One of my favorite artists and hero’s in 2019 is Robert Wyland, a world renown muralist, and ocean conservationist.
Also known as Wyland, he’s well-known for his whaling wall murals which he’s painted around the world in just about every imaginable location from Laguna Beach, Detroit to China.
From 1981 through 2008 Wyland painted 100 whaling walls and with each wall he’s raised the awareness of ocean conservation.
About Robert Wyland
Born in Michigan, Wyland studied art at Detroit’s Center for Creative Studies. The artist first witnessed whale migration at the age of 14 while he was visiting Laguna Beach, CA with his family. The experience left an impression and he eventually moved to the area in 1977 when he established himself as an artist.
From the beginning of his career, Wyland has touched many lives by impressing on people the importance of ocean conservation while creating beautiful artwork for everyone to enjoy.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, as his fame grew, Wyland became commercially successful and was able to license and sell his artwork in his own art galleries, zoos, and other establishments around the world.
One of the causes that he’s best known for is his Wyland Foundation, a non-profit organization that has the purpose of helping children to discover the ocean through art.
Since completing his 100th whaling wall the artist has expanded his environmental initiatives around the world including recently sponsoring the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.
I was first exposed to Wyland’s artwork as a teenager in the 1980’s and 1990’s before I became an artist, then once I started painting, I realized that like Wyland I also enjoyed painting marine life and I’ve painted/drawn many ocean life scenes over the years.
In 2007 I visited his gallery in Laguna, Beach CA on my honeymoon. This was a great experience because it showed me what an artist can really do if they also approach their artwork with an entrepreneur mindset as Wyland has.
Besides being home to one of the Wyland Galleries, Laguna Beach is also home to many other excellent art galleries including a Dr. Seuss gallery which showcases the work of Theodor Geisel, creator of the Dr. Seuss books.
Artist And Entrepreneur
Like Thomas Kinkade, Wyland is a master art entrepreneur who 21st-century artists can learn from because regardless of his fame, he still is an artist who has to still create new artwork to keep his collectors buying his work while he attracts new collectors and fans.
I personally like Wyland’s “Don’t Be A Starving Artist” video and book because he shares some insight into his mindset that enabled him to create a true business from his art while other artists from his generation continue to struggle.
The truth is that being a full-time artist requires the artist to be a “jack of all trades” who creates the work, markets, and sells what they create. Wyland has mastered all of these processes and at the age of 63, he has a full-time staff that backs him up so he can continue to create new artwork while supporting his various causes around the world.
What’s Wyland Up To Today?
Some of the artist murals have faced opposition over the years by politicians who were eager to sell out the wall space to corporations. Thankfully, when the whaling walls face the threat of extinction, local Wyland fans step up and stop “progress” from destroying the beautiful works of art that the artist has created.
Now in his 60’s, Wyland hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down, the artist still travels the world promoting ocean conservation while creating new artwork on a regular basis.
Wyland currently has homes in Laguna Beach, Florida, and Hawaii. These homes no doubt provide him with plenty of inspiration that he’s incorporated into his paintings over the years.
What’s great about Wyland is that in 2019 he’s also one of the most visible artists online and he’s continued to connect with his fans and collectors over the Internet using Facebook live, YouTube, and other online mediums.
When Wyland isn’t connecting with his fans and collectors at art shows or various online events he can be spotted at his various whaling wall locations around the world because like any piece of outdoor artwork his walls have naturally been breaking down over the years and Wyland doesn’t hesitate to come back to his murals to maintain them when needed.
To learn more about Wyland visit his website at http://www.wyland.com or visit one of his whaling walls at a city near you.