Meet young artist Faisal, April's cover competition winner

Posted on Thursday 19th April 2018
Lancet competition winner Faisal beside his tiger artwork appearing on the front cover of a journal

Faisal with his winning artwork on the front cover of The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health

Young people treated at Evelina London Children’s Hospital have enjoyed seeing their artwork on the front cover of prestigious medical journal, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

During the first six months of 2018, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health has featured the artwork of six young people on its front cover following a competition run at Evelina London.

April’s cover features a brightly coloured tiger in felt tip pens on a striking blue background. It was designed by 12-year-old Faisal Mehmood from Woolwich, London.

Faisal is being treated at Evelina London for a kidney condition under the care of Mrs Patil, a consultant children’s urologist. On the day he designed his winning competition entry Faisal was having bladder tests and was required to stay in hospital for a number of hours while being monitored. Faisal’s mum, Sameena, said:

“One of the play specialists noticed that Faisal was drawing and told him about the competition. He was really excited to enter and it was a great way to keep him occupied.”

Faisal explains: “I felt amazed when I found out I’d won, I’ve never won anything in my life. I drew a tiger because I draw animals the best and I like them the best. The tiger was from my imagination. I enjoy drawing because I’m good at it. I’m not a painting kind of man, I prefer pens and pencils. I’ve covered a whole wall with drawings at home but mum has banned me from adding more.”

Sameena continues: “Faisal has always enjoyed art, it started out as scribbling as most children do but he just kept on and now he draws nearly every day. When Faisal was young he needed chemotherapy for a tumour, it meant he was often covered in tubes and bandages, making it hard for him to play with other children. Drawing was something he could do independently and which he enjoyed doing, it’s now become a habit.  He most often draws cartoon characters, currently it’s Pokémon. His room is decorated with around 80 carefully hand drawn characters with lots of detail.

“When he found out he had won he was absolutely thrilled. It came at a great time, it’s not been easy being in and out of hospital so it gave him a boost to his confidence. He’s so proud of the art pack that was given as a prize, he’s been inviting family members and guests to his room to show it off. He did have it on display but now it’s safely away from the hand of his three-year-old brother.”

Find out more about the competition and January’s cover star, MaryAnn.