This is not about the Art of Spearfishing in Cozumel, it is about Spearfishing Art, jaja. When I tell people about my history as a spear fisherman in Cozumel, without a doubt my “triciclo” comes up. Many people on the island of Cozumel remember me driving each and every day on my triciclo. Blonde guy, surfshort, no shoes, paddling on his yellow three-wheel bike with a speargun and fins/mask in the front basket; spearfishing to get food on the table.
In the spring of this year, after seven years of Spearfishing Today, it was time for an evaluation of myself. About this time I met, Niurka, an amazing artist. The idea to make Spearfishing Art, a painting of my history, in Cozumel was born.
The best things in life are never things! That’s how we live. It is an important message we keep telling ourselves living here in this beautiful part of Mexico. It is a way of thinking to create many happy, stressless, memorable moments a day, leading to a good life. We work hard, though at the same time we realize that we are blessed by being able to do what we all love so much: spearfishing. It is easy to print a picture of a great catch with great friends. Or to set up a new background on your computer of a picture of today. We live day by day; even we “forget” to stand still once and a while to see a bigger picture of our lives.
I strongly felt I wanted a symbol to remind me every single day about the spearfishing lifestyle I am have. It did not come free and I have been the opposite of lazy. Now all what is left of my old three-wheel bike is rust, so I needed to find something else to symbolize this point in life.
When I met Niurka we talked about my first spearfishing adventures in Cozumel, about my vision of life, about sustainable fishing and more. She showed me some of her work, different techniques, different pieces of art. Above all, her creative vision is what makes her stands out tremendously. This woman is all round, creative, own style and has very, very positive energy. I could have easily made a composition of some pictures in Photoshop. But I agreed with Niurka that she would paint my history, my vision and put in her thoughts about spearfishing in a piece of art. So three months ago we agreed on Niurka making a painting. A symbol of appreciation of the life I have.
I don’t have blue blood. I am not Jezus. I have not been President of Mexico. And I don’t really care about “stuff”. But an artist is making a painting of me. It got me nervous, what would other people say, kind of snobby, right.. but I realized soon enough I don’t care.
Once and a while Niurka sent me a message that she made progress on “the job”. I choose not to see anything until the end. It was risky and made me nervous. So last week the moment was there; she finished the work.
Nervous, bloody nervous I was. I entered Niurka’s studio in Cozumel. She put a chair right in front of the painting. I sat down and saw her piece of Art, my history of Spearfishing in Cozumel, for the first time. Oooh my… did she do an amazing job!! Did not want to cry, but what she made was perfect. The work had a soul from the moment I saw it,. It was made with emotion and pleasure and captured exactly what I wanted. A symbol was born.
She explained for about half an hour what she had chosen for this composition, why she used certain characters in this painting, which combination of techniques she used and more. I was just sitting there, while discovering more and more interesting details, realizing how incredibly lucky I am to be able to live like this. That when you have a dream or a wish you can work hard to make it happen. That you should dream big, super big. That the road to living the dream is not always easy. Niurka: the painting made me think immediately, it took my breath and thoughts away.
The painting is very personal and private; I doubted if I should show it here. But I decided to do so for two reasons. First of all, to shamelessly plug Niurka. She is a young artist and I hear all around me “she’s so talented”. I would rather say “contact her now before her work is in MMA in New York”. Highly, highly recommendable if you want more than just a portrait. Second, make time to evaluate your life, make your dreams come true. Inspire yourself, do not give up and reward yourself at a point where you can tell yourself “I Fu·%(/%· did it.” What you think about the painting?
Leo is the founder of Spearfishing Today and also the official representative of the Mexican Spearfishing Association for the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. He is FII certified, speaks English and Spanish and hunts comfortable up to 100ft. Leo is guiding spearfishing trips only on request in all Spearfishing Today locations in Mexico. He only hunts with a polespear and has a very inspiring opinion about freediving and spearfishing. Nickname: Chanoc. Most memorable catch: 27.99 kilo Cubera Snapper with polespear.
Don't be shellfish...
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