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When you think of the oceans, you think of Wyland. His large scale whaling wall murals, sculptures and paintings are renowned and celebrated around the world. They not only convey the beauty of the underwater world, but all that needs to be protected and conserved. Since the beginning, Wyland has been a friend to SCUBAPRO as well as a passionate conservationist. We are proud to call him one of our own - and know his influence on this watery world will be indelible.
"I'm known as the artist of the sea. I'm first and foremost an artist. I paint, I sculpt, I paint giant murals on whaling walls, but I'm a diver so I spend a lot of time underwater. That really inspires my art, and I've been doing this for over 35 years."
"I grew up in Michigan, which sounds strange for a diver, but if you think about it Michigan is surrounded by water. I'm also a water sign, so water has affected every aspect of my life. From when I first started painting dinosaurs to watching Jacques Cousteau in the early seventies, water has always been an important element in my art and life. When I went to California at age 14 with my family, I saw the ocean for the first time. I just started peeling off my clothes and immersed myself in it. Ironically, the very first time that I jumped into the ocean, two California grey whales were migrating past me and spouted right in front of me. That really changed my life. I knew at that point that the whale would be the focal point of my art and I would dedicate my life to saving the oceans, saving the whales, and doing what I could as an artist to make a difference."
"Diving really has given me the vision to take my art to another level. I always say "If you see the beauty in nature, it can change and can transform you." Art is such a powerful medium. I've used it not just to create beautiful imagery but also to convey a conservation message. My art really evolved from the past - marine art - but I also took it to the next level: into marine life art. It's not man's conquest of the sea anymore but man's effort to protect it. "
"Last year I spent a month diving Antarctica with Ernie Brooks, one of the greatest legends of the sea and underwater photographers. There we were diving with leopard seals amongst the icebergs. I never thought I would dive Antarctica; I felt incredibly fortunate. And I didn't even get cold because I was so excited and had so much adrenalin!"
"Every time you go underwater, it's incredible. It's an amazing world of beauty and color and light. For many, the ocean is a dark scary place. The truth couldn't be farther away - the ocean is a place of light, color and beauty. For an artist, an a diver, to be able to immerse myself in the ocean be able to share that beauty with people through my paintings, sculptures and giant whaling wall murals means everything. Art can play one of the most important roles today in saving the ocean and sharing my art with children is my greatest reward. If we can empower our children through the arts and science to become ambassadors for the planet, they can change the world. And that's the investment we all need to make."
"I think it should be mandatory for all young people to dive. If we want the next generation to protect this water planet, they need to be in the ocean. If we had more divers we would have more opportunity to have more ambassadors for our ocean planet. I believe if people see the beauty in nature, they will work to preserve it and what better way than to see nature revealed than diving!"
"Fifteen years ago, we partnered together to create a WYLAND line of gear. And believe it or not, I am still wearing the BC. So that says a lot. The gear is reliable, lasts a long time, and always ensures I can have a great dive. And I suppose I am preferential to a BC I designed!"
"I started using SCUBAPRO when I started diving. I've been using it my whole life - and I don't use anything else. And most of my peers do the same - because SCUBAPRO is simply the best. And we've got a long history. In fact, when SCUBAPRO found out I loved their gear, they brought me to the DEMA (Dive Equipment Manufacturer Association) convention the first time. They had me paint at the SCUBAPRO booth - and introduced me to the diving world. And by doing so, they introduced a new genre of conservation art. I can't thank SCUBAPRO enough for believing in me, my art and the important message I try and convey. Together we are partners in conservation."
"Diving is a community. Diving is "ohana"; that means family. We are a big family - even with all the egos and big characters! The diving world is fascinating and has a rich history - with its own hall of fame. It's commraderie, inspiration and exploration. I was introduced to diving 30 years ago off Laguna Beach California and since then have dove all over the world. My favorite hobby is diving and I am so lucky it is part of my career. With the help of diving, I can build bridges and get people together for the big picture which is: "We all need to do our job of protecting our ocean." I am both a teacher and a student - and I share my diving experiences through my art. Hopefully that is making a difference.