2016, High School, Art
B., Austin. “The effects of pollution on fish health.” NCBI PubMed.gov
Department of Biological Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh, UK.
“Water and Sanitation.” UNICEF
What happens when mankind and the ocean come together? Call me crazy, but I immediately think "mermaid." The major theme behind the piece is that so many people are blissfully unaware of how damaged our oceans are becoming. They believe oil spills and plastic islands to be far off myths or fairytales, much like the fabled mermaid. The reality of the situation is that pollution affects everyone: humans, animals, plants and all future generations. I wanted to portray this powerful message through the visual arts, and as it is my dream one day to work for PIXAR Animation Studios, I wanted to digitally paint the scene. Creating a sick-looking mermaid, that still appeals to the eye, proved challenging, and I went through many character designs before creating this one. I did my research on pollution and the repercussions it has on sea creatures, including, but not limited to: fin and tail rot, gill disease, hyperplasia, and ulceration. None of them were pretty and all of them were attributed to human waste. However, it is not just wildlife that is severely endangered, but humans as well. According to UNICEF, more than 3000 children die every day, globally, due to consumption of contaminated drinking water. Land and ocean, man and fish, or mermaid, whatever the label; we are all impacted. Yet there is always hope, for when the problem is man made, the made man can fix it.