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[Student Essay] WOA Studio – Student Artists for Animal Welfare

Hyeseong Choi (11th grade)

Isu Kim (Grade 11)

Isu Kim (Grade 11)

Hyeseong Choi (11th grade) Isu Kim (11th grade)

The Branksome Hall Asia (BHA) after-school program consists of many service projects, but we found that there were only a few related to animal welfare. With this realization, as two animal-loving BHA students, we became highly motivated to educate BHA students about forgotten or stolen animal rights and determined to create an after-school club activity that will help realize this aspiration. Soon after, we created WOA Studio where a group of student artists come together to design and sell their art products related to the pets around us and ultimately donate the proceeds to an animal support organization. .

During the design process, artists are allowed to freely draw their own designs and the role of student leaders in this process is just to make small suggestions and provide technical assistance for the graphic design program (Adobe Illustrator). However, we had to impose some restrictions on the artwork: first, since we sell the products, the types of artwork are limited to those that are accessible and familiar to the public, including badges and the stickers. Next, students choose an animal from the list of animals provided to base their designs on. We have also decided to focus only on dogs and cats this year as sometimes people forget their value as they are the most common pets in the home which can lead to animal abuse at its worst.

The source of the animal list we provide is Korea Animal Welfare Association (동물자유연대). It is a non-profit animal organization that supports and protects animal welfare through relevant online publications, signature collection campaigns, rescues, fundraising and services. animal shelter. One category of post it promotes on its website is an abandoned dog and cat repatriation service, in which profiles and stories of rescued strays are included. Among these, we have tried to select those who have been the most brutally abused or who are the most attractive. Some might say it’s unethical to consider animal appearances at this point, but bigger profits mean bigger donations, and more attractive animals are naturally more popular. In addition, we believe that the action of donating in itself is a good thing regardless of the customers’ reasons, such as a nice design, for buying the products.

WOA Studio has been open for 5 months now, but due to Covid-19 we have concluded that it is too difficult to go through all stages of design, production and marketing by May, the last month for all club activities at BHA. Although it was disappointing to postpone our plans at first, we saw this as an opportunity to further develop our ideas and articles. Thus, during this academic year, we have focused on designing quality goods both aesthetically and functionally, thus obtaining 30 complete models nearing completion (useful daily objects, targeted BHA students, texts or images controversial excluded, etc.). Complete designs collected will turn into tangible products next year.

WOA Studio’s motto is “Nothing is worth more than life itself”. Thus, we strive to educate students about the importance of all life forms and to advocate for a world where all lives co-exist in peace. We hope that the public will recognize this wish in our products and create a positive change, coming closer to the ideal. We believe that if this project is continued by BHA juniors even after graduation, the spirit of service and respect of BHA students towards animals will also carry over. WOA Studio will even expand its influence if it begins to deal with a wider range of animals, namely sea creatures that suffer from plastic waste and polar bears that suffer from melting ice due to climate change. We envision that with WOA Studio, the BHA community will grow as a group of inspiring global leaders who will take the lead in animal care and care.

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