Hannah Fraser, Professional Mermaid, Artist, Activist
and Model - July 2017
Fraser official website
and how did you discover your artistic streak?
been artistic since I was a tiny child. My mother
was very artistic and as I was growing up she engaged
me in lots of fun play with stories, paint, pottery,
calligraphy, creative writing and dress ups. I excelled
at drawing and spent endless hours creating fantasy
worlds of mermaids and fairies.
When did you first become interested
in Mermaids, and what was the point where you knew
you wanted to incorporate much of your life and career
around mermaid culture and the like?
soon as I could draw stick figures, they had tails!
I was always fascinated by the idea of beautiful maidens
living in the sea, riding the waves and living one
with the ocean! As a kid I naturally swam With my
legs together and felt totally comfortable underwater.
I used to go to the library to research where I could
find mermaids in real life! I was so frustrated that
no-one seemed to be able to tell me. When I was 9
years old I saw the film SPLASH starring
Daryl Hannah as the mermaid, and it blew my mind!
It was the first time I realized that it was possible
to make my dream of being a mermaid happen in real
realized it was my dream to have a tail too, and created
my first mermaid tail with the help of my artistic
and supportive mother.
in life I learned to swim underwater with a hand crafted,
fully functional mermaid tails, that took me many
months and thousands of dollars to design and create.
Being a professional mermaid was a SELF CREATED job.
There are no schools I could go to, or agents that
would find specific mermaid work for me. I had to
be self motivated and creative in my approach to making
life near the ocean began after I finished school
and moved to the sub tropical paradise of Byron Bay
NSW East Coast of Australia.
had continued making mermaid art for 20 years. Now
I began modeling, performing and costume designing.
I was hired for an underwater photoshoot, and the
imagery that was created showed me that I was born
to be in the water!!It was the one point where all
my passions converged and I became the living example
of my artistic dreams.
I create high-end art tails.. and each one takes over
4 months of work to make. Theres a lot of intensive
sewing, gluing, and constructing. Its a labor
of love, but worth it in the end. My tails are functional,
durable, self-fixable and very beautiful! They are
fully functional underwater and help me to swim fast.
have been performing as a mermaid since 2003, and
to my knowledge I was the first person to make a full
time career out of being a freelance professional
mermaid. Creating a career that fit into my passion
rather than trying to fit into an existing career
path hasn't been easy, but endlessly rewarding.
moved to Los Angeles in 2010 to fully explore into
my passion, and make the most of my career in a place
where there are many creative people with a lot of
motivation! I have worked in many of the world's top
aquariums, performed at large scale events, and been
featured in photo shoots, campaigns and short films
for many large companies and creative ventures. I
have swum with great white sharks, whales, dolphins,
manta rays, stingrays, turtles, seals, and a wide
variety of other sea life. SO far I still have all
love of mermaids was definitely something that was
part of my soul no matter where I lived or what else
was going on in my life. I used to have dreams of
flying.. and now when I swim in the ocean, I feel
like I am weightless, flying through an ethereal landscape
of beauty! Dreams do come true!
parts of Australia and the world has being a professional
mermaid taken you?
have been incredibly blessed to travel to some of
the most beautiful and remote tropical locations for
my work! I have swum with great white sharks in Guadeloupe
Island in Mexico, Tiger Sharks in the Bahamas, Humpback
whales in Tonga, Pilot whales in Hawaii, Mantas in
Indonesia, Turtles in Australia, Seals in the Galapagos
Islands, tropical fish in Fiji, and many more adventures!
I am heading to the Cenotes in Mexico next!
the biggest and most significant mermaid projects
you have ever worked and participated in?
Heinrichs and I took on a projects that people said
created the worlds first Whale Shark Fashion
shoot, encouraging one Island community to make more
profit by non-invasive eco-tourism than from shark
finning. The photos and story went worldwide.
we took on protecting Mantas Rays.
creatures are giant, harmless, majestic beings whose
numbers are dropping dramatically. They are being
hunted relentlessly in mass numbers merely for their
gills which are sold on the Asian food market.
Convention for International Trade of Endangered Species
called CITES meets every 3 years to decide which animals
will be listed for protection. We created the short
film Mantas Last Dance, to inspire people to care!
It went viral worldwide, and was shown to the convention
delegates at CITES. Manta rays were put on the protected
list, garnering more votes than any other animal,
land or sea.
also shot a film with Tiger Sharks. What I witnessed
when interacting with them was astounding to me. Of
all the animals Ive connected with in the ocean,
they were the ONLY ones who came around again and
again to be touched and even tickled on the nose!
Im not suggesting that everyone go and try to
pet tiger sharks
They are still wild apex predators,
and I was with a group of trained professionals.
The film Tigress was seen by over 50 million
people the first day it was released on tv networks
and online. Once people saw these animals in a different
light interacting harmlessly with a human, interest
soared, and people felt connected to the issue!
a call to action, it inspired thousands to sign a
petition to the Environmental Protection Agency of
Australia to end the shark culling program. Soon after,
CITIES increased protection for 5 species of sharks.
of these efforts have been in conjunction with thousands
of environmental organizations around the world calling
for transformation and compassion.
you have any mentors and people who have inspired
you in your career?
Seleki, an environmental film maker and amateur underwater
filmer was an initial help in shooting the very first
mermaid footage of me, and giving me help and ideas
on creating my own monofin.
Heinrichs has been instrumental in inspiring me, collaborating
on environmental campaigns and to be able to swim
with large ocean animals.
mother, Ri Fraser was the initial inspiration to make
a tail, and she has helped me creatively throughout
my entire life.
father Andy Fraser was helping organise and fund some
of the environmental projects for Tears of a Mermaid
film before he passed away in 2014.
the Channel Seven 'Today Tonight' feature around the
time that much of Australia finally become aware of
you, or was there a key splash media or event prior
to that which helped make the masses of Australia's
aware of you?
first big TV interview I did in Australia was A Current
Affair and the first big job I got was being featured
at Sydney Aquarium for the arrival of the resident
tuned for the next part of the amazing, talented and
inspirational Hannah Fraser...
here for part 2
LIFE MERMAID INSPIRES JOYFUL ACTIVISM~