Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Story of the Magical Cephalopods

My first sketch of a cephalopod... and another lil guy.

I've been painting magical cephalopods for a while now, and sketching them even longer (after stealing the idea out of What It Is by Lynda Barry). They captivated me because 1) they're cute and silly and make me smile and 2) they were mysterious because I couldn't come up with a story about them.... and I can make up a story about anything. In fact, one part of my brain that thinks almost exclusively in color, symbol and emotion is always making up stories in the back of my head while I'm scurrying around doing stuff.

So not knowing about these adorkable glowy-eyed guys was incredibly intriguing. The more I painted them, the more I wanted to paint them. So I did some research on cephalapods (i.e. I went to wikipedia) and found the above kick-ass picture, which inspired the two most recent [cephalopod] paintings of mine.

The orange guy, who, in my opinion, looks like an alien or a pope or an alien pope, was the one who told me the story of the cephalopods. I was sitting around staring at him after I'd finished the painting, taking in all the good feeling of the colors and the movement and the shiny eyes and ::poof:: the cephalopod story was in my head. It went like this:

The magical cephalopods are an ancient alien race that's been on Earth for eons after leaving their homeworld for unknown reasons. They've been frozen in the Artic and Antartic ice until recently, when the warming of the oceans has released/awakened them. Now they're floating around going “what's up with all this crap in our ecosystem?” and they're atomizing the trash in the ocean, cleaning it up so they can have a habitable home again.

I told this to some friends of mine and one remarked that it was like Scientology, Captain Planet and H.P. Lovecraft mixed up. Which I found pretty amusing.

Anyway, this is how I entertain myself.

Related post:
Wordless Wednesday: Magical Cephalopods

Like what you see? Subscribe here


Jules Bowen said...

What a great story! And ecologically sound, too! LOL I love your work.

May said...

Tee hee! Thank you. I have fun making it. These two were painted on parts of my old TV stand. So it's extra ecological. ;)

Jules Bowen said...

I'm a scientist, or at least my degree says so, and have never thought of cephalopods this way. Very cool. They are kinda squiggly and fun, aren't they?

May said...

I certainly think so!

Sara said...

I love these.. Zion needs some of these in his pirate bedroom. As soon as those floors are sanded... I might have to "pirate" your description, too, and stencil it on the wall or something. If only I had half your creativity.

May said...

OoOoo! That sounds fun! Let's do it!

Bella Sinclair said...

COOOOOOL cephalopods! Love the bold colors and wavy-ness. I must say, you may be right about that whole alien thing. They are wicked smart creatures!