Tag Archives: youth artwork

Inspiring Others Through Art

Today we’re hearing from Logan Sauer, a University of Maine student and former Youth Conservation Corps intern at Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Virginia. Logan shares his love for the outdoors with others through his artwork and culinary skills, and his story is one you won’t soon forget.

Logan is making waves, and certainly enjoying them while studying abroad in Australia. His experience with YCC has influenced his major and his daily life, while his artwork continues to inspire ours. When Logan gifted Potomac River NWR Complex his beautiful painting of native wildlife, it was too good not to share with everyone! We’ve asked him a few questions about his art, his time with YCC, and his connection to the natural world.

What do you enjoy doing most in the outdoors and why?

“I enjoy hiking, creating art, being with family and friends, and traveling. I enjoy hiking because it takes me to places I’ve never been and especially somewhere to escape all the noise. Hiking is a great time to think a lot of things over and it can also provide a place to not think at all and just embrace the beauty of the natural world.

“Whenever I am home for break I always visit the refuge. How could I not? The refuge staff gave me a priceless experience and I felt the need to give back. During the spring semester of my sophomore year I had the idea of creating a painting for the refuge. My initial idea was to create a painting that showcased one major animal from different refuges all across the country, but I felt that this painting needed to be more personal, so I came up with the idea of painting the major fauna that are found within the Potomac River NWR Complex.”

What inspires your art and what is your favorite medium?

“I’ve been interested in art ever since I was little and my artwork developed over time through a variety of mediums.  In grades 6-12 I was more interested in using pencils and I would never want to use any other medium. In grade 10 I got my first set of Prismacolor pencils, which are better at blending seamlessly and that is when my artwork started to transform. Animals and landscapes really inspire me. The natural beauty that we are surrounded by is unlike anything that can be replicated in our world of technology.

“Also, watching the Food Network might have influenced my artistic talents. My mother and I enjoyed watching baking shows together and over time I developed a love for baking.  Baking and cooking and creating art are awesome stress relievers for me. I often stress bake at school before an assignment is due. Both activities require patience and attention to detail which brings me to a calm state of mind. ”

Do you think Youth Conservation Corps has helped shape you or your academic or career choices or strengthened your relationship with the outdoors?

“I definitely think that YCC brought me closer to the outdoors. For most of the day our crew was outside completing our assigned tasks. One thing that our crew was interested in was species identification. We identified many plants, fungi, insects, reptiles, and birds. We even had a Facebook page dedicated to the work we had done on the refuge and the flora/fauna we identified along the way. Knowing what surrounds you in nature feels rewarding instead of just walking down a trail and passing all these amazing organisms.”

What would you tell someone who is interested in trying YCC?

“For anyone interested in trying YCC I would say go for it! I must warn you that not all YCC programs are the same. It was my coworkers and the refuge employees that made my experience enjoyable and worth every minute. I would say go in with an open mind just as with anything in life and try to make the most out of the time while being a part of YCC.

I want to work with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Park Service in the future. I want to do what I love while I search for the perfect workplace family and can recognize that I am happy and that I am in the right place. Only a few places that I have worked have I actually enjoyed but nothing comes close to being in the YCC at the Potomac River  NWR Complex.”

Difei holds her award-winning artwork. Photo courtesy of her mom, Ivy Wang.

Interview with New Jersey 5th-grade winner in national endangered species art contest

Difei holds her award-winning artwork. Photo courtesy of her mom, Ivy Wang.

Difei Li holds her award-winning artwork. Photo courtesy of Ivy Wang.

Q. Why did you enter the endangered species art contest? A. I entered the endangered species art contest because I wanted to show the world–not just USA–that saving our species, and others, is important. We should all participate to help animals thrive and live as good as we do.

Q. Why are you interested in endangered animals? A. I am interested in endangered animals because we need to help them survive and live. Just like us, we do not want our kind die, and they don’t want theirs to. It will be sad to never see some animal species again if they die out and we don’t protect them.

This eagle drawing by 10-year-old Difei Li won the 3-5 grade category of the Endangered Species Youth Art Contest!

This eagle drawing by 10-year-old Difei Li won the 3-5 grade category of the Endangered Species Youth Art Contest!

Q. What made you choose the eagle and flag for your artwork? A. I chose these because eagle is our country’s bird, and it’s endangered! We need to help save it, or else why use it as our symbol? The flag shows our country, and the eagle stands for being someone important in our nation. So I am letting everyone know that we have to help this bird survive and keep being our most popular bird.

Q. What kinds of animals did you include inside the animal (What an incredible idea!)? The animals inside the young eagle were all endangered species of the USA. Not just protecting the bald eagle, we also have to save other animals, too. Some of the animals are the gray wolf, leatherback sea turtle, black-footed ferret, giant sea bass, and others.

Q. Are you excited for your win? A. Yes, because it is a great honor to be selected out of so many great pieces of artwork and win the 3-5 grade category. I think it is really hard, so whoever won the other categories should also be happy.

Q. Do you plan to continue to create artwork? Of course, I always love to draw, especially drawing realistic animals. During the process, sometimes you mess up and feel frustrated, but the result is always great. Creating artwork makes me feel happy during the process and at the end when I finish. Nothing is impossible, just don’t give up.

Check out the other youth art contest winning and semifinalist entries!