“We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat…” Nautical Challenge Winner Interview

Ahhh, yes – the sea. The sound of the waves, the salty ocean wind in your hair, the gentle ebb and flow of the water. All the things that an artist…never gets to experience because we’re inside drawing.

But luckily, when you’re an artist, it doesn’t matter where you are. From the depths of the sea, to the depths of space, to planets somewhere in the depths of a surreal sea, your “right brain” can take you anywhere. And that’s exactly what Sebastian Govino’s (sebasebi) art does – takes you to ethereal places that combine the natural and the surreal to make something beautiful.

We talked to him about his winning design for the Nautical challenge, “High Seas”, to learn a little bit more about his style and the realities he creates.

How did you get started in art/design?

Since I can remember, I always liked to draw and paint. My uncle always encouraged me to do so. From very young, he helped me to not let that passion slip, and gradually it became my lifestyle.

Many of your designs have a big space-meets-nature vibe; what draws you to this genre and style?

I like space and the universe for how large and mysterious it is…it’s a place where there is no time, no measures, no nothing. On the other hand I like everything that is timeless, because it puts you in no time – a place where everything can be. The other theme that I use regularly is nature and ecology.

“Natural Contact” from sebasebi’s DeviantArt

What helped you define your style? What inspires you?

Everything inspires me. When I’m in the creative process, I try to “absorb” everything. It can be a song, something someone says, something I saw, inspiration from the work of other artists – everything can be a trigger for inspiration that ends in artwork.

One of sebasebi’s sketches – kind of looks like “High Seas” inspiration, dontcha think?

There’s such a variation of look and texture to your art. What programs/mediums do you use? 

Only paper, pencil, Photoshop and Illustrator. I do some drawings or series with a certain aesthetic or concept, and then continue with something else, something new. It’s all a learning process.

I made “High Seas” digitally in Photoshop. I made the sea with my Wacom [artist tablet] and Vectorice, and finished it in Illustrator. But I have sketches of other designs!


What kinds of movies and stories inspire you?

Comedies and science fiction – H.R Giger is a genius…

H.R Giger inspired the design of the aliens in the Alien movie series…and on our Alien Evolution shirt by Samiel

Do you have any stories that go with your designs? They all look like they could have stories behind them!

Most of my drawings emerge from a thought, then I try to capture it in a drawing.

I have a weakness for certain themes: water, space, ecology, mystery, music…many times, I have the title of the work before the drawing.

On the other hand I like to draw pictures with action, not something still. In “High Sea”, the design of the waves have movement. You can imagine where that ship’s going.


Would you rather travel into space or the bottom of the ocean?

Either one! I actually find much similarity between them. If you think about it, they are almost the same, no?

Whether its space, the sea, or culturally inspired art, a lot of your designs have a travel element to them. Do you like to travel?

Yes, I think that is the best way to spend money.


Where has been your favorite place to travel and why?

Anywhere close to the sea.

In your artist quote response, you said you’d most want to go back to Mayan/Aztec culture. What most fascinates you about these cultures?

The respect for nature, and they culture was not based on the material things, but in the spiritual. I think that is the key to progress.


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Carlyn Hill

Dad joke aficionado, cartoonist, & contributor for sites like HelloGiggles and The Mary Sue by night. When I'm not writing or drawing, you can find me in my cave of a room hanging out with my boyfriend, Netflix.