Create a Super Happy Octopus Character

You are to create a Super Happy Octopus Character with your own twist.  Meaning your own version of it, maybe different colors, slightly different shape, vampire?, angry, what ever combination. It needs to be very different.   I am looking for QUALITY!!!!  I would suggest, following along first and then changing the image after the fact.

Something this Cool!

Student Example

Student Example - Morgan

Student Example

Student Example - Chelsea

Student Example

Some Inspiration!

Find reference images of Octopus tentacle placement and facial expressions

In Illustrator it's really easy to create fun characters with some simple shapes and the Pathfinder panel. In the following tutorial I will explain how to create a Happy Octopus Character. You can use these techniques and elements to create whatever character you want!


1. Create the Body

Create a New document Letter & Portrait.

Fill the ellipse with a green color and take off the Stroke. Next, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the bottom anchor on the ellipse and drag it down about half an inch. 

Select just the head.

Copy the head shape {CTRL} + {c} and then Paste in Place  {CTRL} + {SHIFT} + {v}

Select both a circle and the head shape

Choose Pathfinder > Intersect

It should look like this . . .

It should look something like this . . .



Draw a simple curve.  Double click on the pencil tool and change the Fidelity to Smooth

Change the thickness to something very large like 90 pts.  Also pick a custom color and hit the Plus Sign on the color swatches tab.  This will save the swatch color.

Make sure it is the color you want and  hit OK.

Now it will show a new swatch.  It will have a white triangle in the lower corner

Change the Profile to taper.  You may need to change the profile direction.  Click the button next to the profile menu.

With the curve selected, convert it to a shape.  Object > Expand Appearance

It should now look like this.

Give it a thin stroke color.


With the object selected, copy it.   {Ctrl} + {c} then Paste in place  {Ctrl} + {SHIFT} + {c}

Change the Fill color to none and make the stroke a much thicker.  I set mine to 10 pt.

Select a corner anchor and hit the Cut Path button.

Cut the path on all corners.

Select curve and hit {Delete}

Select curve and hit {Delete}

Now you should have something like this.

The original shape and a curve.

Select the lower tentacles and the head shape.  Not the eyes or anything else.  

With them selected, Unite them.

The bottom 4 tentacles and the head should now be United.

Use the Cut Path  Tool

Delete all the wanted strokes.

Change the stroke Profiles like this:

It should look something like this . . .

Select all the objects that make up the Octopus.  

{CTRL} + {c} to copy then {CTRL} + {SHIFT} + {v} to paste in plCE.

*It will look like like nothing happened, but there is a duplicate on top of the original octopus.

With it still selected, Expand Appearance.  Object > Expand Appearance

It should look like this.

With the parts still selected, Unite all the parts. Pathfinder > Unite

All the parts should Unite into one object.

Change the stroke to Black and thickness to something like 3-5 pts.

Now right-click on the octopus choose: Arrange > Send to Back.

It should now look like something like this.  

You're Finished!