Mascot Mayhem and the O-fish-al Art Recap

In addition to amazing fish art and celebrating an anniversary, last month the #SundayFishSketch hosted a fishy mascot competition. In this post we will review some of the October themes and have our readers vote for the ‘best fish mascot.’ Some of the themes this month include the start of the fourth year of the #SundayFishSketch and some spooky Halloween fishes. Keep reading to see wonderful art and our October ‘artist of the month.’


Lets Get To It – Mascots

Fisheries blog author Hank Hershey wrote a fantastic post in October regarding fish mascots in sports franchise branding. In order to spread the fun the #SundayFishSketch theme that week challenged artists to sketch their own mascot. There were a total of 10 entries for the contest, and we would like you, our readers, to review each and vote for your favorite in the poll at the end.

1. Olivier Morissette with a Disco Dancing Pike sporting an iconic afro and bellbottoms.

2. Sarah Courchesne exhibiting a sneaker-wearing lamprey.

3. Chuck Bangley and ‘Chessie’ the Cownose Ray sporting a baseball glove and jersey.

4. Ben Whittaker went with a rendition of Donald Lumpfish.

5. Charles created ‘Billy Bad Bass’ the largemouth bass.

6. Justin Waraniak went a bit more literal with his red-lipped batfish.

7. Katie O’Reilly drew ‘Angie’ the anglerfish with her hubby Andres, mid-fuse.

8. John Tollefson decided on the central stoneroller with included tubercles.

9. Freshwater Girl went with a superhero stripped bass “Super Striped.”

10. Lastly, Katie Bjorn took a slightly abstract turn with her Rooster Fish mascot.

Take a good look at each entry and vote for your favorite below! Voting will end on Wednesday at midnight. 


#SundayFishSketch Anniversary

With the conclusion of October 2019 came the end of the third year of the #SundayFishSketch. Each year brings a new set of followers and a great deal of amazing theme ideas and fish sketches. As you may have read in previous Fisheries Blog posts, I (Rene) created the hashtag as an accountability measure, an outside pressure to continue my weekly practice of art. The first fish I ever posted for the #SundayFishSketch was an Opah (Lampris guttatus). In order to document my growth as an artist I sketch a new one each year.

All #SundayFishSketch participants are encouraged to do the same, and this year many individuals took the opportunity to sketch their own Opah and track their artistic growth. It is evident that with practice my art and those of many others have improved and our artistic styles have changed over the years. These reminders of how much we can improve our skill with just a bit of weekly practice are encouraging, and hopefully inspires others to join us in the #SundayFishSketch.

There is no better time than now to start practicing, especially at the beginning of the #SundayFishSketch year. We love to see new artists and the continued efforts of our regular sketchers.


Spooky Halloween Fishes

Everybody loves a creepy looking fish. They have the ability to be gross on a factor that most other vertebrates lack. Whether or not it they are slimy or just crazy looking, fish can certainly bring on the ‘creepy.’ Many fishes are given common names related to their behavior or morphology, and the ‘Halloween fishes’ theme played on that aspect. I asked artists to draw a fish with a name related to the ideas surrounding Halloween like ‘bat,’ ‘ghost,’ and ‘vampire.’ Below is a recap of a few spine-chilling posts during the theme.

Some artists sketched the Goblin Shark (Mitsukurina owstoni), a species of deep-sea shark with pink skin and an elongated, flattened snout. That snout in combination with its protrusible jaws and flabby looking body give it its name.

There were also a few entries of Ghost Sharks (Chimaera), closely related to real sharks these cartilaginous fishes generally live below 200 m. With their long slender bodies and large pectoral fins they glide above the sea floor. These features paired with their sometimes pale coloration and dark eyes make them appear ghostly.

The hashtag received many other entries related to the theme, one including the aptly named Vampire fish. This artist sketched Hydrolycus armatus, a Characiform from South America which sports fanged teeth that can grow to over 2 inches long.

Please check out the #SundayFishSketch on twitter to see countless other entires.


ARTIST OF THE MONTH

What is it like to participate in the #SundayFishSketch? Just ask our artist of the month, Katie O’Reilly (@DrKatfish), who is steadfast in her inclusion of fun fish facts along with her sketches. 

How long have you been participating in the #SundayFishSketch?

My #SundayFishSketch journey began on January 1, 2018 as a New Year’s resolution. My first-ever drawing was of a common carp and was inspired by a New Year’s tradition in which the town of Prairie du Chien, WI uses a real frozen fish to ring in the new year.

What made you choose to participate and has it been difficult to sketch on a semi-regular basis?

I never thought of myself as an artist before joining the #SundayFishSketch community, and so the hardest part of sketching on a regular basis has been getting over the fear of putting pencil to paper and showing my work to the world. Luckily for me, the #SundayFishSketch contributors are so incredibly encouraging!

Do you believe your art has improved since joining the hashtag? 

Oh, 100%. Practicing every week has absolutely improved my art, as well as increased my self-confidence as an artist.

What has been your favorite theme thus far and why? 

Each theme has been fun and a great way to spread awareness about the incredible biodiversity of fishes, but I’m biased towards the week when artists chose a species featured during #25DaysofFishmas (a science communication event I run on Twitter).


Wrap Up

Stay tuned for next month’s O-fish-al Art Recap and be sure to tune in to the #SundayFishSketch on twitter. We are always looking for more participants and suggestions for weekly themes.

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