Some people spend their life looking for a greater purpose and a way to impact the world in a different way. The artists and illustrators at Kühl put their efforts into protecting rhinos from poachers, who sell the horns for medicinal purposes, primarily as an aphrodisiac. But it is nothing more than a placebo.
Kristy Tipton and Manny Carrasco are the founders of the program in company with other artists: David Levy, Aaron Blaise, Thierry Doizon and Terryl Whitlatch. They all had different reasons for taking part in the Rhino Projekt, but being illustrators at Kühl helped bring them all together to support the organization.
The artists at Kühl come from all different backgrounds; some came from Disney, Pixar and even Marvel Studios to work for Kevin Boyle, owner of Kühl. Manny Carrasco found himself working with Kuhl after posting drawing on their Instagram and Facebook pages. Admiring the “. . . passion Kevin and the team had,” it was an easy choice for Carrasco to move in with Kühl. He later pitched the idea of the Rhino Projekt to Boyle and the wheels started turning.
After the introduction of the foundation they instantly got involved, donating $25,000 to the cause and creating artwork to sell for even more funds. On January 21, 2017 Kühl held an event in Park City that featured drawings and painting of African wildlife. The prints and paintings were sold with 100% of the proceeds going to the Rhino Projekt.
Inspiration for saving rhinos came from a couple of things; Carrasco’s adoration of Jane Goodall, Steve Irwin and Marlin Perkins has made him an animal lover since he was a child and Boyle happened to be inspired by a trip to the zoo in Portugal. Boyle noticed that these rhinos had thick plates on their chests that looked like armor and had a revelation for a whole different kind of pant. “The pants are structured to be strong but are as comfortable as sweatpants. The concept resembles the strong chest plates on the Rhino,” says Boyle.
Rhinos in Zimbabwe are being poached for their horns, which grow back like fingernails, but for poachers, killing the animal is a more convenient route to getting the horns. It costs about $1400 to medically dehorn a rhino, says Kristy Tipton. The organization raises money so facilities can purchase flashlights, tranquilizer guns, shoes and other small things to supply the rangers. Tipton says, “Zimbabwe has no money to fund the program so we wanted to help raise money for it” and the partnership with Kühl made sense. With the rhino as a muse and a love for animals the team noticed they were “. . . actually changing something, it may be tiny but the snowball is getting bigger,” says David Levy.
With ambition and support the foundation is able to fund dehorning procedures for the rhinos in order to protect them from poachers. The illustration team at Kühl wanted to make a difference so they got involved on a universal scale and created a foundation to support the African wildlife. “We are changing the world one drawing at a time,” says Levy, motivating people to get involved and support the animals they grew up loving.