Years have passed but I can still very clearly recall the moment I heard of Sea Shepherd for the very first time. At the time I was studying Sinology at Leiden University in the Netherlands and was getting ready to graduate. It was about the same time I started painting on canvasses, pallets and wooden crates and decided I'd rather be an artist.
In 1999, I established the Whale Weirdo Foundation in order to artistically promote marine wildlife. As an artist, I never imagined that it would be possible for me to join any of Sea Shepherd’s campaigns. What would be the point of having an artist onboard? I did not see a direct link between art and Sea Shepherd until I started painting and drawing propaganda-esque posters and logos for the organization.
Seventeen years later, after designing the Jolly Roger logo as well as logos for other campaigns, painting the hull of the Farley Mowat with life-size whales and dolphins, painting several murals inside the Robert Hunter (now the Steve Irwin), and crewing aboard the first three Antarctic campaigns, I am glad to be onboard the Bob Barker for Sea Shepherd's 7th Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign, Operation No Compromise. In addition to the bridge watch duty, I will be painting murals on the walls and hallways of the Bob Barker. I even brought my tattoo gun with me in order to give some of the willing crewmembers a permanent reminder of this year’s campaign.