Why octopuses, you ask? I’ll tell you.
I fell in love with watercolors as a Studio Art major at the University of Virginia. I painted big, bold pieces that were my pride and joy. After I graduated, however, something changed. I started and gave up painting after painting. I just couldn’t do it. I worked as a graphic designer and stayed creative that way, earning an MFA in Design + Technology at Parsons the New School for Design, but the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to paint or even draw weighed on me heavily.
And then I discovered octopuses.
Soon after reading the book Kraken by my favorite author China Miéville, I found myself exploring the world of cephalopods for the first time (I had always been more of a mollusk fan). Around the same time, an angel in the earthly form of a Pentel rep at Chicago Comic Con gave me a set of Pentel Hybrid Technica gel pens. I doodled with them endlessly, filling my sketchbook with pages of frenetic, detailed linework. Then one day I took a stab at drawing an octopus. And then four more. And An Octopus a Day was born.
I was in love.
What makes octopuses so amazing to me is how fluid, amorphous and alien they are. Over the course of the 600+ pieces I have drawn, painted, embossed, cut and folded since October of 2010, I have found octopuses to be an ideal vehicle to explore line, texture, light and dark. This has allowed for endless abstraction and exploration using a wide variety of media - from pen and ink to watercolors, gouache, charcoal, mixed media, embossing powder, magnetic paint, and my personal favorite - squid ink.
The overwhelming and wonderful response to my Octopus a Day project on tumblr, twitter and facebook inspired me to open my Etsy shop in 2012. I decided to donate 10% of all my sales to Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures project to support their efforts in preserving our oceans and their inhabitants. I hope my paintings, drawings & prints are able to echo some fraction of the wonder that octopuses evoke in their tentacular splendor.
My octopuses speak for themselves. I on the other hand would like to give my sincere thanks to everyone who has supported and encouraged this project. Octopuses are their own reward but I’m incredibly touched by all the wonderful feedback I’ve received from friends, family and strangers alike. (I’ve also started a list of all the wonderful cephalopod related things that people have sent me, on the web and in person.)