ABOUT MICHAEL ZONTOS
To say Michael has a fish obsession would be an understatement. Throughout his childhood, Michael spent countless hours being in or near the water chasing fish. Whether it was for stripers in the surf of Monterey Bay or for steelhead in the San Lorenzo River in the Santa Cruz Mountains, he always strived to catch the big one. His passion for fish evolved into a way of life.
This passion eventually led him to northern California where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University. Then he began to work exclusively in fisheries management. Today, Michael is a full-time fisheries biologist specializing in coastal salmonids such as steelhead, salmon, and trout along the Redwood Coast of northwest California.
After making a career of working with fish, Michael began to pursue another passion from his childhood. Drawing. Early on he was proficient with pencils and detail, but he was never too serious about it. Then in college, he used sketching as a study method to learn the different species of fish. Through his background in fisheries biology and a lifetime of drawing, he realized the beautiful balance between science and art.
This complementary relationship opened the door to what Michael enjoys most, making art of the natural world. Since 2015, Michael has been actively pursuing scientific fish and natural artwork. He meticulously takes photos of each fish he handles from fishing, diving, and working to draw the purest form of each species he loves. His endeavors have also expanded to drawing landscapes and other aquatic animals. Most of his work consists of drawings with graphite pencil, color pencil, as well as some digital work. He also takes the time to hand build his own frames to complete the package. The purpose of his art is to capture the natural essence of aquatic organisms and the habitat in which they can be found.
Contact Michael to inquire about a specific piece or work with him to create something unique!