Meet Artist and Creator of Fresh n' Salty Mateusz Pospiech
Fascinated with marine life, we are shining a light on unbelievable animal abilities and ocean phenomena - because no matter how right the cause, people are not going to listen unless they get interested. In the spirit of conservation through education, we work with marine scientists, divers and environmentalists to provide fun, easy access to ocean knowledge.
1. What is your favorite shark and why? Tough question, I don’t think I have just one favorite… But if I had to choose it would be Thresher Shark. I love them because they are one of a kind, with their enormous tails, adorable, shy faces and incredible maneuverability. Also, they are quite elusive so finding them underwater is the most exciting experience!
2. What is one shark you would love to see/swim with? Whale shark is still on top of this list. After visiting several places around South East Asia famous for sightings and not having any luck of finding them, I’m beginning to think whale sharks are just mythical creatures!
3. Why did you start creating shark art? I have started illustrating marine life when creating a custom diving log book for my girlfriend Magdalena, before she did her Dive Master certification. During the course she accumulated lots of fascinating ocean trivia and we realized that there isn’t a lot of places where this kind of ‘diver-to-diver’ knowledge is presented in a fun, engaging and understandable way. We decided to change that, and since then we’ve learned so much about the ocean, cooperated with incredible marine biologists, promoted underwater photographers, started our own merchandise. It definitely grew beyond our expectations!
4. In your opinion, is art important for conservation? Not only important, I really believe it’s one of the best ways of creating awareness about the problems our oceans are facing. Especially in the social media times, single artwork or illustration can immediately capture viewers attention and quickly spread to thousands of others. While popular science publications or TV documentaries are doing a fantastic job for conservation awareness, their primary audience is people who are already at least slightly interested in the topic. Art has an advantage here – understandable for anyone and easily digestible, it’s the perfect first step into caring about environment and becoming fascinated by the nature around us. 5. What message do you hope people take away from your shark art? The core message we’re trying to get across in all our shark illustrations is that they’re not the blood-thirsty monsters. ‘Rogue shark’ movies, ‘shark-infested’ waters, ‘When Sharks Attack’ series… No other animal suffers such level of distorted perception with full support of the popular media. I believe the terrifying downfall of sharks’ population worldwide is the indirect result of this phenomenon – it’s not easy to teach people about importance of the animal, if it’s considered their mortal enemy. We’re trying to shine the spotlight on how fascinating sharks are, focusing on their incredible abilities and variety of different species. They deserve to be loved, just like any other animal!