After so many tragedies over the past decade, including 9/11, the 2004 Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, East Rockaway illustrator Kelly Light says she was feeling overwhelmed by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I just couldn’t get it out my head,” she said. “I said to myself, I have to do something.”

So she did what she does best and started drawing. Recently, the environmentally minded animal lover began selling oil-spill-inspired sketch cards for $10 apiece on her personal blog to help save at-risk animals in the Gulf.

Then her 10-year-old daughter Maggie drew a sketch. Then artist friends started submitting sketches. After only two days on her personal blog, on June 5 she set up a separate blog, called Ripple Sketches, solely to promote and sell the sketches. Donations go directly to either The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies or The International Bird Rescue Research Center.

With each donation, “Together we can cause a ripple in the oil-soaked waters of the gulf,” the site says.


Light says she’s now been inundated with more than 70 sketch submissions from across the globe, including from artists in England, The Netherlands and Australia, so much so that she put out a call to her Twitter friends for help administering the fledgling operation.

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The growing ripple of submissions hasn’t yet translated into big bucks – as of Wednesday afternoon, the now 4-day-old site has raised $480 – but with the popular artist blog called Illustration Friday about to promote her effort this Friday, she’s girding for hundreds more submissions. And potential donations.

The sketch card "Rescued," by Colleen M. Madden, was sold on the blog Ripple Sketches to help raise money for at-risk animals in the Gulf of Mexico. (2010)