Sketching A Solution
Post by Ayan Kamath Mehra, Born Free Youth Ambassador:
Centuries of rapid development have led humans to think of themselves as separate and superior to the rest of the inhabitants of the planet which birthed us all. Our pursuit of industrialization has led to the eradication of thousands of species and the destruction of ecosystems that are essential to wildlife. At its core, wildlife conservation is about recreating the bond between humans and animals.
Art evokes emotion. When we celebrate wildlife through art, we trigger powerful emotions for the animals we draw. These emotions can help rekindle the appreciation and respect humans have lost for the natural world. A few months ago, I drew a Malayan tiger. The piercing eyes evoke an emotion of awe for the fierce beauty of the regal, yet critically endangered tiger. This sketch was used to raise awareness and support for Malayan Tiger conservation in the Titiwangsa Main Range of Malaysia via Singapore Wildcat Action Group (SWAG).
A piece of art makes both the artist and the viewer notice many small details about the subject. While these details may seem inconsequential at first, the thrill of discovering a little feature in an animal brings excitement and a sense of ownership for the thing that is discovered. On my first trip to Africa I visited Amboseli National Park, where I saw a majestic tusker, whose sweeping tusks nearly touched the ground. A few years later, I decided to draw the tusker and captured the little oxpeckers on its back. This little detail captures how beautifully the big and small co-exist in a symbiotic relationship.
I started my conservation journey in the summer of 2019, when I was 11 years old. At that time I didn’t have the knowledge or tools needed to take action for wildlife conservation. All I knew was that I liked animals and that I had a passion for drawing. Now, two years & 16 adopted animals later, I have come to appreciate the power of art in moving people to do more for conservation.
We would like to thank Ayan for his incredible post this World Wildlife Day. Ayan is an inspiration to us all and we wish him continued success with his amazing art and conservation journey. Please check out Ayan’s amazing art and conservation work here: