“Divine inspiration” brings Trump truck to UNI


Julian Raven’s truck, parked outside the West Gym, with a huge vinyl copy of his painting entitled “Unafraid and Unashamed” displayed on the side.

CLINTON OLSASKY, Executive Editor | [email protected]

When UNI students and Cedar Falls community members attended GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s rally this past Tuesday, they may have seen a painting of Trump emblazoned on the side of a large truck parked next to the West Gym, the site of the rally. Seated in the driver’s seat was artist and evangelist Julian Raven, the man behind the enormous piece of artwork.

The painting, which depicts Trump’s face next to a bald eagle gripping the American flag against a background of Earth, is entitled “Unafraid and Unashamed.” According to Raven, the painting is the result of divine inspiration and two months of hard work.

Raven, who lives in Elmira, NY, was born in London and raised in Spain. Although he has lived in the United States for the last 20 years, he didn’t become a U.S. citizen until Sep. 17 of last year. Raven traveled nearly 1000 miles from New York to be at UNI on Tuesday for Trump’s rally.

He said that his goal was to travel the entire state of Iowa for the subsequent 21 days in the truck as a way of supporting Trump. Raven stressed that this tour is a grassroots effort that is not officially endorsed by the Trump campaign.

“I’m compelled to do it, as my civic duty as a newborn citizen,” Raven said.

The rally at the West Gym on Tuesday was the first Trump rally Raven has ever attended. However, he opted to stay outside in his truck for fears of vandalism.

“I’m not even going to go in because I’m protecting the truck. The truck is too vulnerable,” Raven said. “I was 20 minutes in a supermarket today just around the corner, and it was the first time I left it unattended. And someone went up to the back of it and they wrote ‘racist bigot’ in the back in the dirt.”

According to Raven, the large artwork on the side of the truck is actually a vinyl copy of the original painting, which he keeps in a crate in the back of the truck. Raven said that the painting itself measures at 7×15 feet and that it weighs 400 pounds with the frame on it.

Raven also shared the story of his painting, which he believes was inspired by God. After meditating on Trump, Raven said he connected Trump with the image of an eagle swooping down and grabbing a flagpole.

Approximately a month later, after completing other projects, Raven sat at his computer searching for images of eagles. At this point, his 13-year-old daughter walked in and suggested that Raven give the completed painting of the eagle to Trump when he becomes president.

According to Raven, he had not told his daughter of his plan to paint a portrait of Trump along with the image of the eagle. The next morning, Raven said that he turned on the news and saw Trump being interviewed on CNN with a bald eagle perched on his arm.

“Mr. Trump’s no collector of eagles. The only image on the internet of him and an eagle is that [interview],” Raven said. “And then the next segment in the video is him sitting there with the thing perched on his desk. It blew me away.”

Since the completion of his painting, Raven has gone on to meet Trump at Trump Towers in New York City, where a copy of his painting now hangs.

Raven plans on supporting Trump this year with his first vote as an American citizen.