In 2013, a guy with a sketch book full of drawings, started to create an imaginary world, where real and fictional sea creatures lived together. He was passionate about all living things underwater since he was a kid, as they seemed to be the alter ego of creatures on earth. He noticed then, that there was a seahorse for horses, swordfish for swords, sea sponge for sponges, and many other creatures.
Between biology and history books, he found mythological beings, and he felt specially attracted to mermaids, due to obvious reasons. This idea slept in his mind for a very long time, until one day, he formally decided to create his own world. The illustration project was called “Hey Mermaid” and it started as a facebook fan page.
After a couple of months, a friend encouraged him to start with a product line, so he began to produce some souvenirs, in order to get some money to support his project.
Things were turning complicated due to work and studies, however, he never stopped drawing. At the end of every note, he used to write “nos gusta el mar” which means, we love the sea, like what mermaids would say to us.
Besides this, he was also concerned about sea pollution, and how the engine of his ideas (the sea) was degradating little by little because of excessive amounts of waste material in the water. There was also this need to create awareness, and through illustration, he found a voice.
He started then to use this phrase “nos gusta el mar” as a way to encourage people to care about the sea. “Nos” which means “We” refers to everybody, and the intention behind this idea, was to involve people into something that seemed to be only a few’s problem. The project changed its name then to “NOS GUSTA EL MAR” and later, it became a registered brand in Panamá.
Beginning 2016, our dreamer quit his job, took his sketch book, and started to work on the illustrations full time. It was not an easy road, but his dedication and commitment to this project, encouraged him to continue.
Currently he manages his own author line of limited edition products under Nos Gusta el Mar, available at some Design and Art Boutiques, and in this web site. He also collaborates with brands and private clients, by creating visual artworks with marine themes, and promotes a small campaign called #nosgustaelmarsinplástico (we love the sea without plastic) or its english version #wedontbelieveinplastic
This guy we’ve been talking about is “The Captain” José Jiménez Vega, and he continues navigating through imaginary seas, looking for adventures and telling stories through his drawings.