Debris in the Sea
2016, High School, Art
For this year’s Ocean Awareness Student Contest, I illustrated the concept that we as people are acting irresponsibly with our resources and disregarding the lives of marine animals who are being negatively impacted. Marine animals are innocent in the subject of pollution, so I made this composition in a way so that it would intrigue viewers and make them ask themselves about what they can do to help the innocent. I used acrylics to paint a scene of a group of jellyfish interacting directly with the trash with which we pollute the oceans. When I think of the vastly diverse marine ecosystem, I always imagine jellyfish, as they are organisms unlike any other. So often, only animals with fins and tails are represented in campaigns to avoid trash-related pollution, and I wanted to show another side of the marine community in my attempt to bring awareness to this awful situation. When I was in the process of planning this, I entertained many ideas for the composition. What I decided on was a poster-inspired layout and chose a bold, saturated background to make the main focus of the painting pop, and show all of the separate elements very clear. Posters are mainly used to call attention to a subject, to show support to causes, and to promote action for specific purposes. I wanted to utilize this opportunity and incorporate poster-like qualities in my piece. The hardest part painting this was maintaining the overall image while still making the jellyfish translucent.