Youth Spotlight: Painting The Planet Green

One thing is for sure, the Chai Mommas are always about supporting good causes and our younger generation. It’s why when we heard from Aanya, a 12 year old who is passionate about climate change and her initiative to take action through art, we were all ears. Plus, her art is phenomenal! Read on in our youth spotlight to learn more and how to help.

“Painting The Planet Green, One Painting At a Time”

Written By Aanya R.

Think for a moment about an issue you’re very passionate about. Is it poverty? Climate change? Women’s rights? Or LGBTQ+ rights? Have you ever thought about how you as an individual could make a difference?

That’s exactly the position I found myself in about a year ago. 

Hi, I’m Aanya. I’m 12 years old and I live in California. A self-described polymath and Potterhead, I enjoy school, reading, basketball, music, and most importantly, art.

Like all of us, I’ve been dealing with the effects of climate change. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, droughts, rising sea levels, heat waves, and smoke-filled air have become increasingly common in everyday life. It all started making sense when in elementary school, I began understanding the cause of the problems that surrounded me.

A couple of years ago, in 5th grade, when we were preparing for our annual school trip to participate in the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program in Catalina Island, I did a research project on climate change. I delved deep into the subject, and learned how much climate change is impacting us and also of the young people who are taking action to save the planet. This project was more than just another school assignment. It was impactful in that it made me realize that climate change is an issue, and a man-made one at that. I was convinced that if we caused climate change, we can and should reverse it.

It started to prey on my mind that I needed to take action. But the question was, how? I then realized that my house was (and still is) full of the paintings that I created during my breaks from school. I figured I could sell reprints of my artwork and raise funds to help combat climate change.

Bhavayami Raghuramam (2019) An interpretation of Ramesh Gorjala by Aanya

I have been making art almost all my life, but my foray into canvas paintings started back in January 2018 when I spent an afternoon making my first canvas, titled Geometry Dash. I experimented with different styles of art, as my mom continued to introduce me to the styles of many inspiring contemporary South Asian artists. I was intrigued by the various distinct styles of art I saw.  This inspired me to begin a series of paintings which would later become my interpretations of those artists.

Swagatham (2020) An interpretation of Thota Vaikuntam by Aanya

From S. H. Raza to Vivek Kumavat, I made five canvas paintings. As my skills improved, I was able to make larger and more complex pieces of art. While Geometry Dash (2018) took only a couple of days to complete, my most recent painting, Thiruppavai (2021) took more than two months!

Thiruppavai (2021) An interpretation of Vivek Kumavat by Aanya

Each time I created a painting, I reveled in the entire process of researching the artists and their styles, envisioning my interpretation of these artworks, sketching it all out and adding color to make my vision come alive.

To put my fundraising plan into action, this past summer I picked out several of my best creations, uploaded them to my website, and hit “publish.” I first shared my initiative with family and friends and slowly started reaching out to various publications and organizations to help promote it.

I’m very grateful for all the support, kind words, and encouragement that I have received so far from people all around the world. Thanks to all my patrons, I have recently made my first donation of 100% profits to the Coalition for Rainforest Nations to help avert around 4,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases!

In the words of Robert Frost, there are metric tons to go before I sleep! With your support, I aim to help avert 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases in the first phase of my initiative and continue to do even more to help save our planet.

This holiday season, I’m calling on all you art lovers out there to help me use my art to paint the world green and rid our earth of the stain we call climate change. We owe it to our planet, because as they say, there is no Planet B!

Plus, good news for all you witches and wizards: check out Harry and Hermione in my Harry Potter collection- Ron to join soon! 

L to R: Harry Potter (2021)  and Hermione Granger (2021) Interpretations of Nagesh Goud by Aanya

You can visit my website at www.aanyasart4earth.com to purchase my artwork or find out more about me and my paintings. Each piece of art can be purchased as a canvas print, acrylic print, framed archival print, jigsaw puzzle, and more.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest or subscribe to my email list to stay up to date with my future artistic endeavors. You can also reach me at aanya.art4earth@gmail.com.

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