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Do Squidward’s artworks hold up to SCOUT designers’ standards?

I said it once and I’ll say it again: The whole Bikini Bottom is sleeping on Squidward Tentacles’ talent.

Clarinet player, real talker (“everybody’s a critic”), adulthood icon and artist in many forms, Squidward is one of those underdogs you’d want to root for for life. Although he gets shamed for his trust in his talent, we know that anyone who says he doesn’t have an interesting portfolio is lying.

Since his own universe in the Pacific Ocean isn’t giving his artistic prowess some recognition, we at Scout decided to do it ourselves. Written a la bootleg reaction papers, here’s what our designers Yel and Jan and photographer/videographer Neal have to say.

“Bold and Brash”

“Bold and Brash” first appeared in the episode “Artist Unknown,” an abstract painting that was inspired by Squidward’s goal to tackle new challenges; hence, the recognizable but also unrecognizable Squidward caricature. An output borne out of his time as an art teacher in the Adult Learning Center, the spark for this painting died in the same place when art critic/collector Monty Moneybags described it as “Bold and Brash? More like, Belongs In The Trash.”

“‘Bold and Brash’ is to Squidward what the Mona Lisa is to Da Vinci. Arguably his most well-known and meme’d magnum opus, the reduction of his form to clean lines and textured color fills all feel well-designed. The hunched pose feels awkward and out of place, maybe as a peek to his true self. It feels intentional, a hallmark of a genius. Truly iconic,.” – Neal Alday, photographer/videographer

“Ah, ‘Bold and Brash,’ my second favorite in this list and a Squidward painting I can confidently say I like. A matter of preference, I guess. The piece itself is simple, a simplified form of Squidward drawn clean and concise on a yellow background. A portrait of him that captures his essence from the shape of his nose down to the blues in his hands and feet. It’s plain, sure, and you don’t really have to think much about it, but a statement piece no less. Nobody asked me to rate this but 10/10, would definitely hang in my room.” – Jan Cardasto, graphic designer

“Bold and Brash’ is to Squidward what the Mona Lisa is to Da Vinci.”

“Who doesn’t love nude paintings? I’ve never thought I would ever be fascinated with a nude squid painting but here I am. Squidward’s brush technique is very apparent in the textures of this piece. Thumbs up on the use of colors for contrast. All I can say is, this one reminds me of calamari. Yum.” – Yel Sayo, graphic designer

“Squidward’s Wax Sculpture”

In “Squidward The Unfriendly Ghost,” Squidward leaves a newly made wax sculpture of himself unattended before taking a bath. To no one’s surprise, Spongebob and Patrick see the sculpture and believe that it’s the real Squidward. Eventually, the wax sculpture melts while “hanging out” with them, leaving the two guilty over his “death.” Is the sculpture believable or are Spongebob and Patrick just that naive?

“This is where Squidward dabbles in hyperrealism, and he executed it perfectly—even mirroring his emotions from being happy and tranquil at first, to being annoyed by his nemesis neighbors. An identical copy of himself, this sculpture solidifies his range as an artist. We love a versatile king.” – Neal Alday, photographer/videographer

“For a realistic piece, I’d say this is pretty good. It simply depicts Squidward well. It’s true to form and even truer to emotion. A spitting image of the real, breathing Squidward, really. I don’t know exactly how he made this but I admire the dedication to create something that’s literally himself. A shame that Spongebob and Patrick eventually broke this, though.” – Jan Cardasto, graphic designer

“This is one of my favorites from his collection of artworks. This hyperrealism wax sculpture totally immortalized his image and likeness. It perfectly showed Squidward’s love for the arts (and of himself). I’ve also never seen a sculpture that changes emotions until this episode. Madame Tussauds whomst’ve?” – Yel Sayo, graphic designer

“It shows Squidward’s attempt to go out of his comfort zone and craft another work in his likeness but with a different approach.”

“Squidward en Repose”

“Squidward en Repose” means “Squidward at rest.” Unfortunately, even this avant-garde piece—made out of a wing, some springs and hypnotic mahogany eyes—can’t seem to satisfy Monty Moneybags’ standards. “I don’t think that will fit in with the other pieces in my art collection,” he says. Squidward asks, “why not?” He roasts: “Because it’s an art collection!”

“Now delving into surrealism, I really like this one because now it shows Squidward’s attempt to go out of his comfort zone and craft another work in his likeness but with a different approach. I especially love the random wing poking out of its head. Salvador Dali has some tough competition.” – Neal Alday, photographer/videographer

“‘Squidward en Repose’ is probably my favorite among all the Squidward art pieces here. It’s the most I feel drawn to. True to it’s avant-garde nature, it challenges you to think more than what we consider traditional art. I can’t really come up with an interpretation for it but a few things that come to mind are innocence and insanity. Deeper thinking probably needed to unpack. But I think that’s the beauty of it. I’d gladly have this on my desk and let it make me think every time it draws my attention. Beautiful.” – Jan Cardasto, graphic designer

“Personally, I don’t think Squidward deserved the harsh criticism he got from the art collector in this episode. I mean, this experimental piece showed his resourcefulness and versatility as an artist. If I see this at a local thrift store, I’d definitely buy it. I would love to use this as a paperweight.” – Yel Sayo, graphic designer

“I love how Squidward used art to project his emotions.”

“Squid vs. Sea Bear”

To cope with the trauma of getting beaten up by a Sea Bear in a campfire, Squidward imagines an alternate reality.

“Here we see Squidward interpret his life not by imitating it, but by providing an idealized scenario where perhaps this is what he envisions as his best and strongest self. Squidward is burnt out and is yearning for change every day, so it makes sense that art would be his gateway to turning his dreams into tangible reality. Looking at his abs, that’s what I would wanna look like too.” – Neal Alday, photographer/videographer

“Larry’s eyes didn’t have to burst into flames like they did (if you’ve seen the clip.) I’ve never been into Baroque art but I have to give this to Squidward. I see that there was an attempt to impress through the drama of winning against and taking control of the Sea Bear. It can even be seen through the way he portrayed his body, muscles and all. That’s it, I live for the Drama of it all. If being attacked by a Sea Bear gets a painting like this out of Squidward, and I mean him no harm, but by all means get attacked some more.” – Jan Cardasto, graphic designer

“There are three things that made me love this piece: the creativity, the sexiness and the overall delusion. Squidward might’ve pushed it a little too far when he made this Baroque-inspired art. But let’s face it, the poor guy was traumatized, okay? I love how Squidward used art to project his emotions. This one deserves to be hung in the Louvre (down the back, but who cares, it’s still the Louvre!)” – Yel Sayo, graphic designer

Read more:
I hated Squidward until I became him
10 Spongebob memes to celebrate its pilot episode’s anniversary
6 things I want to buy from Nickelodeon’s style page

Art by Jan Cardasto

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