Climate Action: 5 Ways You Can Put Your Creativity to Use for Earth Month

Now is the time to take a stand – as an artist, you have the power of influence.

The earth needs artists. It needs voices of all kinds from poets and painters to rappers, sculptors, photographers, and innovators – reaching to their creative core to express an issue that defines us collectively.

While it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the changes needed to halt climate change, it’s the responsibility of creators to make art that puts the consequences of our choices into perspective.

With bold creative choices and work that implores people to take action, we can make this the era of change – passion our purpose and art our drive.

Here are five new approaches to creating to ensure your art has the biggest impact possible:

1. Take an untraditional approach.

You don’t have to practice a traditional medium to make a difference. A unique issue is worthy of a unique approach. Proving this, is indigenous climate activist and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (Pronounced Shu-Tez-Caht). The 15-year-old rapper is using his voice to spread awareness about the importance of respecting and preserving our planet.
2. Don’t hold back.

Never quiet your voice for the comfort of others. The urgency of climate action can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be hopeless. By taking action you have already have the hope we need to succeed – now help others find theirs.
Poet William Nu’utupu Giles – an alumni of Hawaii’s Pacific Tongues and Brave New Voices – uses anecdotes from his own life and the lives of his Samoan ancestors to show that this issue is personal. His raw and tense delivery leaves viewers unable to walk away unscathed – audiences are consistently blanketed with a renewed sense of urgency.

3. Go big, then go bigger.

Open your art up to a boundless canvas. Muralist Sean “Hula” Yoro’s paintings are a haunting new take on the reality of melting glaciers. Instead of capturing the decay caused by melting ice, he went straight to the source by painting directly on the glaciers. One glance at Sean’s work means tears are imminent – the cause of their onset split between beauty and sadness. The work is tragically temporary, details slip away with each melting drop – a harsh reminder of the beauty and life of the arctic we lose with each crack of ice.

Works in Progress by Sean “Hula” Yoro.

Within a few weeks these murals will be forever gone, but for those who find them, I hope they ignite a sense of urgency, as they represent the millions of people in need of our help who are already being affected from the rising sea levels of Climate Change.” says Sean of his work.

4. Show; don’t tell.

To an analyst, statistics are beautiful. But to many others, they are hard to process and have little emotional impact. Enter artists: you have the power to translate the beauty they see for the rest of the world – show the lives the numbers represent. Create for the person who’s interested enough to care, but hasn’t yet felt compelled to change their actions. Show them the remnants of the elements that have suffered our actions.

Artist Camille Michel is doing just that. The French photographer spends most of her year living in the regions that suffer the most – documenting their stories and capturing the flickering moments of life among the desolation of a disappearing land.

Photos by Camille Michel

5. Collaborate to gain new perspectives.

Climate change isn’t a cause we can choose to ignore – it is at the root of some of the most important issues we currently face. Collaborate with an artist who creates work for an issue outside of climate action, and show how this issue affects many others and is intersectional.

Illustrator and CultureStrike collaborator Gilda Posada joined forces with dozens of artists in her hometown of Oakland, CA to show the disproportionate impact climate change has on communities of color.

“I see art as a way to bring things to life. If people see themselves in the image, they can become more aware, or question things more, as the beginning of taking action. It’s made me much more aware of both how much the presence of people of color are important to the [environmental] movement, but also how much more we need to be present and visible.”, says Gilda.
Artwork by Gilda Posada.
Cover photo by Sean “Hula” Yoro.