TBF’s 2022 Artist of the Year

Meet TBF’s Newest Artist of the Year – Brian Heustis!

TBF’s Member Print for 2022 – those who join or renew at $250 or more will receive a signed and numbered print.

For over 40 years of my life, I never considered myself an artist. I didn’t take art classes, grab a pencil and paper and sketch didn’t paint or want to until I learned about Gyotaku (fish printing). Moving to Maui, Hawaii 30 years ago introduced me to fish printing and had a profound effect on me. My love for the ocean and its creatures has been with me since I can remember.

Brian and one of his earlier pieces

I grew up surfing in Southern California and oddly enough didn’t do much fishing, but I’ve always needed to be near the ocean.  It took over a decade or so for Maui to introduce me to fish printing in its own unique way. A small gallery was in Paia always had stunning paintings of fish, so naturally, I was attracted to that place and found myself there several times per week on my way home from surfing to see what new piece was displayed. It was after years of going into that gallery that I was finally told how the artist captured all the texture and details of each fish. He printed them!


Gyotaku was a word I had never heard before and after the gallery staff explained the simple process of painting on an actual fish and laying rice paper over it and rubbing to get an impression, I was blown away!  But now after almost two decades of doing this amazing and unique art form, I feel so connected to the art form. Fish printing is my zen, my therapy, my happy place, it allows me to get to a state of mind where hours of painting fly by like minutes. My largest fish to date is a 704 pound Blue Marlin, which is another story in itself!  I have done over 280 different species of bottom and pelagic fish and can’t wait to add more soon.

To see more of Brian’s artwork and purchase some please visit his website.

If you would like to be in the running for next year’s artist of the year, go here and submit your portfolio and idea for a piece.