The coronavirus pandemic has changed our everyday life, but it doesn't need to change who we are. So, in addition to our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus, OnMilwaukee will continue to report on cool, fun, inspiring and strange stories from our city and beyond. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed and stay joyful. We're all in this together. #InThisTogetherMKE
ArteryInk is a collaboration between two artists, Mara Natkin and Gloria Ramirez, who combine art with wellness.
"We use our artwork to encourage and inspire people to learn more about our bodies and take better care of them. We have different styles, but we combine them to make our designs," says Natkin.
Ramirez makes traditional pen drawings with myriad tiny details and patterns whereas Natkin works digitally and with lots of colors. Together, they create a variety of products such as greeting cards, art prints, coloring books, stickers and T-shirts.
"We hope that we can inspire you to look deeper and connect better with your body, learn more, live a healthier and happier life, and inspire those around you," says Ramirez.
Like most artists, the creative duo felt the pandemic blew in swiftly and they had to make very fast decisions.
"Our initial thought when this happened wasn’t really about sales or income, but was 'how can we help in some way?'" says Natkin.
Thus, the women started a letter-writing campaign called "Keep UpBeat – spread joy, not germs." This effort allows customers to go to their website, purchase a card, write a message and have its sent to a loved one. $1 of the proceeds go toward creating care packages for local nurses.
"Plus, it’s a fun way to connect while everyone is quarantined," says Ramirez.
The women also created two shirts as fundraisers for Milwaukee frontline workers. One is called "Heart of Healthcare" featuring an anatomical heart and "responding first with love & care" on the back (or the back can be blank).
They also crafted a new lung design (above) that reads "we’re in this together."
"It's a way to keep positive during this time and be reminded of our beautiful and intricate lungs," says Natkin. "And $5 of every purchase goes towards Milwaukee's frontline health workers. Milwaukee has been the absolute most amazing place to start and grow a business. The people here are so supportive and absolutely wonderful – we feel so grateful to live and work here every day."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.