San Francisco, CA
“It is important for me to be part of ArtLifting because naturally everyone needs an income and at the same time to be acknowledged as someone worthwhile”
Khalid was born in Pakistan and his family migrated to Kuwait where he received a bachelor's degree in microbiology. He moved to the U.S. when he was 27, finished an advanced medical technology program at San Francisco State University, and worked for about seven years.
Khalid's life took an unexpected turn due to mental health concerns in 1992, which left him unable to maintain his job or find another for many years. He became homeless for several years living between the streets and shelters in the tenderloin district of San Francisco-- “a very difficult life,” he describes. “One of my biggest life accomplishments remains that I am still alive after all I endured during this time.”
Khalid was born with a natural talent for art and had taught himself to draw in Kuiait by watching a talented classmate create drawings and paintings. Khalid didn’t paint for 20 years, while he was was experiencing severe symptoms related to mental illness. He credits his re-entry into art to a home-health aid who came to help support him upon regaining state-sponsored housing. She heard about his love for art and encouraged him to attend a free senior citizen painting class at Golden Gate Park.
Khalid was pretty much an instant hit in this class. He recalls, “I created my first painting and everyone was amazed. It was the first time in a long time, after my nervous breakdown and feeling terrible about myself that I felt good about something again. People were admiring my work.” This class was in 2013 and Khalid has been painting since. He notes that beginning to paint again was what helped him climb out of a very difficult time, and he now has hope.
Khalid is looking forward to having his art represented for the first time and to be able to share his creations with a larger audience. Khalid hopes to spread the message “to be humble and treat everyone you meet with respect, you never know what someone else might be going through.”
Prints by Khalid Rasool
Originals by Khalid Rasool
ArtLifting's empowers homeless and disabled individuals through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.