From a young age, Taika Ink’s Elisa Kwon has busied herself with animals. Every abandoned cat needed a home, every bird’s sprained wing needed to be wrapped, and every lonely dog needed a good scratch behind its ears. It’s no wonder that her passion lay with animals before art. In fact, her dream was to become a veterinarian, not an artist. That, or a lion tamer, which is debatably both skill and art.
Although her visual skills had her traveling internationally and working in graphic design for major companies such as Ubisoft and Gameloft, her love for animals was what pre-occupied her time: she trained in First Aid for Exotic Animals, volunteered 2 years at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Jundiai, assisted Blue Ribbon TNR in Shanghai and raised 2 tons of dog food for the Brazilian pound Mural dos Bichos RS/Animal é Tri through sales of her Daily Dog Book. She also designed a charity bag to be sold by Wang Ayi (a dog rescuer in Shanghai considered the Chinese Dog Whisperer) and started her own Taika Ink WeChat channel with brand new art and tips dedicated to helping animals.
Imagine a rainbow of cute animals with hats singing your name… You’re welcome. :D -Elisa Kwon
The self-taught Elisa took up her first pencil inspired by her mother, who’d spend her free time drawing and painting.
However, her art could not be more dissimilar from the watercolors her mother used to draw. As a South Korean import who has lived her entire life in São Paulo, Brazil, Elisa took after artists as international as herself. The sharp portraits of American artist J.C. Leyendecker, the detail of Japanese artist Takehiko Inoue and the cuteness of Spanish artist Alessandro Barbucci; each of them and many others left a permanent impression on the young Elisa, and it shows in her adorably beautiful animal art.
theSquirrelz.com didn’t find Elisa and Elisa didn’t find the Squirrelz; they found each other!
While working near the Squirrelz HQ, Elisa and the Squirrelz founder Bunny Yan met and got to talking. It became clear that Elisa Kwon’s generous spirit and amazing talent were a perfect fit for the Squirrelz’ goal of charitable and sustainable products.
Her exceedingly cute art style is printed on thick postcard paper stock and, thanks to the many different illustrations, make for a perfect gift. Beagles with sandwiches just out of reach, Ninja Dobermanns, cats of royalty and a book full of your favorite dogs! They’re sure to brighten anyone’s day, knowing that each card and book purchased helps to rescue and care for dogs, cats and all animals in need.
I love that Taika Ink and Elisa help people understand and help stray animals more. Although my opinion might be biased as ‘mama’ of 2 adopted cats myself! -Bunny Yan, founder of theSquirrelz.com