When we last left off, I was preparing to commence work on my biggest mural to date, in Hamtramck. I’ve been working 13 hour days with assistance from my partner Tobi and good friends Geary and Corey to get the wall done in the one week I had the 40 foot lift reserved for. I just finished the mural today, so be on the lookout for final photos/videos on the project, and make sure to follow my instagram for progress photos.
As every mural comes to a close, I find myself looking to the future at the next project. In this case, I don’t have to look too far in advance. Tomorrow we load up the bus and take off for St. Louis, Missouri. I will be live painting for three days at Taste of St. Louis at the Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge booth as commissioned by our friends at Event Next. Over the past few months I’ve done other live painting events for this company, and each time has been a unique and incredible experience.
Each day of the three day festival, I intend to complete a unique piece of art on a large canvas. These events are always exciting for a number of reasons, one of which being that I don’t typically have much time to prepare designs ahead of time, and the weather can be unpredictable, forcing me to change the designs even if I do. For the last live painting event I participated in, I prepared the designs and canvases the night before, with the intention of using acrylic paint to execute a rendering of the Baltimore cityscape. As the event wore on, the clouds blew in, and brought a downpour with them. The booth tent provided some shelter, but the rain came in and each drop that touched the canvas washed the paint right off. Before I knew it, my painting was in a puddle around my feet and the canvas was ruined. The following day also brought rain, but I came prepared with spray paint and created an abstract painting that drew a sizable crowd.
There are many facets of being a muralist and living on a bus that have proven to be unpredictable, so it’s been my policy to go with the flow of things. Immediately after St. Louis, there’s a good chance I’ll be flying to Seattle to paint an indoor mural for a tech company who commissioned me a couple of months ago. The initial idea was to finish this large exterior mural in Hamtramck, then head west for the winter with the bus, but there’s one more mural in Michigan (Dearborn) I’ve been commissioned to do that they would like to have done before the seasons change. The piece in Seattle shouldn’t take more than a couple of days, so I’ll fly there, paint, fly back, and commence in Dearborn as soon as they’re ready.
Speaking of unpredictability, the weather in Michigan can never be trusted. Just this week while I’ve been painting, we’ve seen a 35 degree swing in temperature — from 95 degrees and 50% humidity to 60 degrees and raining. Painting outdoors with erratic weather can prove to be difficult, and the temperature only becomes more unpredictable as the months roll on. The sudden shift in weather has me anxious about the upcoming mural in Dearborn, but also further motivates me to get it done before autumn turns to full blown winter.
Everything can also change at a moments notice. New mural opportunities pop up all the time, and ones I thought I would have started months ago become surrounded by red tape. All of which makes days like today when I’m able to wrap up a big project and take it all in that much more satisfying.
Stay tuned for more updates and photos of completed projects!