A Kid You Should Know: My portrait of Greta Thunberg

My portrait of Greta Thunberg for #KidLit4Climate

My portrait of Greta Thunberg for #KidLit4Climate

I am an artist who paints children and now I am a proud participant in the @KidLit4Climate Art Campaign to show our support for Greta Thunberg and all children walking alongside her. We stand with you.

Greta is a 16-year old girl from Sweden. She was just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her relentless commitment to raise awareness for and fight against global warming. She is a new hero for me to show my daughters what it looks like to speak out and fight for change, even if you’re still a kid and even if it's for a cause as big as climate change.

And speaking of speaking out, I’ve also learned that Greta was diagnosed with Selective Mutism, so my family’s support for Greta is particularly personal. We understand what she needed to overcome to reach this level of global awareness.

The #KidLit4Climate campaign was started by illustrator, Emma Reynolds. She writes, "The aim of the #kidlit4climate campaign is to amplify their message. We are the grown ups now, and hopefully we can get other grown ups to listen."

Greta, I was proud to paint your portrait.
#kidsyoushouldknow.

4 Talented Kids You Need To Follow On Instagram

These 4 incredible kids (along with their parents) are using social media in creative ways and inspiring others to do the same. They're all talented, smart and kind. And P.S. They're all girls. Want to meet them?

Meet Mayhem

NaavaKatz_MayhemPaperDresses

Mayhem is a 6-year old with endless creativity. When she was four, she started designing beautiful dresses for herself out of paper. Her mother took photographs of her wearing them and shared them on Instagram. Soon everyone was talking about Mayhem and her paper dresses. She was featured by Vogue and was asked to design real clothing with J. Crew. Through it all, her parents have supported her passion with humor, love, and guidance. Mayhem continues to inspire creativity on Instagram daily. She and her parents partnered with @nothingbutnetsofficial to raise funds to protect kids from malaria. To get the word out, Mayhem designed a dress (see my portrait above) made out of blue bed-netting that can protect kids from deadly mosquitoes.

Meet Rayssa

Naava Katz - Rayssa Leal Skatergirl

Rayssa is an 8-year old skateboarder from Brazil. In 2015 a video was shared on social media of Rayssa doing a trick while wearing a blue tutu made by her grandmother. She fell a few times, but when she put on her fairy wings, she nailed it. The video went viral and Rayssa was hailed as the new symbol of girl power. Rayssa recently helped carry the Rio Olympic torch and was able to raise funds to renovate her local skate park. She still shares videos of herself doing tricks with her skateboard and inspires kids to believe in their dreams. Rayssa hopes to one day compete in the Olympics.

Meet Josephine

Josephine is a 7-year old artist with a prolific talent. She LOVES to draw. Her images are filled with ball gowns, royal crowns, and always a girl with a smile. Josephine was also born with EDS, a disorder that often makes it very painful for her to move her joints. For weeks on end, sometimes drawing is the only thing she has the strength to do. But Josephine is a shining example of how art can empower even in the face of unyielding struggle. Ever since her mother started sharing her art on Instagram, Josephine has become an inspiration to everyone who follows her. She is an artist-in-residence at Arizona Young Arts Foundation and her art has been in galleries throughout Phoenix. When you buy prints of her art all proceeds go towards helping her family care for her long-term health needs.

Heaven is a dancer. We know this because she told us so when she was on Ellen. We also know this because when the music starts, Heaven's smile widens, her eyes light up, and her talent takes off well beyond her years. When she was two, her mother Tianne, a professional dancer, filmed the two of them dancing to Beyoncé. Their video went viral and the world was captivated by this little girl's natural ability. Heaven is now 5-years old and she still shares her joy for dance on Instagram with her mother by her side. The inspiring duo choreograph music videos, film national commercials and teach dance classes to kids around New York City. Tianne's words echo true for every mom: "Find what it is that your kids enjoy and encourage them to be great at it!"

Do you know a talented kid using social media in a positive way? Let us know in the comments.