All images and text by Mon.
My most recent dreamscape was inspired by an unforgettable dive near Seal Rocks in NSW, Australia. During that dive, I was surrounded by a breathtaking array of fish, sharks, and rays. The sheer diversity and abundance of marine life left a profound impression on me, and I knew I had to capture that experience in my art.
I’ve always been fascinated by the incredible diversity of marine life, and this fascination led me to want to share my knowledge and love for these creatures with others.
I’m primarily self-taught. I’ve been doing illustrations for as long as I can remember, but I started taking it more seriously around three years ago.
I draw my inspiration primarily from the ocean itself. The underwater world is an endless source of wonder and beauty, and I find inspiration in the mesmerizing colors, intricate patterns, and fascinating creatures that inhabit it
While I don’t have formal training as a naturalist, spending countless hours exploring the ocean and observing its fascinating ecosystems has allowed me to develop a deep appreciation for the intricate beauty and complexity of marine life.
The vibrancy of the colors in my illustrations is largely a reflection of the real-life underwater world I’ve had the privilege to explore. I often base my colors on actual images I’ve captured with my underwater camera.
Every dive is a fresh source of creative ideas.
Creating these collections allows me to not only showcase the beauty and uniqueness of each species but also contribute to a resource that can help others learn more about the underwater world.
One crucial aspect of my process is using photos I’ve taken as references. These images serve as a valuable resource for capturing the intricate details and features of the subject accurately and ensure that my artwork remains true to the beauty of the natural world.
I seek to evoke emotions of tranquility, wonder, and responsibility, inviting viewers to not only admire the creatures I depict but also take action to protect them and engage in sustainable activities that ensure the health of our marine ecosystems.
I’d like viewers to leave my illustrations with a heightened appreciation for the ocean’s beauty, a stronger connection to nature, and a greater sense of responsibility towards marine conservation.
Ultimately, I aspire to play a meaningful role in the intersection of art, ocean advocacy, and conservation, contributing to a sustainable future for our oceans through my work.
Art is not just a passion for me; it’s my full-time job, and I feel truly fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love.
Hailing from the picturesque shores of New Zealand, Mon’s connection with the sea is at the core of her creative journey. She’s not just an artist; she’s a free diver, a scuba dive instructor, and an adept spearfisherwoman. Over the past 8 years, Mon has explored the world’s oceans, diving into their mysteries and capturing their beauty. Mon specialises in marine illustrations, crafting captivating artworks that transport viewers beneath the waves. Guided by the visual references she captures with her underwater camera and enriched by her personal encounters with marine life, Mon’s art comes to life with authenticity and depth. She is also an advocate for sustainable spearfishing practices. She utilizes her art as a potent medium to raise awareness about the importance of responsible fishing.
Dive Into Tik Tok
Intrepid u/w content creator Devina Wijaya takes us for a dive into TikTok
By Devina Wijaya. InDEPTH’s Guide to UW TikTok compiled by Grace Winfree. Lead image created by Georgina Brown.
|Check out InDepth’s Guide to Tik Tok Underwater|
“It’s fun to create TikTok content about technical diving because it reminds us to have fun along the way, while prioritizing safety 😉 and also helps get the next generation of divers excited about tech diving.”—@Scuba.Dev
“I love introducing a worldwide community to a sport that most people know very little about.”—@amberofthesea
“I think the best videos on Tiktok are the ones that teach you something new or show you something you’ve never seen before.—@amberofthesea
“Creating underwater content is true childhood play. It’s telling my favorite stories in my favorite place.”— @realmermaidbryn
“Our content seeks to ignite a sense of adventure and curiosity about the mysteries that lie beneath the waves, encouraging people to consider trying scuba diving themselves.”—@padi
“I like to provide educational content about scuba diving and the ocean, but still have it be entertaining and include some humour.”—@narkedtom
“I think it’s the perfect trifecta of having a creative outlet to mix my outgoing personality with my love for the underwater world.”— @fullysubmerged
Girls Do It Underwater
“I would like to inspire more women to get into tech/overhead and cold water diving. I’m convinced that diving helps with many aspects of your life.”—@girlthatccr
“I want to reach out and be a role model for women seeking to fulfill their dreams using technical diving as a tool for personal and professional development.”—@centotegirl
“I want to see more diversity in creators and divers highlighted in underwater content! I would love to lift up people of different cultures, the LGBTQIA+ community, more women, etc. I want to see the industry shift from rich old white men to a progressive, fierce community of unique individuals who are ready to fight to save what we love.”— @azul.unlimited
Halcyon Gives You Wings
Practice Makes Perfect
“I enjoy creating the content to share my love for the underwater world, and also create awareness for the environment and animal welfare.”— @hartdiversintl
Never A Good Day To Die U/W
“I have and always will provide a ton of free content to help freedivers and spearos dive deeper, stay longer, and become safer. My ultimate goal is to do more to raise awareness about shallow water blackouts than any other person on the planet. ”—@immersionfd
“Honestly, it’s all about creating visually-interesting stories of my memories. If others like it, that’s cool too. I have no underlying purpose; I’m not looking to monetize.”—@nicalarid
“I have been producing content on Tiktok for over 3 years now and I have been very happy to see the rise of many creators dedicated to water conservation, education, exploration and to see many amazing clips from small creators go viral to help bring awareness to the amazing underwater world.”—@moderndiver
“Diving goes beyond just being underwater, it’s a complete lifestyle and community and Divesoft wants to be a part of it and bring more value to the diving world.”—@divesoft
Plug for a Tek Thing
Special thanks to the creators who joined us on the dive; @Scuba.Dev, @amberofthesea, @realmermaidbryn, @padi, @narkedtom, @mads_ocean, @thedivememe, @girlthatccr, @cenote_girl, @fullysubmerged, @azul.unlimited, @ halcyondivesystems, @hartdiversintl, @immersionfd, @diversalertnetwork, @nicalarid, @moderndiver, @divesoft, @buddydiveresort
Devina Wijaya is a Project Manager at the Seattle Aquarium, a volunteer aquarium diver, and Marketing Projects Manager at Global Underwater Explorers (GUE). She received her M.A. degree in communications from the University of Washington, and completed her Project Manager Professional (PMP) certification in 2022. Devina began diving in 2018, passed GUE Fundamentals, is working on her tech pass, and has plans to complete GUE Tech 1 & Cave 1. She began creating social media content in 2020 and is active on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.