Madison Mueller X Ocean Conservationist
Between her days spent painting and travelling this red-dirt country, we managed to catch Madison Mueller for a few minutes for a chat on everything happening in her world right now.
Whether you have come across her art before, or this is the first time you have heard her name, we know you'll want to get behind the amazing things she's doing with her incredible talent.
Tell us a little bit about Madison Mueller Art
Madison Mueller Art has been a slow progression over the years, from scribbling a few quick drawings here and there (often on napkins or the back of textbooks), to experimenting with different art mediums like acrylic paints, charcoal, graphite’s and watercolour, to eventually realising my love for the flexibility, fluidity and vibrancy of watercolours. It took many years of self-teaching, practice and patience (lots and lots of patience) to finally find my own style!
The next big moment in developing Madison Mueller Art into more than just a hobby was realising that I could combine my background as a Marine Scientist with my art to express my love of the ocean and to bring awareness to some of the major issues impacting it.
I love that I can use my art for conservation and hopefully make a positive impact along the way.
What inspires your art and how do you choose what to paint next?
My love of the ocean and nature is my biggest inspiration. Sometimes I just love to paint my favourite creatures to show off the natural beauty found on this planet, with the hope that it will inspire the same love and fascination of nature in others.
The more people appreciate the natural world, the more inclined they will be to make positive changes to help it.
Other times I cannot help but think about all of the horrible things that we humans are doing to our environment, and feel that I have to portray this sad reality; it’s not all beautiful whales and manta rays swimming happily through the ocean, instead it is plastics choking our oceans and marine life, shark nets aimlessly killing, over fishing etc.
I have an endless ‘to do list’ full of ideas for my next paintings, it just depends on the day which one I will choose to paint. Though if I have had a recent marine encounter on the reef that I am really excited about, that generally takes the spot of the next painting!
How long have you been painting for?
I have always been into drawing for as long as I can remember, but I guess it would be in the past 10 years that I put down the pencil and picked up a paintbrush instead. Though I feel like it’s only been in the past few years that I have actually finally worked out exactly how to paint [haha].
What's your favourite memory of the ocean?
Oooh that’s a tough one.
My very unexpected encounter with a whale shark on the way home from a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef earlier this year has definitely got to be one of my fav’s!
Just the pure shock of actually spotting the beauty and having had the chance to swim alongside her was just incredible.
But then again, I have the biggest soft spot for Cephalopods, so the time that a little cuttlefish decided to be my dive buddy and follow me throughout an entire dive is also right up there with my favourites.
Ohhh and my dive with manta rays, and a mother and calf humpback, and night dive with Bioluminescence…So many to choose from!
Whats your next project/art series?
I have recently started a project called ‘50 Facing Extinction’.
I hope to showcase 50 of some of the most vulnerable and endangered animals on this planet while providing information on what issues are threatening them and ways in which we can help. The project was inspired by the loss of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino who passed away earlier this year, and whose story and loss broke my heart.
How can artwork inspire people to clean up our oceans or learn more about what needs to be done?
I find that often people can read over and over about how plastics and rubbish are ruining our oceans, but sometimes it takes an evocative image to really hit home and really get a message across.
The old saying ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ really is spot on. Social media combined with art is such a powerful tool in being able to provide extra information so the viewer can learn more about what needs to be done. It’s also a great way to find collaborations with other ocean conservation organisations and work together to spread the message.
Want to give a shout out to any other artists or brands doing great things that we should know about and be sharing?
One of my biggest inspirations in the conservation art world is Francesca Page. Her artwork is not only incredible, but also so effective at communicating important ocean conservation messages, such as her ‘90 seconds catch’ project that highlights the threats facing our sharks.Another absolute legend making a real impact to our oceans is Madison Stewart, aka sharkgirlmadison. She is currently working alongside shark fishermen in Indonesia to transform their shark fishing boats into fully functional tourist vessels. She is providing a real solution to the shark trade problem by providing these fishermen with a much more sustainable alternative income.
What is your spirit animal?
I had to really think about this one, every time I thought of a beautiful sea creature (my spirit animal is surely an ocean dwelling creature) they just seemed too majestic and graceful for me.
So I think I would have to go with the fun-loving Australian sea-lion! They seem to not take anything too seriously, and just love having a good ol’ time frolicking about in the sea.
Always enjoying the moment and not thinking too much about what’s to come next. I like to just go with the flow too.
You can get your hands on one of Madison's beautiful pieces over on her website; www.madisonmuellerart.com.