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Heidi Petersen

Graphic designer. Craftaholic. Vancouver, BC

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8

Octopus

I love the ocean, and knew that I wanted to choose a sea critter for my project. I originally wanted to do a giant squid but, considering they have rarely been photographed alive, I had to switch gears and chose the octopus instead. Finding a good reference photo of this was still incredibly difficult! I ended up choosing the bottom left photo as my reference.

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I did quite a few sketches and was really challenged to make my eight-legged friend have a clean, minimal feel... while also making sure that it was clearly an octopus and not a squid or a a jellyfish or, worse still, a spider. 

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While there were three sketches I liked, I ended up choosing the bottom-right sketch. I wanted to push myself further, and I liked the way that sketch used the negative space to highlight the section of each tentacle that contains the suction cups. Here is my final-ish version:

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I think the curves could certainly be cleaned up some more but, to be honest, I am not totally in love with this mark and think I need to make additional changes to the overall shape before I spend hours gridding and perfecting the curves. I think the area where the head meets the body is a little weird, and I think all the tentacles are too busy? Maybe I should try it with just four tentacles? I would LOVE feedback on how I can make this project better! 

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Angelica gave me some great feedback about making the octopus more symmetrical, so I cut her in half and reflected each side. This was great feedback (Thanks, Angelica!) and I think the symmetry provides some much needed balance to the mark. It's interesting how each side seems to have it's own personality... the one on the left feels more menacing and wild, whereas the one on the right feels a little more flowy and elegant. What do you think?

Next up - Choose which personality I prefer,  and figure out how to maintain the detail of the tentacles, while making them a little more sturdy.

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