For our prompt of “Octopus” today, I opted for a little doodle of one in just two colors. I made him up based on several different references and proudly showed it to Philippe. His first comment was, “there are eight arms, right?” My heart sank at first, as I honestly hadn’t stopped to count, but thankfully I managed to get all eight in there. Whether or not they’re in a remotely anatomically correct spot is another thing entirely, but I liked how this one turned out. There’s something wild and wonderful about an octopus. I’ve been fascinated by them. It’s one of those creatures that seems almost alien in form and truly unique. They’re quite intelligent creatures as well. I remember reading an article about an octopus that escaped from the national aquarium in New Zealand. He got out of his tank and slithered down a pipe that lead directly back into the sea. A bold and brilliant escape indeed, and so this sketch is honor of that curious octopus. His name was “Inky” by the way, which seemed perfectly fitting.
This all happened a few years ago, but it was memorable because the manager of the aquarium told National Geographic that “he was very inquisitive and liked to push boundaries.” I think that’s just a wonderful way to live for any creature, but if you’re an octopus in captivity, it turns out to be extra helpful. And as for Inky, he was never found, but his friends at the aquarium hoped he enjoyed his new life. I’ve no doubt that he did, or is still doing so. Even though an octopus only lives for three to five years, this was just three years ago so it’s rather possible Inky is still out there somewhere as I type this. I like to think that he is still there. Still searching for new things and exploring his world with the same fearlessness that brought him back to it in the first place. In any case, it’s inspiring for me to think about Inky. Life can be a wonderful adventure if we choose to live it that way. And even when there are obstacles, there’s never really anything stopping us from exploring the world and trying new things.
This is something that I still have to constantly remind myself. As much I adore trying new things, I often lean toward things that seem just a touch easier and often less challenging. When it comes to my sketches, this is often the case because of a severe lack of time, but other times, it’s just a fear of the unknown. When I first started drawing, every single thing I did was completely unknown. There’s a comfort in that in that there are no comparisons to be made. These days, I secretly hope my next attempt at a subject will be better than the last. A bit silly, actually, considering that most things in life are not really that comparable. A different day, a different color, a different thought and everything comes together in a surprisingly unique way. It’s the uniqueness of the moment that deserves to be celebrated. Whether or not it’s a better moment than before isn’t really the question. For me, it’s making the very most of this moment and enjoying whatever it brings. If I do that, then I know in my heart that everything will fit into place. And, when I allow myself to push out of my comfort zone and explore, an adventure will surely await. As it turns out, there’s quite a lot of things one can learn from an octopus named Inky.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Vermilion and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!