8 FEB 20 | The Story of Toby


You’ve seen him on our website and heard him referenced throughout our blog posts. You’ve seen him in our studio and on our swag. Our clients, consultants, and general contractors have even seen him peeping up in our drawings. And, if you’ve ever received a WORKSHOP8 valentine (did you make the list this year?), you’ve seen him there, too.

Have any idea who I might be referring to?

It’s Toby of course!


Toby made his first appearance at W8 in early 2016 when we incorporated him into the design of our new business cards. But, the idea of Toby came when I just happened to be flipping through an 11-year old notebook that our exchange daughter, Momoko Hosoya, had left at our house after she returned home to Sendia, Japan back in 2005.

Carmen and her big sister Momo, 2005

The notebook mainly contains Momo’s notes written in Japanese, but interspersed are two pages that our daughter Carmen had gotten to with a purple crayon. I have no idea what was going through her 4-year old head when she drew a couple of octopuses and named them Toby, but as soon as I saw them, I knew that we had to adopt Toby as the W8 mascot (get it? 8 legs). He has become a critical piece of WORKSHOP8’s culture.

Toby original sketches by Carmen Vigil, 2005


Octopuses are intelligent animals; they have one main brain plus a brain in each of their 8 tentacles. Studies have even verified that they are able to recognize individual human faces!

They are resilient, and if any of their limbs get torn off they’ll grow a replacement.
They are resourceful, such as when they collect and stack seashells to create their own shelter.
They are masters of disguise in the blink of an eye, octopuses can change their color, texture, and shape to blend in with their surroundings.

Plus, octopuses are cute and seem like cool creatures that I’d like to hang out with.


We adopted the octopus as our mascot because they have 8 tentacles representing each of our 8 values: Artistry, Collaboration, Exploration, Integrity, Leadership, Passion, Sustainability, and Viability. What makes them a part of our culture is their resourcefulness, creativity, and intelligence.

With Toby as our mascot, we are “well-armed” to take on any project.

Thanks for Reading!

Hey, by the way, I turn 53 tomorrow! (that equals 8). Happy Birthday to me.

Brandy LeMae | CEO