After everything that we have accomplished in the last 12 months, it’s hard to believe that this is really Render Loyalty’s inaugural year. In a short period of time, we partnered with two incredible leaders in conservation —The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy—travelled to Kenya to learn about their vital work, and photographed the amazing animals they save. My husband, Chad, and I returned home with a collection of fine art images that not only share the soulful beauty of these animals, but actually help contribute to the effort to protect them.
As I reflect on our incredible year and look ahead toward even more progress, I keep coming back to the moment that it all started.
Render Loyalty began on a normal Tuesday morning. I was starting my day just like I always do—by catching up on email and doing a quick skim of the day’s headlines. It was April 17, 2015. On the front page of CNN’s website was a photo of the last male northern white rhino (see the article here) and the rangers who stand guard 24 hours a day to protect him from poachers. It was a heartbreaking image—a symbol of mankind’s power to both destroy and save.
In that single moment, everything changed for me. It suddenly became painfully clear to me that my generation may be the one that sees so many majestic species —elephants, rhinos, giraffe and more —simply vanish from the wild. That someday these creatures might only exist in books and stories. I realized that I could not continue living my life, day-in and day-out, without pledging my allegiance to these vulnerable animals. That I must render them my loyalty, my soul, and my talents to support the people helping their cause in the only way I know how—through art.
That moment lingered with me. I felt compelled to act in a way I’ve never felt before, and the idea for Render Loyalty emerged fully formed in my mind. When I shared the idea with Chad, he was ready to jump in with me. In just a year we have embarked on a challenging, wild journey to make conservation our life’s work.
Each of you who has adorned your walls with a Render Loyalty image makes a difference by supporting art with meaning; each piece directly funds wildlife conservation and inspires conversation about the plight of threatened species. We have a long way to go, but as I reflect on how far we’ve come, I can’t deny the power that a single moment of empathy sitting at my computer has had on my life. In the same spirit, I am touched by all the compassion we’ve seen from strangers. I truly believe that each purchase begins with a heart-stirring moment of empathy and that it’s compassion itself that can change the world.
Chad and I wish you a happy new year and hope that you too will have many life-changing moments of empathy within the next months. We can’t wait to see how much more we can do to make this world a safer and more beautiful place for all its creatures.