As an artist and an avid animal lover and conservationist, I have found a happy place where these two great passions of mine can merge together for the greater good. I have worked in the animal care field for over a decade, doing art as a side gig whenever there was a little bit of extra time. As my career in the animal care field progressed, I started to look around and think...what is the point of what I am doing? Is my 9-5 job allowing me to really achieve what it is I want to achieve in life? Sure, I loved every second that I spent cleaning, feeding and training all of the amazing animals that I had the opportunity to work with...but I wanted to do more...something bigger. In early 2016, I ventured to Guyana, South America, to do a field research study on giant otters. It was there, in the scorching, muggy jungles of Guyana, that I found my real purpose. The interior of Guyana is a pristine environment, which supports some of the most biologically dense eco-systems in the world. The South American jungles are also full of vibrant and inspiring people, who live simply and use the land sustainably and respectfully. They are also caretakers of the rivers and the animals who inhabit them. From the endangered giant otter and arapaima, to the river's crocodilian inhabitants, the caiman, the native Amerindians keep a watchful eye on these species, as they are good indicators of the health of the land. I am hoping that through my art, I can spread awareness for the people and animals of Guyana and fund conservation efforts in the region. The stability and integrity of the region's forests are under threat, due to mining operations throughout the area. Educating the local people on the importance of protecting their natural resources is a critical component in our conservation initiatives. I would also like to establish a fund for the local schools in the region, who are all severely lacking appropriate materials and sports equipment. So please, stop in, shop and know that by making a purchase, you are also making a difference!