People of Ink — Krystel Ivannie

Ink Team
7 min readFeb 21, 2020

Using artistry to help those affected by natural disasters, one t-shirt at a time. #bethegood

Over the past 3 years, Krystel Ivannie has used Ink to the People to put her illustrations to work in the best way possible — raising funds (nearly $9,000) for those affected by natural disasters in for her home counrty, Puerto Rico, and Australia. She humbly introduces herself as, “Just a Puerto Rican tattoo artist who makes cute art to help those in need, one t-shirt at a time.” Team Ink and her supporters know her to be much more — a one-of-a-kind, Puerto Rican tattoo artist who is changing the world with her undeniable talent and heart of gold, one t-shirt at a time.

Is this post, Krystel shares her passion, motivation to make a difference, and tips and advice anyone will find helpful when deciding how to take action on our fundraising platform. Thank you Krystel for continuing to choose Ink to the People. We will always give “…artists around the world a platform to help other people in their time of need through the beautiful world of art.”

@krystel_ivannie | Facebook | Instagram

The power of a t-shirt goes a long way, people. Launch your fundraiser today.

The Artist

Tell us about you! What do you do and what keeps you inspired?

My name is Krystel Ivannie and I’m a tattoo artist from Puerto Rico. I’ve always found inspiration in music, art, books, and personal goals. However, the majority of my inspiration is coming from current events.

As an artist, how would you describe your style?

I find that my style varies depending on what I’m working on. For example, as a Tattoo Artist, I’m known for my watercolor/splatter illusion technique mixed with sketchy linework. Now, when I’m designing merchandise, I draw a cleaner illustrative/cartoony style because I believe that (aesthetically) the public can understand it, and probably identify with my message a bit better.

Are you more of a traditional artist or digital?

I practice both art forms. From an early age, I taught myself to draw with traditional pencils while also experimenting with drawing on the computer using Paint and Corel Draw. Currently, I create every design on a digital platform, mainly due to practicality and efficiency; it simply helps me get things done quicker. In my free time, I still enjoy painting with traditional watercolor.

Ink to the People

How did you hear about Ink to the People for the first time?

The first time I found out about Ink to the People, I was looking for a way to use my art to help out the people of Puerto Rico after the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017. After thorough research, I came across the website and decided to give it a try. I found out how easy it was to submit my original art and have the company produce different types of merchandise to raise funds and donate it to an organization of your choosing. It was an incredible and satisfactory experience.

What encouraged you to return to Ink to the People?

To be honest, at first, I thought it was a one-time service. But when the Australia wildfires happened, I knew what I could do to help, and I didn’t think twice about the amazing service Ink to the People had offered me.

Name one thing that you were impressed by from Ink to the People?

Definitely their customer service! They are very attentive and helpful to their customer’s needs. I was very satisfied with their fast response to every question and concern I had during the pre-production of the t-shirts from the first campaign.

What inspired you to use apparel for fundraising?

I find apparel to be the most effective way to display a message through art. Not only do you get to wear a t-shirt with an amazingly unique design but you also get to help a cause with every purchase.

Small Island, Big Love — $3,518.95 Raised

What inspired you to create a t-shirt design fundraiser for Australian Zoo Life Warriors?

https://inktothepeople.com/puertoricohelpingaustralia

Well, when I think of Australia, one name always comes to mind: Steve Irwin. His love, passion, enthusiasm, and respect for animals was globally recognized in his lifetime and it is still present through his family. The Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors, established in 2002 by Steve and his wife, truly inspire others to support the protection of Australian wildlife.

I chose this organization because they were helping and treating all kinds of animals that were affected by the Australia wildfire. By creating this fundraising campaign, I wanted the people to feel like they were also “wildlife warriors”.

Can you explain the design/illustration?

The design depicts a girl with her little coquí friend (the national symbol of Puerto Rico) sheltering a koala with a Puertorican flag. I wanted to unite both cultures by showing solidarity towards the wildlife affected by the wildfires in Australia.

Isla Del Renacimiento — $638.41 Raised

What inspired you to create a t-shirt design fundraiser for Suministrospr.com?

https://inktothepeople.com/isla-del-renacimiento

Like my last two campaigns, this one was also inspired by a natural disaster. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico has been struck by an earthquake swarm since December 2019, one of them being a magnitude 6.4. Many people became homeless, camping outdoors in improvised shelters. I found out that Suministros Por Puerto Rico was created with the purpose of listing the towns that were affected by these earthquakes with a list of supplies that were needed in each town. I figured if I made a new design to raise funds through a new campaign, I could donate the proceedings to the most affected communities.

Can you explain the design/illustration?

In this design, it depicts a girl (representing the people of Puerto Rico) painting over the cracks (located at the most affected areas on the island) and turning them into flowers, as a way of symbolizing the rebuild and rebirth of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Se Levanta — $4,712.60 Raised

Care to summarize a little bit of your first campaign launched at Ink to the People?

https://inktothepeople.com/puerto-rico-se-levanta-4

It was very successful! The design for this campaign was a female figure holding the island of Puerto Rico in her arms. I wanted it to represent positivity and hope, like the title of my campaign “Puerto Rico Se Levanta” which translates to “Puerto Rico will rise”. The campaign raised about $5000, which was used to help the affected communities after Hurricane Maria.

Tips & Advice

Considering you have a significant on Instagram, what are some tips you have when it comes to promoting yourself as an artist?

Over the years I’ve learned a few things about promoting my art through Instagram. The most effective one is to create your own hashtag. Anyone can Google you if your hashtag has your name on it. Also, tag pages that are relevant to your work. For example, when I create a Puerto Rican theme design, I tag all kinds of Puerto Rican pages so I have a better chance of being discovered by other potential followers.

What advice do you have for someone designing a shirt for the first time?

Stay true when it comes to your design. When you create an original design, it will represent your style, your personality, and creativity. Make a piece that can tell a story on its own and it will resonate with others. When I design my shirts, I always love to incorporate a little touch of my Puertorican culture as a way of keeping myself in touch with my roots. These themes are very popular among the Puertorican diaspora.

Special Words

Any special words you like to share about anything else? Shout outs or anything random?

I want to start by saying thank you to everyone who was involved in every step of my campaigns, even though these words are not enough to express my immense gratitude. To my adoring husband: Thank you for helping me behind the scenes, giving me guidance whenever I felt lost in my ideas and for supporting my crazy projects. Your faith in me is what propels me to continue this work. Ti amo. To my family and friends: thank you for spreading the word and being part of my cause. It means the world to me. To my followers, thank you for always sharing and enjoying my art. You guys make the world a better place. And last but not least, thank you Ink to the People for giving artists around the world a platform to help other people in their time of need through the beautiful world of art.

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Ink Team

Todd, Kim, and Team share their thoughts and insights about fundraising and more specifically, the world of t-shirt fundraising.