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Fish and Pet Portraits?

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Cross-posted from APC last night...figured a 2nd set of opinions might be interesting. Putting it here b/c it's more on the subject of fishkeeping in general than planted tanks specifically...

This might seem like an obscure question, but what the heck. It's something I've been contemplating for awhile. Worst that can happen is people can laugh me off the face of the internet, I suppose. :icon_mrgr

I've noticed in recent years that there's a rising genre of art/illustration often described as "pet portraiture" - which is pretty much what it says on the tin. Paintings, drawings, depictions, etc. of beloved pets - sometimes living ones, sometimes deceased. Mostly its done with cats and dogs (and horses), since they're often more "sentimental" pets, but considering how crazy some people are about their fish (*cough*me*cough*), I've been wondering for awhile now whether there might be a market for (or at least some interest in) fish "portraits"? Maybe an artistic reproduction of a favorite fish photo, a depiction of a prized show fish, a painting of your favorite shoaling species playing amongst hard-to-cultivate flora? Or even art based on your own aquascape...

I'm asking this here in particular (as opposed to some general aquaria forum) because I suspect plant/aquascaping people tend to be the more aesthetically inclined fish hobbyists (at least more so than the guys with bare-bottomed guppy factories in their basements), and are also a wonderful resource in terms of pretty tank pictures.

I will also point out that if you hang it on your wall, it becomes the ultimate no-maintenance fishkeeping or plant setup. :icon_mrgr

So, thoughts, anyone? Does it seem like an interesting idea? Am I totally bonkers? Should I shut up and go back to neurotically arranging the plants in my tanks? Would you ever want something like that? Will I ever stop asking questions?
(actually, I can answer that last one... the answer is "no" :icon_mrgr)
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As far as having them for a fish memorium, I would say that most of us (like I said most not all) just toss our dead fish. For just having a picture to hang up around your tank, I would be interested. If I could take a pic of some of my fish and turn it into a portait to hang on the wall that would look nice and add to the decorative nature of the aquarium, I am sure there would be an interest. If I could have a portrait done, this pic is one that I would want...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As far as having them for a fish memorium, I would say that most of us (like I said most not all) just toss our dead fish. For just having a picture to hang up around your tank, I would be interested. If I could take a pic of some of my fish and turn it into a portait to hang on the wall that would look nice and add to the decorative nature of the aquarium, I am sure there would be an interest. If I could have a portrait done, this pic is one that I would want...
Yeah, I didn't think the memorial thing would be popular on any massive scale, but I know some people who do it... usually they're not large-scale hobbyists with 8 billion tanks, though. But some kepers of unique/personable species (large cichlids, arowanas, big catfish, koi etc.) do get very attached to their fish.

I also can think of more than a few people who are totally exasperated by their spouse's refusal to allow the "messy tanks" in certain rooms - I'm thinking this might be a compromise.

Hanging a piece of art right next to a tank might not be a good idea, since the humidity around it would tend to damage pieces in all but the most airtight of frames... and, of course, there's a high risk of splashes from water changes, etc. that can cause major damage. That said, in the case of a spacious room with a show/display tank on one end, a painting can easily be hung on the opposite wall without particular dangerand would give something of a thematic unity to the room, repeating a decorative element or something. These days, people are also into picture groupings - putting a bunch of smaller, related photos (which are far less expensive to commission) together in an area on the wall, rather than a single large painting.


Anyway, that's a lovely photo, dewalltheway. A great sense of motion to the composition, thanks to the driftwood, and I usually find the expressions of loaches quite charming... is that a fissidens species he/she's perched on? It adds a nice sense of texture, whatever it is. :)
Were it to be rendered as a painting, it'd probably be best to edit out the cardinal (the bright blue just pulls the eye away from the focus) and replace the hatchetfish in the foreground with more background vegetation, to give the composition more balance. Might be cool to crop it in closer to make a square painting, too. :)

Thanks for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My Dad is a professional artist, so that's my excuse!
And it's an excellent excuse, too! Almost reminds me of my mother though, lol - every time I draw something, she tries to steal it and put it on the walls. "Mother," I tell her, "how am I supposed to have a career if you abscond with everything before it manages to leave the house? Also, we'll run out of wall space eventually." What kind of art does your dad make professionally?

Anyway, the discus is lovely. It's done in colored pencil, correct? (CP is one of my favorite media :)) What are the dimensions of that piece? It's hard to tell from the photo, lol... but from the carpet I would guess in the 12"x12" range?
 

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I like the idea! Only it would have to be n expensive fish, or a pet. If one of the feeders for my piranhas died, I wouldn't have a portrait, but if my piranha died I would. But then again, for like less than 50 bucks, you can get your fish freeze dried. So IDK.
 

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I'm asking this here in particular (as opposed to some general aquaria forum) because I suspect plant/aquascaping people tend to be the more aesthetically inclined fish hobbyists
But some kepers of unique/personable species (large cichlids, arowanas, big catfish, koi etc.) do get very attached to their fish.
I'd think these specific demographics would be best (cichlid-forum.com etc), not planted tank folk, especially if you're interested in $. Expensive fish = attachment. Most planted tank fish are cheap schoolers of little or no sentimental value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the input, everyone :)

I'd think these specific demographics would be best (cichlid-forum.com etc), not planted tank folk, especially if you're interested in $. Expensive fish = attachment. Most planted tank fish are cheap schoolers of little or no sentimental value.
Lol, but planted tank people could maybe have an interest in the aquarium rendition of fetes gallantes - (literally "people in a landscape) - Big sprawling aquascape, shoals of little bright tetras flittering about, etc. But then again, there are also the planted discus/angel tank people (*points at self*) and those who love botiine loaches, pond people with koi... also larger and more sentimental species that find their way into aquascapes/pondscapes :)

That said, I suspect you're correct, and will probably start looking at forums such as Monster Fishkeepers and such sometime this weekend.

I like the idea! Only it would have to be n expensive fish, or a pet. If one of the feeders for my piranhas died, I wouldn't have a portrait, but if my piranha died I would. But then again, for like less than 50 bucks, you can get your fish freeze dried. So IDK.
XD You don't have to wait for it to die - you could get one of fish you just like. :) Also, it's easier to take photos of living fish as reference images.

I would definitly have a portrait of my betta. It is soooo sweet. I love that fishy :)
 
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