Hi - My name is Billy Walsh and I am the founder and artist behind Shark Zen. This endeavor is a lifelong dream of mine and I greatly appreciate your interest. After a long time in the corporate business world, I finally decided to pursue my passion and do what has been most fun to me since I was a kid. Of course, it hasn’t been all that easy doing it, but it seems to be going in the right direction after its first full year.
I'd like to reveal some of the story that led me to launch Shark Zen, and the best way to do that is to show you the actual sketches that had so much to do with it...
My First Shark Zen Sketches
The Bluefin Tuna
The bluefin tuna was the first drawing (scan of original pen and ink artwork shown above) using the style you see for all of Shark Zen's designs. You might notice a few subtle differences compared to the design now printed on Shark Zen's products. Ironically, I drew it in Boston (after a couple of fishing trips off Cape Cod) several years before I actually launched the Shark Zen brand in Florida. The style was inspired by a somewhat similar style used in a pencil sketch I saw about 20 years earlier that only used shadows and negative space to depict the figure of a medical surgeon.
The Spiny Lobster
Over several years I received a lot of unexpected interest in the bluefin tuna and another fish design I drew at the time (soon to be released). This eventually inspired me to draw a spiny lobster in the same style. I chose the lobster because it's a sea animal I became connected with while growing up in South Florida with a couple of beautiful summers in the Florida Keys. As I drew it, I realized that this was what I really wanted to be doing. This realization and the response by others to these first designs led me to launch Shark Zen.
There's certainly more to the story, but that explains a little about how the brand got started. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll take a good look around at my other designs and products. Perhaps one will resonate with you and your lifestyle, or make a good gift for someone you know. There will be plenty more to come in 2016.
- Premium T-Shirts
- Men's Performance / UV shirts
- Women's Performance / UV shirts
- Art Prints
Remember that a portion of each sale goes toward sending at-risk children fishing or snorkeling for the first time - as I think exposure to the ocean and related activities can do wonders to open up a young life to new horizons.
I'd love to hear from you below and hope you'll keep in touch. Thanks again for your interest.
Founder, Shark Zen LLC