‘Artist Spotlight’ Of The Week: Sujay Sanan

Howdy Nation! In today’s post, we are going to be featuring our ‘Artist Spotlight’ of the week: Sujay Sanan. Inspired by his latest collection, Ultramarine, he will be showing us how he uses special drawing pencils to sketch a beautiful octopus while in metachrosis!

Meet Sujay Sanan!

Having grown up in the Himalayas and now residing in Cape Town, South Africa, Sujay has always been interested in the natural world and uses his experiences (along with his graphic design degree) to create art.

Sujay is an artist with an interest in ecology and is inspired by life on earth!

For today’s art piece, he is showcasing one of his latest works in his Ultramarine collection called “Metachrosis”. This octopus drawing is named after the process in which an octopus can change both color and texture.

It’s completely fascinating! Let’s take a look.

Process clip from the work in progress of “Metachrosis”

What draws you in or fascinates you the most about octopuses? When did this start for you? 

“I’m fascinated by their intelligence, short life span, their interaction with their environment and their complexity.

The fascination started when Pippa, Faine and Carina from the Sea Change Project took me into the kelp forest to show me an octopus in the wild!”

How incredible it must have been to be shown an octopus by the team who filmed the award winning documentary, My Octopus Teacher!”

OctoNation members love knowing how long your work takes you to complete… Can you describe the process?

“It really just depends on the details needed for the piece. My work can take me anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to complete.”

Was this modeled after a specific octopus species? Did you use any references?

“For for this specific shaded octopus art, I used the Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) as inspiration for every single detail.

I once observed the Common Octopus at an aquarium for hours before making this work. I found its movements to be graceful and its color to be quite beautiful. Its ability to camouflage itself and the way it interacted with its surroundings was really inspiring!”

Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) via: Dr. Chelsea Bennice

What materials were used on this octopus artwork? 

“My favorite tools to use when I am drawing are my graphite pencils!

Graphite pencils are a great way to create beautiful pieces of art. Graphite can be used for shading and adding detail to your drawings. So, to capture the color changing abilities of the Common Octopus, I used my pencils to add various shades across the drawing.”

Who (or what) are your biggest influences?

“I would say nature plays a huge role in my work. The way that life is so interconnected on Earth is really amazing, and I think it can be seen in a lot of art. I also think that nature is a huge inspiration for me, because it is so vast and varied.

I hope to continue exploring both of these things in my artwork in the future!”

When do you feel the most creative?

“I have to admit- I feel creative almost every day.

I try to surround myself with things that inspire me and immerse myself in nature, whether it is on long hikes in the mountain or exploring the vast coastline. I find inspiration in the small details I witness every day.”

How do you know when a piece is finished? 

“Typically, I just get a feeling. I take a good look at the current art drawing I am doing and really take a look at all of the details. There are always things that can be improved upon, those are important learning’s that can be carried on to an entirely new work.”

What’s the best website for people to discover your work?

“You can find me on my website, sujaysanan.com!”

More of Sujays’ artwork featuring an octopus…

octopus intertidal, water color on paper by Sujay Sanan

Thank You For Joining Us For Artist Spotlight!

First, we want to give a big thank you to Sujay Sanan for allowing us to showcase this beautiful art drawing on OctoNation. To continue supporting Sujay and his art, make sure to follow them on Instagram @sujaysanan.

If you are interested in commissioning a piece from Sujay, fill out this form HERE and let them know you saw their work on OctoNation!

If you want to educate yourself some more about all sorts of different cephalopods, take a look at our encyclopedia. Or, what we call it, our Octopedia!

Connect with other octopus lovers via the OctoNation Facebook group, OctopusFanClub.com! Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with the conservation, education, and ongoing research of cephalopods.

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