(CNN)As soon as the haunting photo surfaced of a boy's lifeless body on a Turkish beach, illustrators responded with a spontaneous outpouring of grief.
The boy, 2-year-old Aylan Kurdi, had drowned with his mother and 4-year-old brother, while fleeing Syria. Aylan's father was the only Kurdi family member to survive the trip.
A photo of the toddler on his stomach, face down as waves lapped his body, was widely shared on social media with the hashtag #KıyıyaVuranİnsanlık or "Flotsam of Humanity" in Turkish.
Artists in Turkey and the Middle East quickly reimagined the image in poignant and graphic ways:
"To see a child in such a position, lying dead in a beach at a country that was suppose to give him refuge and a future ... seeing a child who was running away from war and death ... I suppose the image talks for itself," said Murat Sayın, an illustrator in Ankara, Turkey.
Islam Gawish, an Egyptian cartoonist, depicted the boy as an angel floating in the clouds, instead of on the beach, with the word Syria in blood red letters.
"This child who wanted freedom, has been killed by the fear of war, the war that he was not a part of," Gawish said. "He got a better future in the paradise. He placed his foot towards our faces as a message. He left, but his shoes in our faces will remain a nightmare chasing us always."
Artists used their pens to tell the story of outcry over the boy's death and the overall migrant crisis. Khalid Albaih is a Sudanese independent political cartoonist living in Doha, Qatar, and a father himself.
"I know what will make the father take such extreme measures to try to get his family to safety. I had tears in my eyes. Only a parent would understand," he said. "Visas are not the cause of the problem, but it's a big part of why thousands are dead at sea and it dictates our movements and freedom."
Iranian cartoonist and animator Mahnaz Yazdani said she had been thinking of the Syrian migrants for weeks. The little boy has become a symbol for the unprecedented migrant crisis as hundreds of thousands of people flee conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Many have died making the perilous journey to Europe.
She made an illustration of children on the beach and titled it "looking for safe land." Watching "these little bodies lying in that cruel cold water" affected her beyond words, she said.
"I didn't want to just mirror such a horrible scene in my cartoon. So I changed the cruel, wild cold water to a warm safe blanket for dead kids to sleep."