It’s months now since I started working on a new field guide to the marine flora and fauna of the Mediterranean sea with Enric Ballesteros, a true ‘monster’ of marine biology, doctor in the Centre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CSIC) and National Geographic explorer of the world’s most pristine seas in his spare time. Enric – or Kike – is the author of the texts and has selected the species for the guide; with his enthusiastic but always exacting eyes, he is also the scientific supervisor of my drawings. Between expeditions – he is just back from three weeks in the seas off Mozambique in the Indian Ocean – we work together with Jenar Fèlix, our editor at Brau, in jam sessions of plate composition and supervision.
This guide is a true boyhood dream come true: a practical and profusely illustrated field guide that will make it possible to identify most of the beasts that you will find in the waters of the Mediterranean. How we would have enjoyed having it in our youth!, when my friend Aniol Esteban and I (among many others) organized sea discovery camps in a remote cove on Cap de Creus, then still unprotected as a natural park!
Being able to illustrate such a book under the direction of a marine biologist as talented as Kike is a real joy: a lot of work – more than 400 new species still to draw! – but also a pleasure and an honour. If everything goes as planned, it will be ready in 2014 and will be published in Catalan and five other languages, including English, by Brau.
I’ll keep you posted!