The seahorse has always fascinated me. I loved the way they looked so different compared to other sea life. And the fact that the males give birth just blew my mind. So, when I had the chance to illustrate an animal of choice in College, the choice was obvious. The assignment had a catch: the illustration had to be representative of the creature's environment within the silhouette of the creature itself. Some people chose a lion and illustrated the savanna. Others picked wolves and illustrated forests. I chose to illustrate an alien nested inside the shape of a seahorse. I felt the sea horse, with all of its unique qualities, was more like an alien in this world when compared to other creatures who's habitat it shared.
My teacher did not like my choice and suggested I draw a sunken treasure chest or a coral reef. I ignored my teacher and followed my gut. After receiving an A+, my artwork was promptly taken away from me and placed in a display case to show prospective students what had been created in the school. Upon graduation, I made sure to get my artwork back!
This illustration is nearly 25 years old (at the time of this posting) and my drawing style has changed quite a bit but this piece still remains one of my favorites for two reasons:
1. I love seahorses and aliens
2. I learned that following your instincts, even when told not to, can open up opportunities for growth.
In 2022, I had this illustration tattooed on my arm :D