Tuesday, August 20, 2013

At the Aquarium

I am going to be having a series of challenging altered book themes to work in the upcoming months.  The first of which was the Octopus book.  I mean how many different interpretations can there be for an octopus book?  How to make it fresh?

Well, I started by searching for pictures of octopuses that I liked.  I settled on this guy.  A beautiful blue color and lots of detail.  He was a bit larger than the book, so I could only work with his front half.  I toyed with the idea of playing with texture--the suction cups on the tentacles--but how to do this?  Suction cups are usually stuck to something, but what?  Glass surfaces hold suction cups really well...hmmm, what about the glass at an aquarium?  Of course!  I had two scenes pop into my mind:  what a child sees from the outside of the glass looking in and what the octopus sees from inside the glass looking out.

I searched for children's faces squished up against the glass but in the end, settled for a silhouette.  In my experience, aquarium exhibits can be really dark.  Eventually, I chose the figures of these two children who looked mesmerized by the large, gentle creature.

My experiment with suction cups was an interesting journey.  I began by cutting up an old shower mat for the suction cups but they just weren't the right size.  It was Su who suggested I use a glue gun and that worked like a charm!  I blinged out the eye of the octopus and collaged some colored tissue strips onto my background to look like seaweed.  I printed the children's silhouettes onto a transparency for the aquarium glass (love the reflection off of it!).  To secure the transparency, I used metal tape which gives the impression of an aquarium tank.

Happily, I think I succeeded in creating an octopus spread with a fresh point of view!


  1. Wow-this is so great! I would love to see more photos of it.

  2. Lorena, this is a MASTERPIECE!! I adore what you did here, and loved reading about your process. So inspiring!