Dream Squid Descends is a concept I have been batting around for the past 13 years, which was released early 2021 in a limited run KickPunchBite canvas drop. Initially created in 2008, this concept was influential in my journey as an artist and I revisit it (as I did in 2018) to benchmark my growth.
Finding My Confidence as an Artist
In 2008, after years of avoiding it, my friend Michael came to visit, got me inebriated, and asked me why I stopped making art.
Throughout college, aside from the one studio art for non-majors class I took, my entire focus was on commercial graphic design and advertising because that was the only way I envisioned ever being able to have a sustainable (read: paying) creative career.
I poured all of my energy into internships, networking, freelance clients, and course work. I told myself that, though somewhat talented, I didn’t have what it took to become an artist or an illustrator. And definitely would have rolled my eyes, if you told me that someday even I could be painting murals downtown. I thought it was a pipe dream.
In high school, I barred my intensely emotional and sensitive soul through fantasy stories, poetry and art, but the later cringe told me to keep all of that tucked away and hidden. That it was “bad” and I would never be anything, but a “bad” artist. I’d spent years telling myself that an artists’ work had to be meaningful, heart-wrenching, and thought-provoking. Deep down, I feared rejection and imposter syndrome got the best of me.
But that night Michael made me get my leftover watercolors and canvas out of the closet and asked, “Why don’t you just paint something silly? Whatever comes to mind?”
And the idea of the Dream Squid descended upon me.
Revisiting the Dream Squid
The following positive reactions I got to this piece hanging in my home, encouraged me to bit-by-bit spend a little more time creating art. And not just that, creating the art I wanted to make because it felt good and people responded to what came from me authentically, without being forced.
After the positive feedback, I’d wanted to get some prints made, but found out I’d have to unmount the canvas to get the large piece scanned. I told myself I’d re-do it someday in a more print-friendly format.
In 2018, I revisited the concept in a thumbnail sketch, but parts of it didn’t quite sit right with me so I put it on the backburner again.
In 2021, I finally felt I could do the concept justice and had an opportunity to do a special edition release with KickPunchBite. This digital artwork was created in Procreate and took 11 hours to complete.