Sophomore art education major Olivia Wink has loved animals and art since she was a young girl, and now she is working to combine them for a greater purpose: helping animals.
As a child, Wink had several pets that sparked her love for animals in a very personal way. She had dogs, rabbits, fish and cats growing up.
“When I was born my parents had a dog named Wolfgang,” she said. “I grew up with him and various other pets throughout the years. My parents taught me to be gentle with the dogs and cats we cared for, and so my love for our family pets transferred to all animals.”
Wink also loved art as a child but was hesitant to pursue it as a career when she came to Kent in fall 2018 because she wasn’t sure she was up to par.
“When I got to college I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do,” she said. “I always had art kind of in the back of my mind, but I never thought I was good enough to do it and then I realized the only thing stopping me from being better is [myself].”
After that, Wink started exploring and experimenting with different kinds of art. This semester she declared her major as art education.
“I wouldn’t say I have one particular style,” she said, “but my favorite is whatever I feel expresses the emotion I was trying to capture.”
Wink recently started combining her love of animals and art into one common mission: helping animals in need.
She created Etsy and Redbubble accounts at the beginning of this year to sell her artwork and donates 40 percent of each purchase to various animal sanctuaries.
“I wanted to find a way to support more local sanctuaries and also ones across the country and across the world,” Wink said. “I was like, ‘I just need to find a way that I can use my talents to help people or animals.’”
Wink chooses which sanctuary the money goes to based on which animal is featured in the art piece.
Her mother Jennifer keeps every piece of art she makes.
“We even have, I think, four, maybe five pieces of her artwork from school framed,” Olivia’s mother said. “I love them! [I’d] put the spotlight on them and put them in an art museum. And she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, Mom these aren’t that great.’ But I think they are!”
Jennifer said Wink's family is very proud of her.
“She’s always had a generous heart,” Jennifer said. “[Her father and I] have shown that by example of different charities we give to, individuals we’ve given to through church, or just on a personal level that we just don’t tell people.”
Wink said she hopes by selling her artwork and donating money to these organizations, she can raise awareness on animal testing, promote veganism and promote spaying and neutering pets.
“I hope that by making some of these sanctuaries known to my followers they choose to donate on their own as well as support my art,” Wink said.
Contact Sylvia Lorson at email@example.com.