#TakeoverTuesday With Lily Williams

Hi Keikos!! I am Lily Williams (@LWbean) and I’m taking over the Keiko Conservation instagram today for #keikoconservation #keikotakeover! For the next 24 hours I am going share some art and talk about finding your voice in conservation. I am a children’s book author and illustrator, filmmaker, shark fan, and passionate advocate for the environment. My first book, #IFSHARKSDISAPPEARED, has recently been published by @macmillankidsbooks. Let’s dive in! . If you want to learn a little more about who I am, check out my linked instagram or visit my website: lilywilliamsart.com!

I have always loved sharks, but my serious research started one day in 2012 when I was watching a TV special.  At the end of the show a scientist stated “sharks are necessary,” but didn’t elaborate. I needed to find out how and why sharks were necessary. I spent a lot of time trying to figure this out by gathering information from scientific journals, books, and eventually connecting and volunteering with shark scientist David McGuire of @SharkStewards. I created these three infographics as a distilled version of a complex topic. I posted them on my blog, and they took off! Eventually they lead me to produce my short film, #FINconceivable, and get a book deal for nonfiction children’s book, #IFSHARKSDISAPPEARED. #keikoconservation #keikotakeover

Creating my animated documentary short #FINconceivable really helped me figure out my method of conservation. I enjoy complex topics and I enjoy children’s media. The combination of the two of those things is where my heart lies. I create for kids because I truly believe children are our future. If a kid is passionate about something, they will shout it from the rooftops and share it with everyone they know. Kids get involved. I created my film with a vision to educate kids without dumbing down the gruesome reality of shark finning and the complicated nonlinear path of the trophic cascade. FINconceivable has been screened all across the world from India to Scotland to Hawaii. Here in the US, it has been used with permission by experts to educate the public and get legislation passed. I could not be more happy about the lives it has touched and the perspectives it has shifted. #keikoconservation #keikotakeover

Recently, after several years of work, my nonfiction picture book #IFSHARKSDISAPPEARED was published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing (@macmillankidsbooks). IF SHARKS DISAPPEARED is a nonfiction picture book that imagines the consequences of a world without sharks. My science advisors on the book were David McGuire of @SharkStewards and Dr. John E. McCosker of @CalAcademy. Out of all of my shark work, I am most proud of my book. As an obsessive reader myself, I love books and the magic within pages. I am so excited that a kid who might have never seen the ocean can go their library in Indiana or Nebraska and pick up this book. It is my hope that my book will inspire someone else to find their voice in conservation. #keikoconservation #keikotakeover

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You can find IF SHARKS DISAPPEARED in person at many independent bookstores, your local Barnes & Noble, and it can be ordered online.

Now that I gave you a little backstory on my voice as an ocean advocate, I want to encourage you to find yours. Every single person in this world has something they can offer to a cause. Whether that thing is lifestyle changes, dietary changes, talking to your friends, your physical presence (protesting, modeling in a campaign, etc), photography, filmmaking, art, writing, cooking, managing, organizing, or something else. I encourage everyone to find a small way to make a change. If you start small, focus on something doable, then it will grow. Remove judgement. Don’t judge others for being on step 1 when you are on step 5. Allow yourself to be on step 1, even if your best friend is on step 10. All passions are welcome: maybe your conservation speciality is cuttlefish, and someone else's is ocean plastics. Being involved in conservation is a long haul, so it is best not to take on too much at one time and burn out. Follow your unique path or passion, be kind and encouraging to others, and speak up for what you believe in. #keikoconservation #keikotakeover

Thank you so much to @keiko_conservation for letting me takeover their instagram #keikoconservation #keikotakeover! I am so thrilled I got to share my process and conservation voice with you all today! We are all in this, it is not a competition and not a race. It is so important to remember that we all have something unique to bring to the table. Who knows… the world might need the voice only you can provide. If you have any questions for me or want to connect more, feel free to ask them below or on one of my instagram posts. You can find my art anywhere online at @LWbean or through my website: lilywilliamsart.com. #keikoconservation #keikotakeover

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You can find #IFSHARKSDISAPPEARED in person at almost any independent bookstore, your local Barnes & Noble, and it can be ordered online. Keep an eye out for upcoming companion books, IF POLAR BEARS DISAPPEARED (2018) and IF ELEPHANTS DISAPPEARED (2019).

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If you would like to enter a shark themed poster/sticker giveaway, check out the hashtag: #IfSharksTRAVELED

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You can view #FINconceivable on my website: lilywilliamsart.com