While I'm terrified of water, I do really love to watch documentaries about undersea life. Sea horses, sea dragons and octopi are my favorite sea creatures.
I like to design my mermaids to be more sea horse women than fish women. Sea horses are more dainty. Most of my mermaids are more animal than human. I find this type of figure more of challenge.
I did create one amphibian female once. But the mermaid like creature that amused me the most was the fish demon from the South Seas that attacks fishermen by flinging fish at them.
My love of old monster movies crops up in my work too. A giant starfish monster capturing a mermaid is one of my favorite pieces.