Creating Waves with creativity for ocean conservation

Headshots of Next Gen creators.

Next Gen creators come together with creativity to advocate for ocean conservation

“I believe the more we learn about and connect with the oceans, the more we can care about them.”

- Elizabeth Sherr, Ocean Activist and Creator

Our mission has always been to create products that empower people to change the world. That’s why we’re proud to partner with The Ocean Agency and UNESCO for the second consecutive year on #CreateWaves, a campaign that brings people from all over the world together through creativity and color, to rally support for ocean conservation and stronger climate action.

We teamed up with 21 creators from across the globe who have a passion for the environment, to design their own digital ocean-inspired self-portraits and share their connection to the ocean and the impact it’s made on their lives. Through the incredible creativity and diversity within their art, the creators were able to have an amazing impact on the community, reaching millions of people around the globe, while educating them on the impact that climate change has on the ocean.


Hear from Georgina Kreutzer on protecting the ocean through creativity


Read how illustrator and activist Ailie Banks is advocating for ocean conservation through her creativity

Learn more about our efforts with The Florida Aquarium for the first-ever digital Ocean Decade exhibition

The GenCreate community posted over 150 visual messages and compelling personal experiences on Instagram and TikTok in response to the 2022 #CreateWaves challenge, some of which will be featured upcoming global ocean conservation conferences and at the Ocean Decade Exhibition in person and online at

Coming from diverse regions and backgrounds — the artists, activists, marine biologists and entrepreneurs — brought to life the importance of protecting the ocean through their personal stories and experiences.

Read on to get inspired by the art and messages from some of the creators who shared their #CreateWaves artwork.

Describe your favorite or best experience with the ocean.

“The best experience I’ve ever had was witnessing a second world under the water while diving. When I saw the living life and creatures in this world completely independent of the earth above, I understood how a completely different life existed under the water, from what we saw above the surface.” - Gokce Yigitcan

Artwork by: Gokce Yigitcan.

Artwork by: Gokce Yigitcan.

“My most beautiful memory is probably the day my daughter took her first steps on one of the beaches of Normandy in France. I realized how vulnerable we are to this vastness, and yet we have so much power and impact on it and therefore on our entire ecosystem." - Didilanoli

Artwork by: Didilanoli.

Artwork by: Didilanoli.

“The ocean always helps me put my own turmoil in perspective. Getting out of the house and taking a walk to go look at that mysterious and perpetually moving body of water helps me get out of my own head and realize how small me and my struggles really are in the grand scheme of things.” - Ane Arzelus

Artwork by: Ane Arzelus

Artwork by: Ane Arzelus

“For me, some of my best experiences with the ocean are going down to the beach to watch a sunrise or sunset while I take some photos — it gives me so much peace to shoot the ocean, the sound of the waves is one of the most relaxing and peaceful sounds, and the ocean is so beautiful in every way.”- Ramón Laguía

Artwork by Ramón Laguía.

Artwork by Ramón Laguía.

Discuss your connection between creativity and your professional roles or affiliations?

“I believe the more we learn about and connect with the ocean, the more we can care about them. That’s why I use the power of storytelling through social media to teach others about the oceans and encourage ways to protect them, such as by participating in beach cleanups.” - Elizabeth Sherr

“I use my social media platforms to educate others on marine science and conservation issues with colorful and engaging social media graphics. Education is so important and social media can be an amazing place to share knowledge and learn together, then use that information to advocate for the oceans.”- Kendra Nelson

“In order to problem solve and create scientific research questions you really have to change your perspective and view the world through multiple lenses.”- Gabrielle Langhorn

“What we save, saves us. The ocean inspires me to speak for it, because very few seem to be listening. We can't live without the ocean. It was here long before we came along, and it will be here long after we're gone. It's time to show our appreciation for this natural resource by protecting it which is why I started my company in the first place to help do something about it.”- Manon Beauchamp-Tardieu

What personal actions are you taking to help protect our ocean?

“I love searching and I remember researching something about the oceans as a kid and was amazed at how bad the effects of plastic were. The use of such a harmful substance in every aspect of our daily life is, of course, more surprising when viewed from the eyes of a child. Since I acquired this awareness at an early age, I try to stay away from plastic products as much as possible in my daily life and continue to include the oceans in my art.”- Umut Reçber

Artwork by: Umut Reçber.

Artwork by: Umut Reçber.

“I help protect the oceans by always picking up plastic and rubbish whenever I go out diving or at the beach.”- Diver Mon Art

Artwork by Diver Mon Art

Artwork by Diver Mon Art.

“As an illustrator, I am committed to raising the alarm for our natural world. I am fiercely passionate about its preservation and commit a lot of my time to working on images I feel will get through to people when expressing the importance of this.” - Holly Astle

“I try to use and purchase fewer plastic products and ensure my plastic waste goes into the right collection bins and reduce my carbon footprint with things as simple as turning off the lights when I'm not at home or using my car less.”- Nelson Jerrems

Artwork by: Nelson Jerrems.

Artwork by: Nelson Jerrems.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words...


“Infinite color palette” - Didilanoli

“Symbiosis” - Ane Arzelus


“Freedom” - Gokce Yigitcan

“Ocean” - Diver Mon Art


“Global Warming” - Manon Beauchamp-Tardieu

“Underwater” - Holly Astle


“Everybody and Everything!” - Nelson Jerrems

“Part of human life, not just in nature” - Elizabeth Sherr

Marine Animals

“Biodiversity” - Kendra Nelson

“Octopus, my favorite animal!” - Ramón Laguía

Artwork by: Didilanoli.

Artwork by: Didilanoli.

Visual storytelling and digital creativity provide access for people to explore the ocean in ways they’ve never been able to before. Stories, visuals and immersive digital experiences also have the power to engage and tap into emotion. And emotion can help break down the barriers to create action that impacts actual change. It’s through collaborations and campaigns like these that we hope to continue to provide resources and inspire change for our planet.

The Ocean Decade Exhibition has traveled to Lisbon, Portugal and Geneva Switzerland and an interactive version is currently live at The Florida Aquarium, with more locations coming soon. To learn about more ways to take action and protect our ocean, visit GenOcean for stories, science and daily actions you can take to help today.