Art has always been such an intrinsic part of my life. From drawing to music, as a child, I was encouraged to embrace it and pursue it by my Maestro grandfather. Growing up, art became secondary, as I could not understand how something this fun could become a job, but I always had a special inclination so I've always followed arts, but let go of my drawing skills and traded them for design thinking.
6 year old me sitting at a desk painting a coloring page.
Years after, when I decided to follow my passion and start my business in illustration, I found myself lost in all the possibilities. I could draw everything and anything. I found passion in the job but I also needed to find it in the subject. I started drawing birds by chance, as I have seen a fellow artist create the cutest bird illustrations and decided to give it a try. That was it. I was hooked.
This was my first attempt at a bird illustration.
The more I researched their looks, the more interested I would get in their shapes, their contribution to our ecosystem and their decline. I started understanding the crucial role they provide. They are pollinators, they are recyclers, they are pest controllers... they are so much more than magical beings that glide in the sky and sing beautiful songs that help us with our mental health.
It is no surprise that a lot of the blame is on us. We hunt them, we destroy their habitats, and we change the climate and their food chain. We replace trees with concrete jungles and we expect them to sing and brighten our days. We blame them for "pooping" on our cars or our balconies, but we forget that those places were most likely their houses first. We are programmed to live alongside animals, but we just "evolved" to destroy them and erased them from our world.
So what do we do to help? Well, the most well-intended put-up bird feeders. And that is great, I have a few at my house too. But I wanted to do more. I needed to do more. In markets and fairs, I would talk about the species, tell clients where they are from and that cute fun fact that we all like to know. I would let them know if that particular bird was a male or female, and how you could know that. But I never had time (or even remembered at the moment) to talk about how their habitat is holding on, how their numbers are doing and how are they ranking on the conservation status. But these are the pieces of information that matter the most because you need to know in order to act.
So a new added focus was created: using art to create awareness. Once I figured this out, I became more confident in this project and felt that I had found the greater purpose of my business.
I decided to create a complementary card that would join every piece, where I would mention a few things about that species such as Conservation Status and the Population Trend. These pieces of information are crucial as they warn us of the species' future, and hopefully increase awareness and actions to protect them.
But awareness on its own it's not enough anymore. More and more, species need a human helping hand to protect and restore their population, or to create a bridge between bird population and locals. Such organizations are mostly funded by donations and private partners, and running such organizations and specially conservational projects, takes time and money. So I've decided to, as a business, donate 10% of the profits of all sales to these organizations.
It might be small donations, especially at the beginning, but little by little we are contributing to the preservation of these amazing creatures and our own, as a world without birds would inevitably result in a world where human life is no longer possible.
So either through buying my work or donating directly, I would like to thank you for your help in creating a brighter future for everyone.
You can donate to BirdLife International at the link below:
Or you can find your local BirdLife International partner and donate to them directly.