Need proof that your creativity can change the world? Just ask Bria Shay Neff, a 14-year-old artist and animal advocate who’s raised $75,000 (and counting!) for endangered species with her Faces of the Endangered project. She’s created hundreds of animal paintings bursting with color and personality, and she also loves to express herself through gaming and makeup. Here, she tells us why she started Faces of the Endangered, how she’s using her passion to create a movement, and why it’s important for teens and tweens to wear cruelty-free, vegan makeup like Petite ‘n Pretty. (We’re obsessed with the look Bria created with our TropiCali Eyeshadow Palette!) Read on and prepare to be inspired!
How Bria’s “artivism” journey began:
I started painting animals when I was 7 and started selling my paintings when I was 8 because I have always loved animals. It was really hard for me to understand what was happening in the world but it wasn't hard for me to [use] art to express myself. So I used artivism as a catalyst for raising awareness for endangered species, healthy habits and ecosystems. I call it Faces of the Endangered.
How she raised $25,000 for endangered species in one day:
Over the last 6 years I have created over 300 paintings of endangered species, landscapes and commissions which were sold to support animals all over the world. Most of my art is sold through nonprofit organizations and auctions. I support organizations locally and internationally with my art and the money raised from it. As of today my art has raised over $75,000. My last painting sold at auction in Manhattan for $25,000!
Other ways Bria’s helping the environment and animals:
I really care about what is happening to our planet and I can really see how all things are connected. That is why I have continued to use my art to make a statement about climate change, environmental injustices and hope.
I am a youth Ambassador with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation in the UK and an Ambassador for the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. I am also a huge supporter of the International Fund for Animal Welfare and their work on the ground and on the coasts of Cape Cod. I am a proud member of Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots Program and advocate for the Humane Society.
My art has taken me to many amazing places like Washington D.C., California, Massachusetts and New York. I have gotten to meet incredible people and honored at really cool events like the Live Justice Awards in L.A.
Why it’s important for kids and teens to choose vegan, cruelty-free makeup:
These experiences have given me so much knowledge and power when choosing products I think will make a positive impact, like Petite ‘n Pretty. For me it is super important to know that the makeup I wear isn’t hurting animals.
A lot of people don't know what cruelty-free means or how important it is when you're looking at buying and using a product, but for some animals it's the difference between life and death. I like feeling good about not only what I'm putting out in the world but also what I'm putting on my body. There are so many reasons I choose this brand over others, but this is #1.
Never underestimate the power of your purchase and how it can positively or negatively impact the planet and all of the lives that rely on it.
Follow Bria Shay Neff on Instagram.