Extinction Lurking

(Vaquita & Totoaba)



Original Size:

17" x 11" at 300dpi


Digital Illustration

Software Used:

Adobe Photoshop CS6


A digital illustration of two critically endangered animals in the Gulf of California. The Totoaba (fish) is poached for its swim bladder, used in Chinese medicine. They are caught in "gillnets" (featured in the foreground). Vaquitas are the world's smallest porpoise and most endangered sea mammal (only 12-15 individuals are estimated to remain as of November 2018). They are caught unintentionally and drown in the gillnets set out for the Totoaba because they are about the same size. The Mexican government has outlawed all fishing in the Vaquita's habitat, but poaching continues, fueled by rising costs on the blackmarket for the Totoaba's swim bladder.

I created this illustration for my Art Tutorials classes to raise awareness of their plight. The step by step of this illustration was nominated for the Digital Imaging category of the 2016 Student MAC Awards at SUNY Old Westbury.