FOURTEEN-year-old animal lover and budding artist Grace Freeman is using her passion to do her bit for the bushfire crisis.
The Jindalee teenager has created a digital image of a koala that people can download for $10, with all proceeds going to WIRES wildlife rescue to provide emergency support for animals affected by the fires over east.
“Like so many of us, Grace was heartbroken at the devastation the bushfire crisis is causing and news that over a billion animals have lost their lives,” mum Louise Freeman said.
“So she created this digital image with a view of somehow using it to raise funds and we set up an Esty shop on Sunday.
“To date it has mostly been friends and family who have downloaded it but I’m in the process of sharing it around various community groups.
“Grace is also happy for anybody who can use the image for fundraising proposes to have a free download.
“I am naturally bias but think she has captured the emotion on the brave koala’s face so beautifully.”
Mrs Freeman said Grace had already received several compliments from other artists and graphic designers and had been invited to have the image included in a fundraising digital colouring book for children.
The 100-page book This is Australia features the work of 100 Australian artists, with all proceeds going to wildlife charities.
Costing $10 to download, Mrs Freeman said it had already raised more than $5500 since going live on Tuesday.
“It is perfect to help children discuss and understand the bushfire crisis,” she said.
Mrs Freeman said Grace had always been “very artistic and creative” and has been drawing digitally for the past three years.
“She’s always drawing, either on paper, her phone or computer,” she said.
“It has been very therapeutic for her since she was diagnosed with Type1 diabetes three years ago, which can be a burdensome disease but she never complains as long as she can draw.
“It really is her passion, alongside being a dog and animal lover, which is why she is so happy she can help in some way and use her passion for art in such a positive way.”