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Meet Marine Artist Brian Buckles

We found Brian on Instagram when he tagged our founder Jillian in a post of an incredible great hammerhead. He wrote "Excited to have finished this oil painting. A little backstory on the inspiration for this one: a while ago I saw a brief video about shark conservationist Jillian Morris-Brake and the work she’s doing in Bimini, diving with the great hammerhead shark and educating the public about the importance of sharks. As a lifelong shark lover as well, thanks @biminisharkgirl for your all your efforts to raise awareness for shark conservation. "

When we reached out to Brian he offered to donate this incredible painting for us to auction off

(STAY TUNED)! We are so grateful for his support and are excited to share his shark story with you. Make sure to check out his WEBSITE to see more of his incredible work.

1. How did you get started as a marine artist? Art and marine life collided at a very young age for me. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember and when I first saw a shark, I was absolutely fascinated. From then on I was obsessed, and my art reflected this obsession, constantly drawing sharks, fish and whales. Even elementary school projects that had nothing to do with marine life, I would find a way to work a shark in, making for some interesting projects! My fascination with these animals continued to grow but the more I studied and learned about sharks, the more I became aware of the critical situation they are in. The misconceptions about sharks and the lack of proper management for these amazing creatures struck me deeply. I wanted to do something that could have impact and, having made art and design my profession, I knew how powerful of a tool art can be in sparking conversation and changing perceptions. 2. What inspired this piece? The inspiration to paint the great hammerhead shark was sparked by a video documenting Jillian Morris and her shared passion for sharks. I could see the genuine care she has for these animals and I related to her enthusiasm for educating the public. Hearing her talk about her favorite shark, the great hammerhead, and describe its ability to turn on a dime inspired me to paint this shark in a pose that attempts to capture their agility and seemingly effortless motion in the water. Additionally, because the great hammerhead is listed as an endangered species and, with little to no protection or management while being heavily targeted by the shark fin trade, I was inspired to paint this shark with the hope of helping raise awareness for the oversight and protection that this incredible fish deserves. 3. In your opinion is art important for conservation? How can it help? I believe art can and should play a huge role in conservation efforts. Whether it is fine art like photography, illustration, painting or sculpture, or graphic design and branding, there is a story that needs to be told and these are powerful tools to help tell that story. For many, the underwater world is a place they will never see, which can create a sense of detachment leading to complacency, but regardless of where we call home, we all rely on the health of our oceans. Using art to creatively bring this world to them and tell the story in a way that resonates and inspires becomes critical in raising awareness for the conservation efforts that our oceans desperately need. 4. What message do you hope people take away from your work? I choose to focus my art on marine and aquatic species and ecosystems that are endangered or need our help. I paint these subjects in a way that allows the viewer and the subject to connect on a deeper level, even if just for a brief moment. I hope that my art can provide a window into a world that is so foreign to so many, and present it in a way that intrigues and inspires people to educate themselves, to be conscious of a world we can’t often see or experience, and to take action and protect an ecosystem that affects us all. 5. Whats your favorite shark and why? While all sharks inspire and fascinate me, the great white shark continues to capture my imagination. There is still so much mystery surrounding the largest predatory fish, and the fact that they are so difficult to keep in captivity making them even harder to study, further adds to the intrigue. It’s amazing how such a powerful predator can glide through the water with such gracefulness. And I love their subtle grin!

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