wanted those things for myself too. 

I’m an artist and I create all of my paintings on an Apple iPad. I use it as an outlet for my own creativity, to connect with my students and share with them what I know. Going to California was a great way to connect with the friends that I had made online and to network. 

Every summer following 2011 I traveled to participate in The Mobile Digital Art Summit in Palo Alto, CA. I was surrounded by my peers, friends and colleagues. 

California became a regular thing in the summer and I even connected with a client out there. This led me to being flown out to New Orleans to create two enormous wall murals for a Japanese sushi restaurant. So many opportunities came out of me being willing to travel. 

The next summer I decided I would not be returning to California for my art. I needed to try something new and push myself out of my comfort zone.

It was time to achieve my dream from college and travel abroad. I thought of my mother and her trip to London when she was in high school. I planned a trip for myself that spanned London, Paris, Avignon, Barcelona and Lisbon. It was life changing. 


The following year I visited Havana, Cuba for the very first time. I went for photography and journalism but what I got from the trip was bigger and better than I expected. I befriended two school teachers in Havana. Collectively their wages equated to $10 a month. I couldn’t believe it. In exchange for them being my tour guides I bought them groceries for the week and listened to their stories. 

I also met a man that sold ice cream out of his home in Old Havana and he invited me to the birthday party for his two year old son. I happily accepted and captured photos of his entire family.


Each time I returned home I would I tell my students about my travel experiences and how they too can explore new places and achieve their dreams. Now, I can feel California calling me back. I want to experience Los Angeles all over again to create art, teach, network and have more knowledge I can share with my students. It’s my mission to instill in them the simple fact there is more to life than just their neighborhood or just their city. With your generous help I can continue to travel and do just that. 


With your generous help I can continue to travel and do just that. So even if it’s a dollar or a share on Facebook it will help me come closer to this goal. This trip is bigger than me. What I’m out to accomplish is uplift and motivate the youth that I have the privilege of servicing.


Donations (0)

  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 8 mos
  • elinor slomba 
    • $25 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 (Offline)
    • 8 mos
  • Jeremy Sutton 
    • $10 
    • 8 mos
  • Susan Murtaugh 
    • $25 
    • 8 mos


Raheem Nelson 
New Haven, CT
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more