DAVID CALDERON TAKES
CONTROL OF HIS MENTAL
HEALTH THROUGH HIS CRAFT
San Quentin resident David Calderon, 38, showcases his artistry by creating sports hats out of writing paper and cardboard.
He created his hats with a variety of team sports logos at the request of other incarcerated men here at San Quentin; teams like the Dodgers, 49ers, Raiders, Miami Dolphins and Warriors.
According to Calderon, his newfound craft was born because of a gift from his fiancée, who sent him the designs on how to build the hats. Calderon explained how his fiancée comes up with various ideas on how to help him pass time, and he praised her for her kindness and creative brilliance.
Many incarcerated people find therapeutic ways to use their skills, especially if they are dealing with depression, stress and anxiety.
“I found that through the process of building these paper hats, it has a strong positive and healthy effect on my mental health,” said Calderon. “It really gave me a hands-on tool to fight back against my overwhelming negative mental health moments. I found it rewarding and very helpful with my PTSD.”
“Never did [my fiancée] imagine that I would be able to utilize my limited resources to create a factory of handmade art pieces that capture the attention and interest of any and all who share common attraction for fitted hats or snap back lids,” he said.
His craft makes Calderon genuinely happy as he enjoys making other people happy. Mental health issues can turn prison into a dark place for many. Calderon takes part in the Enhanced Outpatient Program and he credits the program for his ability to cope with his anxiety and depression.
The artist feels blessed and privileged for the mental health services provided to him at San Quentin. He appreciates how his therapist has guided him and helped him in the healing process.
“I know that when I go home in September, I will continue to be part of the program through my parole,” said Calderon.
The artist feels an overwhelming sense of gratitude and believes that he would not have succeeded as an artist without the love and support of his fiancée.
“God bless the mental healing process of love and family,” said Calderon.