Back in 2008, I painted a small, A4 sized illustration of a character called the Octopus Man. At the time of writing this, it has been my most popular painting to date with the most hits, print sales and, looking about the interent, I have seen it being used by a few people as their forum or profile avatar. It appeared in a poetry magazine and also Imagine FX, was featured in quite a few groups on the Redbubble website and still, to this day, invites many questions as to the true nature of what sits inside that helmet.
With a legacy like that, I knew that if I ever wanted to paint the character again, I would have a lot to live up to. But sequels are, notoriously, weaker than the original so, for a while, I never entertained the thought, scared of producing an inferior representation.
The Octopus Man seems to have a similar power to the Great Lord Cthulhu though, with a far reaching influence that can infiltrate dream spaces. Often, I dream of denizens, creatures and locations from my world, Dostrameeni, but, for a change, a few years ago, my girlfriend Claire had a dream where the Octopus Man rose up out of the sea, lit by a rudy sky of orange and ash grey.
Sparked by Claire’s dream and the overwhelming lure of this mysterious character, I finally summoned the courage to paint a follow up to the original and really went out of my way to be as true to Claire’s dream as I could.
The next step feels like I should write a short story about the Octopus Man but, I am hesitant, for I wish to preserve the mystery of what lies within that hulking, old world diving suit.
Thanks for looking.