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Hi, I'm Jen Landis, founder of Pincurl Girls, And this is the GIRLBRAVE podcast. In this episode, I chatted with Trisha, an artist going into her senior year of high school. Arts has helped her out so much that she started the Art Shine Foundation (ASF) where she shares other artists' work and raises money to fund organizations like her local food bank. I can't wait for you to meet her. So here we go.
Hi, Trisha. How are you?
Hi, I'm great. How are you?
Good, thanks. Thank you so much for being here.
Thank you for having me.
Yeah, sure. I always start with a really easy question: how old are you and what grade are you in?
So I'm 16 years old and I'm currently a rising senior.
Great. Does that mean you're going into senior year?
Yeah. Cool. So you're an artist. How long have you been doing art?
So I've been an artist since I was very young. I was always really passionate about the arts and I really started getting involved in the artistic community as a way of managing my stress and coping with some really difficult situations. For example, when I was 12, I had a sports related injury and I fully tore my ACL. So it was really taxing on my mental health and I really needed a way to have an outlet and kind of have a way to show what I was feeling without facing judgment.
And art really helped me with that. And I think just over the years, I've started going into deeper themes with my artwork and I found that I can just express myself in beautiful ways through creating artists really close to my heart. So I know that I'll continue with my artistic endeavors in the future without that injury happened.
Do you think you'd still be into art or do you think that injury really introduced you to it?
I think I'd still be very into art, like since I was in third grade, I was very passionate about the arts, but I definitely think that when I was going through those times, I turned to creating as a way of helping cope with what was going on at the time.
So you started a foundation, the Art Shine Foundation. Tell me about how you started that and what the mission is.
Sure. So as an artist, I really also love service and advocating for different things. So I really wanted to do something to allow other teens with passions, similar to mine, to have a space for their work to be showcased. I created this organization because I wanted to make an impact in the community through artwork and inspire people my age to keep being curious, to keep being creative and to continue fostering their desire, to incite positive change in the community, starting something like ASF had been a dream of mine from such a long time. And seeing it become a reality is really, really awesome and really beautiful to me.
And then regarding the mission of the foundation. So we aim to further leadership, creativity, and service amongst teens, which are all things that I am incredibly passionate about myself. I'm aiming to create a global community of youth artists and provide these artists with opportunities to share their stories and to allow teens to make a change around them, through their artwork.
We're currently in the process of curating our BLM themed gallery and that's going to be launched next week. I'm super excited for that. The aim of it was to unite all these amazing talented youth artists for one cause so that we could all collectively raise awareness about such a pressing and relevant topic that’s going on right now.
We're also preparing for the launch of our first project, which I'm also so excited for. It's going to involve donating artwork and motivational notes to people in need specifically retirement homes. And because senior citizens are facing a lot of isolation right now. So I think it would be amazing if all of us can get together to support people who need that sort of artwork and motivation to continue in their lives. Ultimately, I want ASF to be a diverse, collaborative and enriching space for youth artists.
I'll take one of the quotes from Gandhi, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." And that's exactly what I'm trying to accomplish with ASF. Since I feel like having a place for youth creators to share their stories is so vital to changing people's lives perspectives, and ultimately the whole world sounds absolutely amazing.
Where do you find your artists, your youth creators?
So I think when I first started this, I was really unsure as to how to get people to join my team. I was, I wasn't really sure if my idea was valid or whether we would actually be able to make an impact, but I started an Instagram page and I was like, okay, there are a lot of teen artists and creators on this platform. Why don't I try networking with people here? Why don't I try following some people from just around the country?
Who knows, maybe they'll be interested in our mission and they'll be interested in joining us. And I was actually talking to my mom about this. I was like, I have no idea if people will apply to be a part of the team, I'm really unsure. Maybe like five people will apply to this organization, but after networking and finding people to participate in this organization, telling them about our purpose, I was really thrilled to find that we had over, I think, 40 applications to apply to the team. And that was just really cool. And I'm really hoping to expand this more than the people that we currently have.
That sounds amazing. Forty is a lot. That's great. And growing.
So you recently finished up a fundraiser. It was, I think it had to deal with making polymers clay stars.
Yeah, they were so adorable.
If anyone listening wants to go look at them, they're on her Instagram page, but there's like a cat one and like maybe strawberry they're super durable. How did you come up with that idea?
So last month you know, I started this fundraiser, I called it the Shine Bright Fundraiser. I was seeing how many people had been displaced due to the pandemic. And I was like, I really want to do something to help out with what's going on right now. But how do I do that? So school had switched to a remote learning model and I was finding myself going back to art because school is just way too busy. I wasn't finding time.
And I remember that a few years ago I was really into polymer clay. And I was like, you know, what, if I started getting back into that, and then I realized that, okay, if I find a way to make a bunch of charms, maybe I could sell them.
Maybe people would want to buy some of them and I could take that money and just donate to somewhere that I wanted to. So I was like, okay, let's just try it out. So I started making and selling these handmade polymer, clay star charms on this website.
I was initially really apprehensive of running this fundraiser single handedly, but I just put my heart into it. And I started trying to learn and understand how to put something like that together. And then I think around the course of two weeks, I managed to raise about more than $300, I think for Food Lifeline, which is a Washington based food bank. And it was really cool because I recognized that artwork can have an impact on the community.
And it just felt super wonderful to be able to make a difference, even though it was relatively small on the community and to be able to help people who were severely in need due to the crisis.
And after that, I wanted to do something more. I was like, I really don't want this to end. I don't want this feeling to end up being able to help people. And so I wanted to see other teens and people my age get involved in trying to make a difference through art. And that's also mainly why I started ASF.
That’s amazing. Well, it worked so now you know that you can repeat it and scale it if you need.
How could another artist help you out or join you like either as showing their artwork and your shows or perhaps helping you with your next fundraiser?
So we would really love to have more people join our cause. I'm looking to expand this organization and really create a network of teen artists. So I just launched a program called the art ambassador ASF Art Ambassador Program, which aims to provide teens with a global network of artists and creators alike on the core team right now, which is the people who are running the main logistics of the organization with me.
We have people from, I think, five countries and ten states or something like that. So I really want it to be diverse. I want people coming in from all different countries, backgrounds all over the place. I really would love to see that. And we'll be providing our art ambassadors with different opportunities that they can participate in.
They'll also have the chance to see their artwork make a difference in people's lives through our initiatives. So they'll be the first people to hear about what we're doing. And I'll be asking all of them to submit work to the things that we're planning to hold.
And if people are interested in applying for this program, they can go to our websites, join us tab, or click the link tree in the ASF youth bio, and fill out the Google form. It's not too selective. We just want creative and cool people to be a part of our organization who want to make a positive difference in the lives of people around them.
And so I'll link that information in the show notes for this. So people can go into it themselves from there. Have you met anybody new or have a story to share of an experience that you've had because of this that really rises to the top of, wow, this is inspiring.
Well, I think you know, from my initial apprehension of people applying to this program, to seeing people from different countries be a part of this has just been the biggest plus for me so far, I love talking to new people. I love meeting new people. And most importantly, I love to learn.
So when people are coming in from different backgrounds, you know, it's really cool because all of them are doing so many different things. And I might be thinking that I'm doing a lot. And when I look at other people, I'm like, wow, there's so much inspiration.
There's so much for me to learn from all these different people from all their different backgrounds and experiences. And I think that is what helps me grow as a person. That's what I enjoy doing at the end of the day. So being able to work with such a diverse crowd of people who are my age is just amazing. And I love it so much. I think that would be amazing to meet that many artists too, or from around the world.
When you talk about looking at what they've done, do you ever start comparing yourself to them and think, Oh wow, they're better than me or they're doing more than I am. What advice would you give if that happens to us, who whoever's listening about, like stopping that negative talk and say, you know, what I'm doing is just great because it's coming from me and, you know, try not to judge what you do compared to someone else?
So I think that's such a good question. I fall into that trap constantly because there's so many talented, young people out there. I'm just one of them. And it's so easy to lose myself in comparing other people and thinking that, you know, I'm not doing enough. I can keep doing more. I'm not enough.
But I think you know, when I step back and look at what's going on, it's like I'm doing as much as I'm capable of doing. And I think that's amazing. I'm doing what I love. I love art. And I started something that I'm very, very passionate about. And so many other people aren't able to do that because they look at other people and they start trying to do everything everyone else is doing without really putting their heart into it, without doing something that they're actually really passionate about.
And I think that's where people go wrong when they don't like what they're doing and they're just doing it for the hype or just to match what's going on around them. So when I think about it, you know, I don't think I, or anyone else should compare themselves to the people around them. They should go for what they love. And I think as long as you're doing that, you're basically the most successful person out of everyone else around you. If you find something that you're good at and enjoy and pursue it, that's really good advice.
So switching gears a little bit to the pandemic, how has it been for you in your daily life? Like how has it changed her daily life? And have you learned anything new about yourself that you could share?
So at the start of this, you know, it didn't really feel like anything was a real, I couldn't get myself to do anything.And I found myself in a constant state of just anxiety and just, I felt so lethargic, but eventually I started realizing that, you know, this time isn't in a come again. I started to understand how privileged I am compared to a lot of other people in this country.
So many other people don't have resources. They don't have a roof to live under and keep those things in mind. You know, I decided that instead of wasting the precious time that I've gotten to spend at home, gotten to spend with my family, that, you know, I should utilize it as best as I can.
It's definitely not easy to keep myself motivated. It's really challenging sometimes. But I think by keeping myself busy, I find that my mind, you know, stays off on constructive things and negative thoughts. And I'm able to stay somewhat happy during these unprecedented times. I think that starting and creating that fundraiser doing, just putting my heart into things that I enjoy.
That's, that's really helped me deal with this crisis. And it's also taught me that in the future, I just need to go for something that I like doing. And if it's something I'm talented at and something that I just love it'll give me the tenacity to continue with my work. And more effectively help me deal with the trial and error that I'm always going to be faced with going forward in my life.
The name of this podcast is called GIRLBRAVE. Tell me, what is your definition of being brave? And do you think you are brave?
So I think bravery doesn't always necessarily have to be outward all the time. I think it means being strong, despite difficult circumstances standing up for people when you don't even have to, and being able to change your mindset, adapt, compromise, and sacrifice for the people around you. Small gestures of kindness are brave supporting someone. No one else supports is brave, finding your inner strength and following your heart. It's brave. And these are all things that I try and do actively.
These are things I try to do every single day, even though it's really hard. I think, you know, I am definitely a brave person in terms of those things, but there's definitely so much room to grow and improve. And I know that I'll continue learning from my experiences and the people, the amazing people around me every day, so that I can continue to grow and blossom as a person.
That's wonderful. Thank you for sharing that.
Well, I really have enjoyed talking to you. I would like to support you and the Pincurl Girls is going to donate a $100 to your organization.
And you can use it to buy supplies for your next fundraiser or, you know, just get things off the ground a little bit more or donate to your food bank. So you get to decide on that.
Wow. That's incredible. Thank you guys so much. That means a lot. It means a lot to us too, and you're doing such amazing things. Thank you.
Thank you so much for being on the show today. I definitely will keep following you on Instagram. Give everyone your Instagram account again and the website to your foundation?
Sure. So it's @ASFYouth. That's the Instagram. And then our website is artshinefoundation.wixsite.com/youth. I just wanted to say thank you so much. Thank you for reaching out to me. It was a pleasure talking to you. I love talking to you and speaking about all of these different things and I can't wait to see what a GIRLBRAVE does in the future.
Well, thank you so much and keep inspiring us all. You're just an amazing person. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day.
Okay. I will. You too.
Thanks for joining us on the GIRLBRAVE podcast. Go to Pincurl Girls.com to hear more interviews with inspiring girls. And if you want to get on our daily texts list, go ahead and click the encouraging text tab at the top. We'll see you next time. Bye.