During this year's Halloween Countdown, I was introduced to the inspired and slightly demented mind of BubbaShelby of Art by BubbaShelby. He created unique and weird monsters for his Halloween countdown, but not just any monsters. They were a menagerie of mythical beasts complete with fabricated backstory that were “taken” from newspaper and eye witness accounts. Not only were his drawings great to look at, but the stories behind them were a fabulous read showcasing both his talent and humor.
I was immediately enthralled by the monster he put up on Day 2 of the Halloween Countdown......Ducktopus! I fell head over heels in love with a cross between an octopus and a duck, and given my recent hobby of making stuffed animals I could completely see this as an awesome plush. I commented on his creation, and low and behold that same day I received an e-mail from him giving his permission to make one if I wanted. I couldn't believe it and was unbelievably excited by the prospect! What a great project to tackle, and he was as enthusiastic about seeing it happen as I was. So, I told him I would love to make Ducktopus into a plush animal (or perhaps a plushimal) once I finished with my own Halloween Countdown projects. Now, here we are at that moment in time.
I haven't made a ton of progress on him, mainly out of sheer laziness. I first drew my own sketch from BubbaShelby's, so I could start breaking him down into parts for a pattern. Plus, it creates him in my own style (such as there is) so I could work off of that simplified version. Then I drew the separate parts: octopus body, duck body, eyes, feet, and duck tail. However, I decided to ditch the tail and go with a design where the octopus and duck body have kind of melded together into one rather than the octopus being attached somehow to a fully-formed duck body. It seemed like it would be easier to sew together, especially with my still limited talent.
As it is, I'm still having to sew everything on the outside rather than turning it inside out so the stitches don't show as much. If you have the separate pieces, it’s much harder to try to sew them together after they've been turned outside in. You're dealing with a smallish hole to sew through and it can lead to much frustration, as I've already learned by making mistakes of that kind. Not to mention the headache of trying to turn all those tentacles inside out. Sheesh!! Plus, once I hit upon this idea and started doing it, I liked the idea of having most of the tentacles sewn to the duck body. It kind of gives that impression of the two creatures being formed together through some freak of nature, mad scientist or blast of radiation. Of course, if it was the latter he would immediately become Ductopus, the octopus/duck superhero that fights crimes against nature and all of Earth’s creatures! : )
So, here is what I have so far. I spoke with BubbaShelby about the colors he envisioned, and he chose green for the octopus, and normal colors for the duck....i.e. white for the body and yellow or orange for the feet. He also said red for the eyes, but I'm taking a bit of creative license by changing it to black. I tried the red, and it looked too garish against the green. The black, however, seems to bring out more of the menace or danger that I see in his Ducktopus sketch. I'll post another blog entry once I have it finished. Hope you like what you see so far!