Traveling Path of Artist, If’igen Bico & her work,”Traces Left Behind” Receives SWD Award

Save World Draw is proud to announce that If’igen Bico, an artist of Turkish/Greek heritage, is the new recipient of the Save World Draw’s 2016 Award, “Small Grant For Marvelous Ideas”.  We will be following her new project, “Traces Left Behind”  where she uses the many ways of  “touch” to connect with Syrian Refugees in Greece and in Turkey.

Ifgen Bico2

I would like to take the opportunity to introduce her briefly to you and her work. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, she lived and worked in the United States but now continues her work between Athens & Nafplio and throughout Greece; including  a few return trips to Turkey. One of her goals is to help deepen the healing process of the lingering effects of abuse with women. With Save World Draw, she will be doing this in various ways via art.  One of the most exciting things Save World Draw does is collaborate with artists, writers & NGOs to explore the arts in communities with at-risk populations, including refugees.

Traces left Behind, Athens, 2016

Traces left Behind, Athens, 2016

If’igen Bico is an incredible artist and a wonderful, sensitive person.  She is positive, compassionate with a big heart and a joy to be around.  She will be taking on three important challenges with us:

1.  Facilitating and collecting art with small groups of Syrian refugees.  Some will be children, others will be women, and perhaps a few elders.

2.  She will use art as a conduit to create trust, while incorporating aspects of her InTouch workshops, self care – while caring for others, to reflect the struggle and transition of these women from their homeland to safety, as an aid to lessening the effects of repeated trauma. 

3.  Figen is a writer, photographer and also an incredible collage-photo-painter.  She will be sharing some of her work related to this project as a guest writer, summarizing her experiences with “Traces Left Behind” or via a video posted on our website.

All work done with the refugees will be credited to the participants, with their names, where they are from and their present location.  It will be posted on SWD, Courageous Journey page in a photo slider. The participants can see their own work here and we hope will leave comments if they wish.  Please follow us to see and hear about their courageous journey.  I am sure we will learn much from Figen’s first-hand experiences with this project.

You can learn more by visiting her website:
http://Figen Bico:

An Artist That Likes Birds

I like tromping through wetlands, forests and the high desert just to get a glimpse of a bird.

It doesn’t necessary have to be a rare bird but if it is, it made my day.  I am an artist.  Sometimes, I draw birds but not as much as I would like.  Sometimes, I teach kids about nature and how important conservation is… always adding a few words about the birds.  Sometimes, I travel to far away places, facilitating an art strategy to save the planet with other artists or NGOs.  I seem to be especially fond of the people I meet that work protecting birds.  Birds are an inspiration.  Did I mention… I really do like birds.

This blog is to share stories and experiences about how a few insightful artists can plays an important roll in their communities promoting change in positive ways.  The work is challenging but fun.  It can also be frustrating.  It takes a lot of time but ends up being very meaningful.  The work becomes a story.  A story we remember, tell to our neighbors and families.  My story began along time ago with the birds.  Now I listen for their song or watch them ride the trade winds. Birds ground us in the moment.  Birds teach us that the little things we do in our lives matter and sometimes miraculously can become something very big in a profound way. Follow my blog to learn more.

Marin IJ –Why Save World Draw? About Birdie Girl

Marin Snapshot: “Fairfax Artist Finds Calling As Foster Mom for Hummingbirds”
by Jennifer Upshaw
POSTED: 05 / 01 / 2010

Above Photo/Jeff Vendsel   A pair of hummingbirds fed by artist and conservationist Brenda Sherburn, Director of through WildCare fosters cares hummingbirds.

Artist and conservationist Brenda Sherburn of Fairfax, who has cared for infant hummingbirds for more than a decade, says one of the biggest challenges is feeding the tiny birds. ‘They digest their food very quickly…. They re so little you can t feed them a lot,’ she says.  Artist and conservationist Brenda Sherburn’s life is always humming.

Sherburn, who has lived in the Fairfax hills for 14 years, has spent nearly a decade serving as a foster mother to baby hummingbirds scooped up by the San Rafael-based animal rehabilitation organization WildCare. A sculptor and sketch artist with a particular fascination for winged creatures, Sherburn will teach a class this May at Riley Street Art Store in San Rafael on “Birds As an Inspiration for Art,” a course for kids age 8 and older.  She is director of, an organization that creates art to help fill wishes for conservation.

Q: How did you get into fostering hummingbirds?

A: I was working in Belize in 2001 and I helped build an educational center for wildlife with the Belize Audubon Society … when I came back 9/11 hit.  It just hit me; I felt I needed to volunteer and be doing something to try to make the world a better place.

Q: How many hummingbirds do you foster at any given time?

A: I think six would be the maximum that I’ve had at a time.  When I have really tiny ones like in an incubator, you know, just a couple, that is very time consuming because you are attached to the incubator and 20-minute feedings until they get big enough to be outside. Then it’s not too bad because you can take them outside in a little basket and it’s really easy to feed them and they move along until we release them.

Q: What is the biggest challenge in fostering hummingbirds?

A: Not to overfeed them and to really make sure your timer is on. Twenty minutes go – you just get into a pace.

Q: Why is timing important?

A: They digest their food very quickly and in the wild the mother bird is constantly feeding them and they’re so little you can’t feed them a lot. They are growing constantly and their little bill will just kind of grow out and get longer and longer and they start doing the little tongue thing. It’s really a miracle.

Q: What attracts you to these particular birds?

A: It really clicked when I was in Belize. I saw hundreds of birds everywhere and other wildlife. When I came back I just realized that our wildlife is really in jeopardy. We need to take time to do what we can to preserve it.  As far as getting onto the hummingbird team, it was just timing.  They needed somebody and at that point I was ready.  I must add, it also works great with my art because it’s inspirational,  it’s magical – it just makes me observe the world in a better way.

Contact Jennifer Upshaw via e-mail at
Tahir Khan Arzani

Jan 19, 2015
This is excellent Brenda, you are doing great inspirational work. You have inspired many people around the world.

Brenda SaveWorldDraw

Jan 19, 2015
You’re sweet, Tahir.  This article is actually part of my bio series I’m putting together for my website.  When I think back on all those baby hummingbirds I raised, I am not sure how I ever did it.  Blessings come to us in unexpected ways.  Thank you.

You are welcome Brenda, you deserve much more recognition then this. It is good to know that you are putting together your biography for your website. You should also do it for your book.