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George Redhawk’s Journey – Native American and GIF Artist

A GIF made by George Redhawk of himself
A GIF made by George Redhawk of himself.

George Redhawk was the “Creative Awesomeness Saturday” from last week when I discussed his disability and the way he has overcome that to become a world-renowned GIF artist that many artists wish he would find inspiration in their work to want to create his magical GIFS, myself include. My artwork is abstract, and I am not quite sure if that would perk George Redhawk’s inspiration in creating GIF’s from my artwork.

This week I want to focus on another aspect of George Redhawk excluding his disability. The focus of this piece is an interview he had with Nipmuc Connections in which he describes his journey to find out more about his Native American roots despite the protest of his family.

George grew up the fourth son in a Latino household in Los Angeles, CA. He always felt “out of place” and have a sense that he “didn’t quite fit in” with others. That is when he started exploring his Native American roots which came from listening to stories by his grandmother.

Like many Natives who were displaced, much of the history had been lost and I yearned to learn more of who I was.”

From a young age, George would ride his bicycle ten miles to a secret canyon that only he knew about near a river.  When the time came in which George could drive, his need to know about his Native American roots only increased, and it was during this period that he attended his first Pow Wow.

Although the overwhelming sense of belonging was felt deeply in my heart, there was also a familiar sense of ‘not quite fitting in’ as well.

GIFs by George Redhawk
A GIF made by George Redhawk

Because George wanted to learn about his Chiricahua roots, he was a source of ridicule by his brothers, a source of concern by his mother and a source of anger by his father.  When George finally decided to embrace his heritage and grow his hair long, there became constant disputes among him and his family. The beginning of his journey was hard, but obviously, it was important enough to him to continue to learn as much as possible about his Native American roots.

Over time, his family discovered that he was the only one who:

remained true to the right path…they all realized that ‘I was the only one left in the family…who retained the knowledge of our people’

It was during this period that George went from being the outcast of his family to the source of pride of his family. His family embraced his want to find his roots and the family discovered and acknowledged their Tarahumara roots on his father’s side.

A GIF by George Redhawk
A GIF by George Redhawk

It takes George about 1-3 hours to complete a piece, but he is grateful to have found a new appreciation for art after his medical profession was taken by him becoming legally blind.

It led me to believe that it could possibly become a means to express and release the overwhelming emotions I was experiencing in silence.

George continues to express his art through multiple different artists who, I am sure, are honored to have him want to show his art on top of theirs. It seems to find his Native American roots and to find his niche as a world-renowned GIF artist has taken away from some of the sadness of having a disability.


I have gathered some of my favorite works of art for Part 2  featuring George Redhawk. Join me as I explore George Redhawk’s art again but with a concentration on his Native American roots and his black and white GIF’s made from many artists.

Final thoughts by George Redhawk about his amazing GIFs:

When I find an image that calls to me, I tend to feel an excitement that grows within me. I know I’m about to travel on a journey that will take me away from the blindness. I live for every moment of every day because of being blind, and there are not too many opportunities to do so. I feel as if I have entered into a spirit world and crossed over into a different realm of existence. Crossing over has an effect on me emotionally. There is sadness to return to this world and a yearning to remain in this place.

This post sums up the intense connection I have with George Redhawk’s journey because I feel the same when I create my digital art. I love abstract art the most but find the beauty of art in everything I see in this world. George Redhawk touched me in a way I cannot explain but am fortunate to have happened upon on Google Plus.

Don’t forget to check out Part 1 of my post on George Redhawk. He is amazing in so many ways.


~ Holley Jacobs


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