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This 75-Year-Old Grandpa Learned To Draw Again For His Grandchildren

"He has made hundreds of drawings and hasn't stopped."

Posted on December 3, 2016, at 12:46 p.m. ET

Meet Ji Lee, a designer in New York, and his 75-year-old father, Chanjae Lee, who lives in Brazil.

Ji, who lovingly describes his father as a "grumpy old man," told BuzzFeed News Chanjae "was always very creative," but never "never took his talents very seriously.""When he moved to Brazil [from Korea], I think he ended up abandoning a lot of his own passions to focus on making a living for the family," Ji said.That all changed recently, when Chanjae went viral for the drawings he's been making for his three grandsons.
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Ji, who lovingly describes his father as a "grumpy old man," told BuzzFeed News Chanjae "was always very creative," but never "never took his talents very seriously."

"When he moved to Brazil [from Korea], I think he ended up abandoning a lot of his own passions to focus on making a living for the family," Ji said.

That all changed recently, when Chanjae went viral for the drawings he's been making for his three grandsons.

The story of how that came to happen is a pretty incredible one, and Ji made this video to help tell it:

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Ji's sister used to live in Brazil, too, and Chanjae would drive her kids to school each day.

But then she moved back to Korea with the kids and her husband, leaving Chanjae in Brazil.

"After they left, there was nothing for him to do anymore," Ji said in the video. "He spent his days watching Korean TV, and it worried us."

So, Ji and his mom suggested he get back into drawing, which he'd loved when Ji was young, and post his work on an Instagram account.

But, Chanjae "hated the idea." He hadn't drawn in years, and was pretty averse to social media.
Facebook: video.php

But, Chanjae "hated the idea." He hadn't drawn in years, and was pretty averse to social media.

But then, something else happened: Ji had a son, Astro.

Ji's parents came all the way from Brazil to New York to meet Astro, and Chanjae "fell in love."One evening at dinner, Chanjae wondered aloud what Astro would be when he grew up. Ji asked why, and Chanjae said "because I won't be around anymore.""It made me sad," Ji said in the video. "I never thought about my dad's death till then. I was also sad Astro may never get to know his grandpa well."
Facebook: video.php

Ji's parents came all the way from Brazil to New York to meet Astro, and Chanjae "fell in love."

One evening at dinner, Chanjae wondered aloud what Astro would be when he grew up. Ji asked why, and Chanjae said "because I won't be around anymore."

"It made me sad," Ji said in the video. "I never thought about my dad's death till then. I was also sad Astro may never get to know his grandpa well."

That's when Ji had an idea: What if Chanjae drew for his grandkids?

Chanjae became excited to learn Instagram and start drawing again. He named the project Drawings For My Grandchildren.
Facebook: video.php

Chanjae became excited to learn Instagram and start drawing again. He named the project Drawings For My Grandchildren.

Ji even suggested they sell Chanjae's artwork to fund trips so he could visit his grandkids.

Ji bought Chanjae's first drawing, and he's been making one piece of art every day, using different techniques and styles. Ji's mom will even write stories to accompany the pictures.

"He has made hundreds of drawings and hasn't stopped," Ji said in the video.

You can really see how his work improves over time.

Instagram: @drawings_for_my_grandchildren

Now, thanks to Chanjae's drawings, the family talks to each other every day.

"On Facebook messenger, my mom sends the new story in Korean," Ji said in the video. "Then my dad sends his drawing. I translate it into English, and my sister, into Portuguese."
Facebook: video.php

"On Facebook messenger, my mom sends the new story in Korean," Ji said in the video. "Then my dad sends his drawing. I translate it into English, and my sister, into Portuguese."

Chanjae's story has gone massively viral, drawing over 125,000 Instagram followers, millions watching the video, and many others saying they want to buy his art.

Ji told BuzzFeed News the outpouring of support has "been pretty overwhelming.""We didn’t expect the story to go viral like this," he said.

Ji told BuzzFeed News the outpouring of support has "been pretty overwhelming."

"We didn’t expect the story to go viral like this," he said.

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