Heroes

These photorealistic drawings bring attention to something that needs to be paid attention to

Zaria Forman is an artist who works in pastels. She makes hyperrealistic drawings of nature (as you see below) for two reasons: for her mother, who was in love with landscapes, and to remind her audience that a massively important part of our world may not be around too much longer.

These photorealistic drawings bring attention to something that needs to be paid attention to

Yes, that's a drawing.


"Continuing the story of polar melt, which is the main cause of rising seas, I followed the meltwater from the Arctic to the equator. I spent September 2013 in the Maldives, the lowest and flattest country in the world, collecting material and inspiration to create a body of work celebrating and artistically representing a nation that could be entirely underwater within this century." — Zaria Forman

Yes, that's also a drawing! She uses paint in a way I didn't really think possible, to be honest.

The Maldives are currently only five feet above sea level. Much of the comparable land in Louisiana has already sunk.

No, this isn't a photograph. Ms. Forman drew this too. With her fingers.

At this point, I think of Zaria and I'm all:

She could've just drawn these for no reason. They're stunning. But she has a good reason to make you want to stare at these:

"Greenland's ice and permafrost will continue to melt in the coming decades as the planet adjusts to our carbon emissions. It is unfortunate, but inevitable, which is why I find it crucial to render and honor these icescapes in flux, and to help bring awareness to many who's lives will be affected." — Zaria Forman

Yowza, this is my favorite. Look at that reflection. Drawn by one hand. Two hands at the most.

YOU. You reading this. You have two hands. Can you do this? No. Not unless you're Zaria Forman, amazing glacier artist and badass woman.

Well, maybe this is my favorite. I know I've said this twice already. Maybe they're all my favorite. I feel cold just looking at 'em.



This one is awesome too! Maybe this one is my favorite. 100% a drawing.

Bottom line, I'm all:

Keep on doing you, Zaria. Here's an interview with Ms. Forman about her process:

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.