Louisville artist's portrait of Cleveland murder victim inspires family

Louisville artist's portrait of Cleveland murder victim inspires family

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville airbrush artist Tramond Spencer said his work today kept him out of trouble as a child.

"I've always been an artist," Spencer said. "I've always drawn as a little kid."

Wednesday, Spencer worked on what he called a standard "RIP" shirt in his shop, Good Fellaz.

"It just has dates on the front and then a small saying on the back," Spencer said. "It really has become really 80 to 75 percent of what we do."

Spencer said the reactions to the shirts can be very emotional, "When people pick up the shirts, some people they tear up, they're happy and they're joyful. You kind of feel like you gave them some sort of comfort or relieve to the grieve."

However, that wasn't the reason why Spencer made this an airbrush portrait of Robert Godwin, the Cleveland man gunned down Easter Sunday on Facebook live.

"On my news feed I kept seeing pictures of the offender," Spencer said. "I don't really like to say his name and it was just so...it was just one after another after another."

To change what he saw, Spencer got to doing what he does best. He painted the portrait of Godwin in about two hours.

"I don't know what it is," Spencer said. "The expression on his face in this picture, I mean you see a lot of things. You see how kind he is and you see that he's not an evil person."

Spencer shared the portrait online. It received thousands of comments and hundreds of shares. It caught the eye of Godwin's daughter, Brenda Haymon, in Cleveland. Haywood put up a post on her Facebook page to try to find the artist of the portrait.

"When I first saw that painting the first thing that came to my mind was that it really captured my dad's spirit," Haymon said. "It just really rings so true of the humble and gentle man that he was."

Within 24 hours, the power of social media connected Spencer and Haymon.

"I said we would pay for it just to have it," Haymon said.

Spencer refused the money, but Haymon did give him the one thing he wanted, her address. He wanted the family to have the portrait in time for Godwin's
funeral.

"She texted me her address so tomorrow morning it goes in the mail," Spencer said.

Copyright 2017 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.