A new, brightly colored mural, depicting floating whales and a larger-than-life, musically inclined octopus, now greets commuters as they buzz by on Tucson’s east side.

Artist Joe Pagac was putting the finishing touches on his latest project Wednesday, on the west wall of the old Tino’s Pizza building, at 6610 E. Tanque Verde Road.

The structure will soon be home to Tucson’s third Scented Leaf Tea House location.

“They wanted something that was musical, bright and vibrant, and gave you a good feeling,” Pagac said. “I kicked them a couple of different ideas and this is the one that they loved.”

Pagac said this is one of his larger murals in Tucson and it’s his first mural on the east side of town.

“Most of my murals are clustered around the downtown area and midtown,” Pagac said. “It is exciting to see murals pushing farther out into the city and getting into neighborhoods that dont have as many of them.”

One of his favorite aspects of creating this mural was the freedom that he was given by the owners.

“A lot of times I don’t get as much creative control over my murals,” Pagac said. “This is pure Joe Pagac…it feels like putting a part of myself on the wall, which is really exciting.”

Pagac has been working on the mural, on-and-off, for the last two weeks, as weather permitted. His goal was to get it done by the end of the day before the next set of storms rolled in.

He wanted his latest project to continue the tradition of his other works around Tucson: making people smile.

“I was born and raised here,” he said. “I want to do my part to make this a cool spot to live.”