I’ve written about octopuses in art before, but today I bring you their cousin, the squid. Squid typically have two tentacles and eight arms, which most people confuse. We often refer to all cephalopods as having tentacles, but that just isn’t the case. A tentacle is a long projection with suckers only on the end; the other, more multi-suckered appendages are called arms. The number of tentacles and arms varies by cephalopod.
At any rate, I’ve got a thing for squid. It starts with terror and ends with amusement, beginning when I was a kid watching Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Good gracious, was that a terrifying squid! The beak! The arms! The noises. Of course, looking at the footage now makes me laugh. But at the time there were few unparalleled horrors (except maybe Unico, but that’s a different post).
Thankfully there are quite a few squid havens on the internet, but few show as much variety and beauty as Etsy, where the artists seem to truly share my love of all things tenacled and aquatic. Since I spend a good deal of my time trolling the Etsy reaches (and since it’s summer and therefore quite a beachy time in my mind) I thought I’d share some of the more unique and geeky squid finds I’ve located. Remember: Etsy is a treasure trove of hand made art, by artists all around the world. If you see something that strikes your fancy, wrap your tentacles… I mean click your mouse their way and bring it on home!
Dan Bob Thompson
Etsy artist Dan Bob Thompson‘s art really appeals to me. The bright colors, the contrast, the framing technique. And his giant squid print called, well, “Giant Squid” (pictured at the top of this post) is perfect for any geeky decor. See those gorgeous tentacles? And those enormous eyes (some of the largest in the entire animal kingdom, to boot)? Just spectacularly tentacular.
Okay, so Cthulhu isn’t technically a squid. But I couldn’t pass up mentioning the work of Meatspider Studios in this post. Specializing in Lovecraftian delights, Meatspider has a variety of tentacled lovelies to dangle on your person. My personal favorites are the severed tentacle and the Cthulhu pocket idol. I mean, you never know when you’ll need to show your allegiance to the Old Ones, so why not be prepared? Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn….
So, unlike when we were kids, summer still means work for many geeks. And for some, that even means having to dress up for work in *gasp* suits and ties! Well, I can’t help you with the suit, but who says your tie has to make you look like you live in a retirement home or in an ad for tennis? Check out this delightful Sucker tie from Cyberoptix TieLab. Artful, handsome, geeky… yeah, it’s win/win here. If squid and tentacles aren’t your thing, they’ve got a huge collection of some really geeky chic ties that suit all sorts of tastes.
If you happen to enjoy gardening in the summer like I do, you know how hard it is to find decent, geeky lawn ornaments. I mean, one can only have so many gnomes, and the fake squirrel/fake rabbit/ugly shiny lawn ornament stuff just doesn’t do it for me. But you know what would? These. Okay, so technically they’re arms. Granted, there are no squid (that I am aware of) species known to grow directly out of the ground, but the idea is delightfully creepy and whimsical enough to get my vote. Props to Etsy artist marathon1981 for bringing these to the world.
It occurs to me that ravengirl is onto something. Hula girls. Squid. Together. There is a beautiful, slightly creepy, and endlessly adorable about that aesthetic, as her illustrations reveal. I am particularly fond of the surfing hulasquid girl (pictured below), but they are all worth swiping up and sending to someone who’d appreciate them, I think.
Green Owl Curiosities
And last but not least, if you’ve been pining away for your very own giant squid, yet do not have the capacity for an enormous tank, consider adopting Byron the Turquoise Giant Fleece Squid from Green Owl Curiosities. Not only is he a total conversation piece (I would personally set him up in my living room on the couch, just to get people accustomed to my oddities right away) but he won’t smell like fish, won’t go after ships and submarines, and is perfectly well-behaved. He’s also got a wonderfully ironic name (considering the poet Byron‘s friend Shelley died during a boating accident on a ship named the Don Juan after one of Bryon’s poems) and is clearly quite handsome! But if Byron isn’t your soul squid mate, don’t fret: there are plenty of others to choose from!