For those who want to help, there is always a way
While art is a medium that expresses beauty and change, it can also be a tool to help others in their time of need. And since the onset of the pandemic, where Filipinos faced great challenges, from employment layoffs and food scarcity to typhoons, artists are putting their skills to better use by donating sales from their commissioned artworks to charity.
That is what Shannen Dingal, the young artist behind the Facebook page Likhalab, is doing as she accepts commissioned works with all proceeds going to the survivors of the recent typhoon that hit the country, Typhoon Maring.
“I started doing art as a hobby and I made Likhalab as a mere dump account for my artworks and it went on from there,” says the fourth-year college student taking up Literary and Cultural Studies at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP).
For this charity work, she has chosen to help Filipino agriculture workers through For Our Farmers PH, Inc., a youth-led, non-stock, non-profit organization that aims to help and uplift local farmers and fisherfolks.
“We’re faced with yet another calamity, one of the most heavily affected sectors [was agriculture],” Shannen says. “I remember watching the news and wanting so bad to help but I’m just a broke college kid. So I decided to open another charity commission, the only way I know to help and I reached out to an organization that specifically helps farmers.”
This is not the first time Shannen used her art to aid others. In 2020, together with fellow artist and friend Kael, they started “Iskolart” to raise funds for the stranded students, vendors, tricycle drivers, and janitors around PUP Sta. Mesa campus. In November of the same year, she also teamed up with two other artists for “Alpas,” to send assistance to the victims of Typhoon Ulysses.
“My family and friends were very supportive as always. But I don’t really have a large audience on my art accounts so the word doesn’t really spread that much,” she muses. “In fact, I have only raised ₱1,500 so far and most of the clients who approached me were foreigners. That’s why this is really a huge opportunity for the cause.”
For this particular commission, Shannen only charges ₱200 for local clients and $6 for foreign ones. To support her cause and to see more of her works, visit @likhalab on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.