Rockland County teen with autism illustrates coloring book about famous artists
A Rockland County teen has his own coloring book out for sale on Amazon.
"Color My Artist" features drawings and fun facts of history's greatest artists. The teen behind the illustrations is Jerrard Degala, who has autism.
At just 5 years old, the New City boy's talent caught the eye of art teacher Peggy O'Hara. She went on to nurture his gift through elementary and middle school. As she showcased his work, the teacher visualized a new idea.
"He got bored with coloring and had me coloring for him…so, it gave me this idea that this would make a great coloring book. You like to draw the lines and others can color it," O'Hara says.
His family says instead of speaking, their son chose to articulate through his artwork.
Degala created a spectrum of art from lullaby favorites like "Humpty Dumpty," to heartbreaking moments in the pandemic through his parents' eyes. Both are nurses, one working in an emergency room and the other in the intensive care unit.
"There's so much sorrow, pain, emotions that we are dealing with and to see this is a break for us, a ray of sunshine I would say," says his mother, Mylah Degala.
The book can be purchased on Amazon and proceeds will be donated to autism efforts in Rockland.