So the most recent new series I've come up with is actually not that new. The concept was born in 2008. I was doing stop motion animation internships in LA for that summer and I can't remember why, but for some reason I started drawing these creatures that I called the gipsy pirate octopi. Most of them were musicians wearing pirate and gipsy attire holding instruments, pirate flags, dancing with tambourines and other such nonsense. I ended up painting a couple of my friends as the creatures and doing one banner painting that I used to use for my blog. I've lost most of the old sketches I did but I do still have a few so here's how it began:
The image above was the very first, original gipsy pirate octopus. The story started with him.
After some sketches, I used markers and some minimal painting to create pictures like the one above. Sadly I have lost them all, this image of one of my friends as an octopus is the only one that survives, and only as a low-rez file. In 2008 I had visions of painting entire cityscapes with these creatures and I imagined animations of them and day dreamt about them following me around in LA as I travelled through the metropolitan area daily to find my way to the studios I worked at using the public transportation system. But then life took a sharp turn in a different direction and my day dreams came to a halt.
Around 2012 I was already in UC Davis studying for my Master in Education and for Valentine's day I made the guy above using Adobe Illustrator and handed out the cards to the children in the classroom where I student taught.
Finally, in 2017, Tony and I started our band which was the name sake of my original branding concept (in fact I never did relinquish that title and have used it for my art related internet presence rather consistently). Above is the first sketch I did for our very first gig, using pencil and marker.
In 2018 we planned and executed our very last gig before the coming of the new baby. For that event I painted the above image.
Next I decided I needed to do a sister painting for our very favorite friend and fan of the band, Heather Guido. In her honor I did the piece above.
I think the progression of these images shows a growth in the development of this concept as a series. I'm envisioning a series of paintings along the lines of my matryoshkas, where I'd use people I know as inspiration for the character development of individual octopi paintings.