Consciously Clueless: The Podcast

Becoming an Artivist with Alexis Collum

Episode Notes

Alexis grew up with a love for animals and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian to help them. At the time, she didn’t realize what saving animals could really mean in everyone’s daily lives. 

After watching the documentary “Earthlings”, her life completely changed in so many ways. It led to a vegan lifestyle, switching from biology to art major 3 years in, and becoming the president of Knights for Animal Rights (KAR)- a student organization for animal rights advocacy.

Working with PETAxSOS and DefaultVeg, Alexis helped lead KAR through the pandemic to host a variety of protests, outreach events, and community-building events - with the goal of bringing animal rights to the forefront of people’s minds and ending speciesism. 

Now in her graduating semester at UCF, she considers herself an “art-ivist” (artist + activist) and uses art to advocate for animal rights, human rights, and the environment. This year, she opened her small business Alexis Kayla Creations, LLC. You can visit her website to find her activism artwork, previous interviews, and upcoming events. 

Connect with Alexis on Instagram, her website, or by emailing her at AlexisKaylaCreations@gmail.com 

Other resources: 

KAR Instagram: @Knights4AnimalRights

PETAxSOS: @petaxsos | https://sos.peta.org

DefaultVeg: @defaultveg | https://www.defaultveg.org

Check out the new Self-Love Reset Course!

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Music by Matthew Baxley

Episode Transcription

Carly Puch00:03

Welcome back to another episode of consciously clueless. I'm your host, Carly and I'll be your guide on this journey from consciousness to cluelessness and back around again. Today I talked to Alexis column, Alexis grew up with a love for animals and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian to help them at the time, she didn't realize what saving animals could really mean in everyone's daily lives. After watching the documentary Earthlings, her like completely changed in so many ways. It led to a vegan lifestyle, switching from biology to art major in three years, and becoming the president of knights for animal rights, a student organization for animal rights advocacy. Now, in her graduating semester at UCF, she considers herself an artist and activist and an artist, something she'll explain more about. Here we go. Well, thank you for joining me this morning. I'm really excited that we connected.

 

Alexis Collum00:53

Yes, I'm so happy to be here. Thank you so much for having me. Yes, absolutely.

 

Carly Puch00:56

So the first question, I like to ask people because the podcast is called consciously clueless. And that came from this idea of realizing like, we're all kind of trying to figure it out and become a little more conscious, a little less clueless. But sometimes you just are all over the map. So where are you feeling right now on the spectrum from conscious to clueless or clueless to conscious? Like, where are you at this morning?

 

Alexis Collum01:23

Yeah, absolutely. Because once you learn about something, it sends you into a whole new wormhole of all these other things. And it's just a conscious, constant process of learning. So I think that, you know, to a certain degree, I'm conscious of different things that others may not be aware of, with my advocacy, I'm trying to raise awareness about things and share it with other people that may not be aware of it. But by no means, like, an all-knowing consciousness, you know, because I know that, to always learn and, you know, it's a lifelong journey of learning. So I think that consciousness is like, a, you know like I said, a lifelong journey, not a destination. I'm here, I'm conscious. So, you know, and that helps keep me, you know, humble and open to the new ideas. So I think I'm conscious of the need to be open-minded, you know, because then there's always more to learn.

 

Carly Puch02:13

Yeah, I really love that, that you said humble, like, humbled to the fact that I'm probably gonna know

 

Alexis Collum02:22

someone that knows more than me. And they're gonna, you know, help also mean to this way.

 

Carly Puch02:26

Yes, exactly. Yes, I love that. So I first saw about your work as an advocate on a college campus in veg fund, and I saw your story and that she's amazing. And I want to talk to her. So can you tell me a little bit about that? And maybe like your work with hedge fund or what, what you're kind of doing there?

 

Alexis Collum02:50

Absolutely. So I'm the president of an animal rights organization at the University of Central Florida. And it's called nice for animal rights. And so basically what we do, the club has been, in effect, since like, I think, 2012 or 2014. So it's pretty cool that there's been a lot of activists before me and students that were already, you know, conscious of these things, trying to raise awareness. And that club is really what brought me to UCF and help me choose it. Oh, wow. A lot of colleges. And, you know, I became vegan during the time that I was kind of looking for colleges. And so I was like, Is this something I need to do once I'm, you know, over there, like, I need to get involved somehow. So, yeah, so I joined when I was a freshman. Right, I went to the first social and everything. And then I became a, I kind of created my own position a little bit. Freshman, I became the creative committee director. So basically, what what I did was help raise funds for the organization and, you know, do more activism and stuff. So I made different things like, you know, little bottle caps or small paintings or Wow, for our large event that we had, we had a, you know, a Veg Fest. Veg Fest is yes, yeah. So we actually had one on our campus. So we usually have, oh, but it was really cool that, you know, my freshman year, I got to work with the president at the time, Emily Sarasa. And she organized a Veg Fest at our campus, and we had like, 2000 people come was really cool. That's amazing. Yeah. So I made like a photo booth for that too, to help promote and so people can share it and things like that. So that was my role coming in. I was that also as a sophomore, and then now in my junior year, I'm the president. And so, you know, kind of in charge of like running the different events and things like that to so we use the veg fund money to help us with our different actions. So for example, we had a demonstration at Starbucks. for their vegan milk surcharge, which is so unnecessary and makes it not welcoming for other people to try. Yeah, absolutely inaccessible. Yeah, exactly. And it perpetuates the, you know, animal product default that we have, instead of being like, Okay, here's all these options, it's like, Okay, here's your option or pay extra if you want this, which is more sustainable, we know. So there's no reason to have this, this surcharge, right. And so we use some of the veg fund money that we earned in the grant to purchase vegan milks and have a demonstration at Starbucks with these free samples that people could try. So that if they hadn't known about it before, they could try and be like, Wow, this is really good. And then help us by signing the petition to call Starbucks to end it so that way, they could have it all the time without paying extra for it. So bench fund was super vital to you know, helping us give the tangibles to people know of like, here's what you can do and take home and what you can do yourself instead of always just the information, you know, the information plus, here's like, what veganism actually is, here's the product or rice. And

 

Carly Puch06:12

so that's incredible. How did it go? What was the outcome?

 

Alexis Collum06:17

It was amazing, actually, um, the manager, when we went, I went and introduced myself just being like, hey, you know, we're gonna have this demonstration. And she was like, awesome, you know, I love that I love that you guys are protesting. And you don't usually get that from places that your opinions show. But, you know, she just was so happy that, you know, especially as college students were out there, you know, raising awareness about things that we are passionate about. And so she allowed us to actually sit inside. So it's really hot here in Florida. Really nice, and it keeps our keep our milks cold. But yeah, everyone that came was, you know, interested in what we were doing. A lot of them tried samples unless they were, you know, busy rushing in and out. And then most people actually said that they had already tried, you know, plant-based milks before, you know, maybe they liked it, or they already are using it at their home already. So it was really cool that people are already, you know, open to this and practicing it themselves at home. It's not like a new thing that we were really showing, which was right, great, great. And then a lot of them did sign the petition, which were also partnered with students opposing speciesism, which is a really cool organization that, you know, students can get involved with to join the movement. And it was part of like, their campaign, you know, to have Starbucks and surcharge

 

Carly Puch07:41

is that a national students opposing species as a species is

 

Alexis Collum07:48

kind of a hard word. Um, but yeah, so it is a national, PETA backed youth-led movement, which for, you know, any of the listeners that don't know, speciesism is, you know, the human held belief that, you know, all other animals are inferior, you know, kind of, like, we have racism or sexism, it's that ism, and like, the othering of a certain group, just because they're different. So, as an animal has four legs, or dogs are fluffy, and pigs aren't, we eat pigs, but dogs are our friends, you know, trying to tackle that ethical, you know, the stance of the show, like all animals are equal, and they need to be there, their interests need to be respected. You know, just like how women's interests need to be respected just as much as men that was the women met. So, you know, it's and it's really cool, because it's national. So there are hubs everywhere. And, you know, no matter where you are in the country, you can either join one or start your own, you know, if there's no one in your area, there, they have awesome advisors that, you know, help give the protest materials which has where we got our posters, some of our ProClick Wow, the leaflets to give people information, stickers, the other, you know, cool, tangible things that, you know, help remind people and get it in the community. Yeah,

 

Carly Puch09:10

totally. So what other types of activism have you done, or projects have you done through this organization on campus?

 

Alexis Collum09:18

So I'm with knights for animal rights. We also do a lot of tabling on campus, which has been really fun. Because it's a chance for us to talk to students on campus. The moment during, in between classes, we'd have you know, different signs, like change my mind signs, which are often really helpful, because it just helps get people thinking and a make want to come up and talk to you about it be like, you know, why either try to change our mind or just be like, Why, why are you guys doing this? Or it just plants the seed in their head to think about, you know, throughout the rest of the day, and, you know, it just helps get them thinking and throughout the semesters before COVID we'd have these, obviously, we have to for a couple, but um, we would have people come back every week and just kind of talking to us. And they'd be like, you know, I started going vegetarian. A couple weeks later, they'd be like, Okay, I'm going to try to go vegan and stuff. So it was really rewarding to have that consistent student feedback and know that, you know, we have a presence on campus that students can come to for information and help and resources and things like that, and also support, you know, because we know how, if you develop a friend group because maybe you're the first person you know, to go vegan, and then you're like, in this world by yourself, now you meet this whole other group that you know, you can find comfort and, you know, talk about things with whatever. So it's been a really awesome, awesome club.

 

Carly Puch10:42

Yeah. Students, that's really nice to have that feel of community, especially on a college campus, in any sort of group that you're with. So I really love that you said that kind of like sense of belonging, maybe for people because when sometimes when you first go vegan, you feel like you're like crazy out on a limb here. Which brings me to how did you go vegan? How did you while searching for colleges? Were you like, I think I'm vegan?

 

Alexis Collum11:12

Yeah, it was. It I have to thank my 10th-grade nc1102, professor, Tiffany Frost, for introducing me and don't shoot. So basically, she was what's,

 

Carly Puch11:25

what's EMC? Sorry?

 

Alexis Collum11:27

Oh, sorry. It's a it's a writing class.

 

Carly Puch11:29

Oh, okay. I just was like, am I supposed to know that?

 

Alexis Collum11:32

No, my that is just that. That's how it is in my head. No, that's great. So yeah, it's just basically the second writing class for like, you know, your Gen Ed courses in the beginning of college and stuff. And so, um, basically, she was my teacher, and she was vegan. And so all of the literature and essays were about these ethics topics. And so, I did want to rewind a little bit, I always wanted to help animals growing up, you know, like, I always considered myself an animal lover. And I have like a couple of funny stories of like, there was one time when I was under 10, that there was like, this little baby mouse that was blind, like, just born on like a boat dock. And there was a boat coming in. And so I was like, everyone stopped. And I went and just like, scooped it up. And I was like, Can we keep it? And they were like, No, we have a cat at home. You cuz it's like, it's a little baby. So I don't know that. And then from my college entrance exam, I wrote about in preschool? I would we have these lovebugs in South Florida. I don't know if you know what those are. So there'd be like swarms of them. And so all the kids would like squash and jump on them, you know, cuz they would make us not have recess sometimes because it'd be so many be so thick. Mm hmm. Like, like a swarm? Yeah, yeah. And so I would get in trouble and put in timeout, because I would fight with kids of like, don't kill them. Like, just because they're bugs doesn't mean you get to smash them. Like, what? What gives?

 

Carly Puch13:03

You didn't, you'd get put in timeout for that? Well, I

 

Alexis Collum13:07

mean, you know, I, if they didn't listen, I would go to other measures. As a kid, you know, I didn't really, I really,

 

Carly Puch13:13

I really, I hear you. I would go to other measures, I'm imagining you like pushing them in the sandbox or something.

 

Alexis Collum13:21

Like you're smashing them I can, at least, you know,

 

Carly Puch13:24

total you around a little bit.

 

Alexis Collum13:28

So that's what I wrote my college essay about two was that story. So I've always grown up wanting to help animals and save animals, and I want it to be a vet. Because I thought the best way to do it, I feel like a lot of animal rights activist may start out that way. Because you think that's the way that you can save animals. But once my teacher introduced me to animal rights, and we had all our essays about it, and on the final day, she showed us the documentary Earthlings. And

 

Carly Puch14:01

I haven't even watched that whole thing. I've I can't do it. Like it's, oh, it Yeah.

 

Alexis Collum14:10

And it's, it's a lot to the point to that. It's everything. You know, like the other documentaries, they focus on things environmentalism, ethics, health for yourself, like one track. Mm hmm. This one is all of the ways that we exploit animals. And for me, that was really powerful because it spelled it out for me. I was like, what things I can't do anymore because, like, you know, I just didn't feel like in myself if I'm going to dedicate my life to saving animals. How can I eat them every day and have them on my plate? You know? Yeah. Oh, I left class crying. And like, kind of like depressed for like, a couple days because I was just, you know, absorbing all of that. And I told my mom I was like, I'm vegan. That's like, I need tofu. I I need Tofu. Tofu stout. I knew that was one staple. And I was like, Okay, we're going with that. Because, you know, and so I kind of figured it out as I went. Because after that day, I was just like, I can't do this anymore. So that's how I went vegan. And like I said, that was 10th grade. And so you start looking for colleges a little bit after that. And UCF was the one that, you know, I saw how active their club already was. And I was like, this is something I'd love to be a part of. And, yeah, that's kind of helped guide me on my journey. Once I went vegan, I feel like it opened me up to a lot of things. You know, it really was a catalyst in my life for, you know, driving me towards, you know, this other path instead of going down the backfield now, I'm actually an art major. Oh, yeah, I started out as a bio, and I transitioned to an art major with a business bio. So it really changed my life a little bit.

 

Carly Puch15:55

Well, it sounds like it when you sent me your schedule to try and like figure out I was like, she's an art major. It sounded pretty fun. I think that I want to highlight one thing, too, are a lot of things about that story. But I think it's so amazing the power that a teacher can have on their students. And I mean, 10th grade, this teacher sounds pretty radical in the grand scheme of things, or by standards, right? To knowing I just can't even imagine my, like high school English teachers showing earthlings that is wildly like, impossible for me to even wrap my head around. So I think it's so amazing that she was like seeds, planting seeds, these young people.

 

Alexis Collum16:42

Mm hmm. And then boom, last day of class. Hey, guys, have a great summer.

 

Carly Puch16:47

Yeah, good luck. Good luck. I hope that she knows the impact that you've had. And like she had on you.

 

Alexis Collum16:58

I know, I did want to reach out and find her email and just be like, you know, thank you. Because whole life is different because of you. And in an amazing way, because I feel like, you know, I'm more compassionate. And like I said, In the beginning, open, and, you know, I don't know what all mean, right? So much that you don't know about what you've been doing your whole life that then it makes you realize that, you know, not everything you've been doing growing up is the right way. You know, there may be better ways. And you got to just be open to seeing it and then deciding.

 

Carly Puch17:33

Yeah, and I think that I've talked to quite a few people about this, but there's that stereotype about being an angry vegan. And I 1,000% Hit that in the beginning, because I was like, everything I've known is a lie. Yeah, literally, everything is a lie. And it was very, like, why is nobody listening to me? I think I have the answers now. And nobody wants to join me and I'm pissed

 

Alexis Collum18:03

100% I can I set a couple of days of the Depression. And then it definitely turned into like the anger because once I started showing my friends and my family, I was like, Guys, look what I just found out about, like, Look at this. And they'd be like, with a Chick-fil-a sandwich be like, okay, and then go back to talking about something that was just, you know, to me, at that point, not as relevant as like, do you see what is happening? So I can relate to that. And I think it definitely, you need that community? Because then you show, you know, you find that you're not the only one. And you know, yes, a little bit.

 

Carly Puch18:35

Yeah, and definitely like remembering what approaches work, right. So like I always share, I grew up in northern Minnesota and grew up hunting and fishing, that was just a part of life. My best friend growing up up here was vegan, starting in like late elementary school or middle school, and we're still best friends. And she was just so patient with me. And you know, like, I didn't stop hunting and fishing until college, or even later. So I just thought about how interesting that must have been for her, and how much patience she had. And I'm like, Okay, if she can do that for me. I have to extend that to others.

 

Alexis Collum19:19

Absolutely. And I really, I really love that story, because it also shows that, you know, not everyone is going to maybe have that immediate response. And that's okay, you know, to absorb it in their own time and you pushing, it's gonna push that angry vegan, you know, a stereotype that we have, when really you know, it is the the movement is about compassion and compassion for all beings. And so we can't then exclude just part of our species, you know, just because to so you really just have to invite them in, you know, like show the options, talk about it in like a way that you know, they can help end suffering and in like a positive way. Don't get discouraged if they don't transition right away. Because, you know, everyone takes their time. And, you know, if she hadn't been patient with you, if she was angry with you, who knows, you know, what would have happened, you would have been like, Oh, why would I ever, you know, want to become something like that. So you have to maintain that positivity, and just try to plant the seed. So

 

Carly Puch20:21

that, absolutely, absolutely. And like knowing that, where we wherever we're at, on this journey of learning about things, we're unraveling so many years of socialization, and for so many people, like, that's not going to just happen tomorrow. It takes some work.

 

Alexis Collum20:44

Absolutely. And I, you know, definitely the longer that you've been doing it, the harder it may seem to be like, Why shoveling snow, you know, so I feel like, definitely our generation coming up is, you know, that they already have these ideas being planted to them, like me, when I was in 10th grade, I'm still very impressionable, I absorbed that. You know, maybe if people are seeing it later on, they think they've lived their whole life this way, nothing's wrong. But, you know, I always just try to remind like, you know, my family when I'm talking to them, like, this is an urgent thing, and there's so many so much involved in it, you know, it's because the argument that, you know, I often get is, you know, there's so many other things going on, there's so many human issues that we need out. And I just want to also clarify that the speciesism movement isn't separating, or saying that those aren't important. It's just saying, like, hey, animals are, they should be here to, they're equally important, we need to care about them as well. And by doing that, I always think if you can extend your compassion to something that looks nothing like you, like a frog, or owl or something, it would be so much easier to do it to all the people that you know, to how easy would that, you know, solve things to have? Okay, if we're all equal, then of course, these people are too and I feel like that would solve a lot of issues to how we view others just in general. So

 

Carly Puch22:11

I think the the I mean, there's, there's no movement that is perfect, right? Of course. And there are there are some there are some vegan activists that I think have been really, really damaging to the movement, and I am a millennial, what generation are you? Are you?

 

Alexis Collum22:37

I was born in 2000. So I think I'm on Jenner?

 

Carly Puch22:41

I think so. I think so I feel old. Millennial, which is now old millennial, so I'm not well, I know that at least even being a millennial, I'm looked at as like any space I'm in any board anywhere is like you're the social media person, you're gonna be the one that's doing things on social media to sure you also get and I think it's such a powerful tool, but it can also be a really scary place, and a really damaging for the movement. Place. I've had to leave some Facebook groups and some different places because I'm just like, I don't want to shit on other people. And lose the compassion piece. Have you experienced any of that, like social media stuff with your activism or any anything like that? problems

 

Alexis Collum23:31

lately, um, with running the, the art clubs Instagram page. We, you know, we post about some controversial things sometimes. And especially what I've realized in Orlando, is we're high tourist high, you know, entertainment industry base, you know, so yeah, it was like SeaWorld and Gator land are things that people here have grown up with. And they, it's part of their childhood, so they have sort of memories. So when we're out there saying, Hey, this is not okay. We do get some negative feedback sometimes. And especially those are the posts that people tend to kind of blow up in the comments of, you know, why kind of defending the organization. And so no matter how angry or nasty, sometimes they're really just sincere comments of like, you know, people saying, Oh, I've worked here, this is not how it is or anything like that. You have to hit all of them with that same level of compassion and maintain that, even composure. Because social media lasts forever, too. And it's not it's not really going to go away. And, you know, so I think it's important at least with that you have some time to think about your response is not as immediate as in-person stuff, those kind of anxious sometimes, because you never know what people are going to say and you have to just be ready to respond. But yeah, definitely social media you know, you don't want to get sucked in that loop of you know bantering back and forth or arguing you want to stay very informative, educational, but compassionate be like, hey, like, do you know about this? In terms of like, let me share this with you in case you didn't know, or anything like that. Like, you're wrong, you don't know anything or show try to just guide them. You know, like, yeah, here.

 

Carly Puch25:27

Let me just like put bumpers up and you can bounce down the path until yes, they're exactly. So if you are an art major with a business, a business minor? Yes. Okay. Art major business minor, you went to UCF for this club, specifically? So do you have an idea? Like, are all those things going to be a part of your future? Or if you don't know, by the way, it's okay. Because when you're in college, and people want to know what you're doing with the rest of your life, it's very overwhelming. But I'm just curious if right now at least, you have like kind of a vision?

 

Alexis Collum26:05

Absolutely. So yeah, definitely, I would think my first couple years of college, I was really kind of bouncing back and forth. Not really sure what I wanted, because I was struggling with, you know, do I really want to be a vet is that the best way to save animals like, also, once I got deeper into the bio degree, I was kind of like, this is not for me. Like I can do it, if I put my mind to it, I can open the textbook and read it and study and I know the steps. But it wasn't igniting me.

 

Carly Puch26:38

Yeah, you're like, This isn't? This isn't me. Yeah, I don't see

 

Alexis Collum26:43

myself doing this. And also, I was always an art minor, because it was always something passionate about, for my Great Aunt Betty. She instilled that in me and kind of was a catalyst that way too. She was a watercolor artist. And so when she passed away, I got her first palette, her palette and brushes, and I Oh, wow, that was really cool. And so ever since then, I've been in love with art, always wanted to be an art minor. And I saw that my art classes I was excited for I was ready for and I never had the time to do it. Because I was always studying and reading a textbook, and it got to the point in order to that I would open it and start crying.

 

Carly Puch27:19

Like, oh, it was like, you're like this is not right. Yeah,

 

Alexis Collum27:23

I kept trying to push it because I didn't want the classes to conquer me, I had that, you know, I wanted to conquer it and say I could do both and things. But I realized that, you know, that's not my path. And I saw that, you know, a being an activist, what I was doing in the club was already saving so many animals that I don't need to kill myself with these classes, and then set myself up to you know, have to just be in school and learn all these things I could start saving right now, you know, and also to with art, I saw that, you know, art has the ability to speak to so many people, you don't even need words to get things across. And sometimes, you know, in the, you know, in the vegan activism, some people have heard the words before, they've already heard the arguments, and they have their walls up of what they're already absolutely hitting them with a visual, they have to absorb it, you know, like they could talk to the painting if they want to, but it's a it's a one on one with themselves in the painting of what they think about it, and what that brings up in them. And so I love

 

Carly Puch28:25

that I just had like a full-body reaction to that.

 

Alexis Collum28:29

I love goosebumps, oh, not something hit something hit. And so, you know, that's really where I saw I could I could be myself is taking animals through my art. And so, and I saw two I was already doing it with the creative committee. And I started before I even knew what I wanted to do. I was like...

 

Carly Puch28:52

The universe was like, let me put you on this path.

 

Alexis Collum28:56

And I'm so grateful. Because I saw I was already raising money already using my art for things. So I can't I just continue doing that. And so these are runway these, these are some of my

 

Carly Puch29:07

nieces, I was admiring them as we got started.

 

Alexis Collum29:11

Thank you. So like this one was a real catalyst for me because it's, it was the first painting that I ever sold. And it really solidified that I could send a message and you know, people feel that and then they can appreciate it. And so this one was about save the bees, you know, like our pollinators supply like I think 80% of our food crop and are all plants in general. So without them those plants would not be there. So we need to protect them and not you know, destroy their habitats or use pesticides and fertilizers and all these things. So and it's you know, it's a bee on the world kind of showing like she's helping save the world and you know, just trying to bring awareness to it. The dark drips are like these are, you know, they have like an imminent danger coming up. And I love

 

Carly Puch29:58

that you're describing it for people who are aren't watching. And for those who are just listening, it's like this beautiful. Do you want to describe it the one that you're talking about?

 

Alexis Collum30:07

Yeah. So I mean, I do, I don't think I have one right now. So it's basically it's a be on top of a globe, and there's flowers and different things on it. And then my favorites are sunflowers, they're just so bright and happy and always reaching towards the sun. So that kind of has always been like a message for me. And the bee is kind of over this whole planet because it represents all pollinators we have a lot, it's not just bees. But I'm actually working on a project right now kind of a spin-off of it. And it includes three butterflies that have gone extinct in South Florida. And so me being from South Florida, that's like, that's my home, how, you know, these are, these are tangible things for me, too. It's hitting home, it's not just elsewhere out there. So I really wanted to raise awareness about, you know, our pollinators, they're just little bugs, but they're more more than that, if you see a bee don't swat at it. Just be like, okay, like, I love you, I love you just do. As always what I do, I'm just like, I'm not here to hurt you, you don't need to do anything to me,

 

Carly Puch31:11

you squash a bug, Alexis will push you down in the sandbox man.

 

Alexis Collum31:16

I'm gonna find you. But like, you know, every life is precious is moral of that one. And, you know, I have other ones too, like this union Yang kind of balancing, we need to find balance in our world. And, you know, a big part of that is our oceans. And our drill. Just, I like to play with those concepts and, and try to put in a visual way, the things that you know, I want to share with people basically. And so the other power that this has is I can present topics and galleries where these conversations normally be held. I did want to show you this one, but it's kind of

 

Carly Puch31:59

very excited to see if I can do this.

 

Alexis Collum32:01

You can also go on my website, all these pictures are out there as well. And we'll

 

Carly Puch32:05

put that in the show notes. So everyone can look. Oh my gosh, yeah,

 

Alexis Collum32:09

so it's kind of big. But basically, this was the first painting that I did about I call it art of ism. I didn't mention that. But I love that ARTivist. So art and activism together. And it helps your message but in a different way. You know, um, so this one was talking about, you know, how we use cows, they have a price tag on them, but they're a living thing. And so I wanted people to really look into the cow's eyes and see what they're putting a price tag on what comes before the burger or, you know, whatever steak you're about to eat. And also, I was playing with the idea of, you know, even grass-fed, like what is humane mean, there's still red behind the green, you know, there's still they still have to die at the end of this process, right? Or to have the product so it's just not right in general. And that's why there's no way to justify with these labels or certifications. We're doing it humanely, you know, humane is benevolence, kindness, and there's no kind way to kill something that doesn't want to die. Someone that doesn't want to die. I'm sorry. Um, you know, so that was my first piece and I made it in a painting class in high school and oh, wow, I was like, Okay, this is what I'm gonna do now, because I just like it was right after I had gone vegan. So I was kind of like setting myself up to kind of be on this path of becoming an artist.

 

Carly Puch33:43

I love that term. And I also love the idea I never thought of it like that because I I write and I do like content creation, but any sort of painting drawing sketching is just not my wheelhouse it is not come out. Like it doesn't make sense to me. So I always love looking at people's art because I'm like that my hands won't do that. I don't understand how you do that. So I'm not very familiar with that world. And I've never thought about it in that way that you know if you have a gallery show at some gallery in Florida that maybe their last show was pictures of flowers or I don't know what you know what I mean whatever some abstract thing like this is like an intentional showcase that said you're having people have these one on one reactions with his really specific thing which I guess is just I probably just described the art of ism to him what that is, but I'm just really fascinated. That's a really amazing concept.

 

Alexis Collum34:41

Thank you. Yeah, I it's not my own. I found it it started. I believe in the 1970s was like when the term was expensive. But um, I am proud to you know, consider myself in that class because then, you know, I always even growing up wanted my art to Have a message or like, the purpose of the art and all artists find their own purpose for it? Absolutely not. I don't all have to be super deep in a paragraph-long explanation of what's in it. And I did want to mention that everyone is an artist. So that is another model that I say. So your art doesn't have to be that art, because it's your, so whatever your hand is, is your art. And I

 

Carly Puch35:23

write I call myself an artist now as a writer, but that took me a long time I did it was like, that's not that's not art.

 

Alexis Collum35:30

Mm hmm. Cooking is an art. I think art is action. It's like the love and thought and effort that you put in and also like, I think once you get into that, like that rhythm you tap into something that's that's your art, whatever it is. So everyone's an artist. That's really, really, really beautiful.

 

Carly Puch35:47

So remind me where UCF is because I've family all over Florida. So I visit Florida at least once a year. And I would love I want to see Veg Fest. I haven't gone to a Veg Fest in Florida. And they're I know they're all over. So there's a few on my list where where are you at?

 

Alexis Collum36:05

So we are in Orlando,

 

Carly Puch36:07

so it's current Orlando. Okay. Yeah,

 

Alexis Collum36:09

he's me. Yeah, like, center.

 

Carly Puch36:11

We're in the thick of it.

 

Alexis Collum36:16

Yeah, so we're in Orlando. And it's actually really cool that you mentioned that because I am the vendor coordinator for the Veg Fest coming up in central Florida. And so it's going to be October 23, from 10 to six. So if you're in town, you could stop by. You heard meet up?

 

Carly Puch36:35

Yeah, that's amazing. I've decided recently that I'm just going to start like going places where I can go to Veg Fest, like if I'm going somewhere I'm going to be like, Well, is it a long weekend like a fun somewhere like I could plan it with a Veg Fest in? I don't know, wherever. So I want to make it to some in Florida. I want to like make it so my trips when I'm visiting family,

 

Alexis Collum37:01

because it's so cool that they're everywhere. You know, there's even one in South Florida two, I think in Delray happened earlier this year, though, okay. So if you're looking for next year, but yeah, that's also my goal, too. So maybe we'll see each other and multiple Veg Fest because I want to go on vendor with my art and kind of be that art spokesperson, for the animals as well at the Veg Fest. And I would love that's to

 

Carly Puch37:25

go from Veg Fest to Veg Fest and like to interview people for the podcast and that kind of thing. I think it would be so fun. Yes,

 

Alexis Collum37:33

that would be awesome. Because then you just meet people and everywhere. That's the other really cool thing about the Veg Fest is is just connecting with people. And it's such a wholesome, like, awesome experience.

 

Carly Puch37:45

Yeah, that sounds really lovely. So you are a powerhouse of a college student doing activism and making a difference in the world that is clear. How do you take care of yourself?

 

Alexis Collum37:57

 Um, that is a harder question for me to answer. But I will say that I live by my planner, because it helps me just bring my mind were like, you know, what do I do? I like check in with it after the day. I'm like, Okay, what happened today? All these different things when we write it down what needs to happen for the next day? And?

 

Carly Puch38:21

Yeah, I mean, that's a huge form of self-care and making sure that you kind of have your head on straight a little bit when you're keeping track of school and activism and everything else. Taking care of yourself can include making sure you know what's going on in your day.

 

Alexis Collum38:40

Absolutely, I actually just got this whiteboard and I put like little tabs for like all areas of my life that way, it could be like, okay, self love things, job, things, my business things work things, and it helps me really like separate it out. And then that way I can make sure I'm touching all of them, I can make sure I'm crossing things off that self love. Because if I'm not, I'm neglecting that area of my life. So I'm a very visual person as an artist, so it helps me. And it's always like a constant reminder of like, you know, what, what I can do, and I always try to be productive. So I do think that's something I can work on is it can be productive to do nothing. And that's good for you too.

 

Carly Puch39:20

Yeah, girl, I'm learning that too. And I've gotten better and better at it. But it is hard to lay down and think this is doing something good for me. Even though I don't have I'm not writing I'm not recording, I'm not content liking. I enjoy it can be difficult, but I've gotten better and better at it. I highly recommend doing nothing.

 

Alexis Collum39:44

I know. It's nice in the moment. And then it also helps you actually be present and clear for when you're actually doing the things that you need to because like I'll find that I try to squeeze everything into all these seconds and minutes in between things. And, you know, if you're just constantly going, you never stop. It's just you kind of spiral. But like, I'll go to bed and things are still running through my head. And I'm like, okay, just sleep time.

 

Carly Puch40:11

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I've been trying to, you know, in those moments where you have a few seconds or whatever, I've been trying to not pick up my phone, because I, you know, you're standing in line, you're waiting at a stop sign, I don't know, whatever it is these moments where we automatically are like, Oh, I have a minute. What's on my phone. And so I've been trying, it's hard. It's I didn't realize how rout the habit was for me to fill like minutes, with my phone and email and everything else. So I've been trying to just like, look around more in those moments, which sounds so silly, but is actually been like a practice, you know,

 

Alexis Collum40:53

like, enjoying the moment like being present in where you are. And like, what is happening around you? What color is the sky? Are their clouds? Like, what's the cause for me? Like, I'm also really bad with directions, because I'm kind of in my surroundings, like, what's the building with the street, like, these are things that you need to pay attention to? And just to be aware of where you are? And not, you know, lost and all these other things? Yeah, absolutely.

 

Carly Puch41:20

I had an advisor in undergrad when I was touring grad schools. I remember he told me and I think about this all the time. Now. I remember he told me, I just remember to, like, look up. I was like, what? And he was like, when you're touring this place, like, don't be looking at your info sheet. Don't be looking at your phone. He's like, I want you to tell me what the build it like tops of the buildings looked like, when you come back from this tour. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, that's so interesting. I think about it all the time.

 

Alexis Collum41:51

Yeah. It's like we're so tunnel vision on things sometimes that, you know, even just, I think that, like you said is like another form of self love is just not been taking in like taking information other than the blue screen. Yes. Yes. And like, you'll notice things. So

 

Carly Puch42:11

absolutely. I cannot agree more. So, um, is there anything like crossing or anything that you feel like you really want to share that you didn't get space to? Or that I didn't ask about?

 

Carly Puch42:31

It's okay, if you don't, it's not like a trick question. I just want to make sure I allow people to have space for stuff

 

Alexis Collum42:37

salutely And I, I should have probably already thought about that. But we talked about a lot. And, um, I always just kind of go back to you know, like, everyone, just just kind of remaining compassionate and positive, because everyone takes their time. So wherever you are in your journey, and wherever your peers are, just, like we were just talking about, just keep your head up, look up, appreciate what you're doing, you know, because you know, that you yourself are not contributing, or, you know, you're making a choice for yourself, regardless of what everyone else is doing. So, you know, I always just like to end with just keep planting the seed, sprinkle the seeds out to anyone who will listen, but don't take it to heart necessarily what they say back because they're battling their own things. They're absorbing what you just said. And just like how we, when we found out we went through, you know, a dark time and stuff. That's even once we accepted it, yeah. Where people not absorbing it, you know, you can't be upset about you know what they say back because at least you got them thinking about, and maybe in 10 years, they'll come back to you and they'll be like, you know, took me a while but I did it. Yeah, it's gonna be so rewarding.

 

Carly Puch43:51

Yeah, it's a long game, the long game.

 

Alexis Collum43:55

Huh. And also find the way that's best for you, too. You know, like I have our you have writing. You know, maybe I also do street activism on the streets and stuff. But you can find your way of how to speak up for animals. Some people are chefs, and they show away what they cook and stuff. So there's so many ways that you can help make the world a better place. There's not just one set path, you know, so stay positive, compassionate, plant seeds and find your way.

 

Carly Puch44:26

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Well, before we do our Patreon only questions and rapid fire round, where can people get ahold of you? Or contact you or stay up to date on on what you're doing?

 

Alexis Collum44:39

Absolutely. So my Instagram and website are the same, so it's easy. It's Alexis Kayla creations. Okay, so my first name, middle name and then creations.

 

Carly Puch44:52

Awesome. And again, I'll put all this in the show notes just so you know, but keep going.

 

Alexis Collum44:56

Perfect. Yeah. And um, so that's Where to find me. And then if you wanted to stay up to date with the club or what actions were taking, because I'm actually graduating this semester, so Whoa, yes. This is this is it. So I actually forgot to mention when you said like, I'm confident of where I'm going, like, I'm hoping that I can solidify my art business and, you know, be working in galleries and set myself up in the art world. So that way when I graduate, I can still plant my seeds there and stuff like that as well.

 

Carly Puch45:31

That's amazing. I've no doubt that you'll do that.

 

Alexis Collum45:34

Thank you. So since I'm graduating, there's a whole new team coming up of officers. So if you wanted to stay up to date, our Instagram is knights for the number for animal rights. Awesome. Yeah. So yeah, those are our contact places wanted to reach out well,

 

Carly Puch45:56

I really appreciate you sharing all that and I hope that there are some college students inspired to especially I think that college colleges can be such amazing places to create change and promote those things. I hope that there's some college students listening that are gonna start their own club.

 

Alexis Collum46:17

Yes, and if you need help doing that the students opposing speciesism Instagram is at PETA X SOS Okay, so if you want more get more information about the campaign's that they do, where involved get involved or start your own campaign, I mean, hub or join one, you know, get find all that information there as well.

 

Carly Puch46:42

Thanks for listening to another episode of consciously clueless. If you enjoyed that episode, hit subscribe, wherever you're listening. If you're on Apple podcasts, go ahead, leave a review and help others find this podcast. If you really want to help me get this into the ears of more listeners, send it to a friend, text it to a family member share on social media, whatever you can do really helps me out. If you haven't yet, head over to patreon.com/consciously Carly, there are yoga videos, meditation, vegan tips, nutrition info recipes behind the scenes podcast information. There is so much over there. I would love to have you as a part of the community. Until next time.