Looking back on the past year, I feel that 2018 was the first year I've truly felt successful as an artist (and I began officially in 2010!) There have been lots of ups and downs and uncertainties and dull phases, but now I feel like my "ears hear a word behind me saying 'This is the way, walk in it" and I know exactly what to do henceforth!
Anyhwayys, here's what my painting hand was up to in 2018.
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January: I painted a most humongous residential mural encompassing two opposing walls over 14' x 9' tall each. The concept was a peaceful, oversize floral-filled jungle for the dining room! I love how this piece turned out. The newly remodeled home was also the most beautiful I've ever seen: filled with local art, furnishings, and items collected from around the globe. The choices were bold and colorful... personal and special and not just HGTV-approved. This home definitely left a lasting impact on my brain!
Where I got this opportunity: The clients saw me painting my mural at Goro Ramen and asked me to do this one! Thank you Beth!
April: E and I flew to Orlando, FL to paint the new Hawker's restaurant opening in Windermere. The theme for this mural was the mysterious qillin, a mythical creature present in many Asian traditions. In Japan, we call it Kirin and I think you may have seen him on a popular brand of beer!
Where I got this opportunity: The designer for the project saw my mural for Little Purse Dumplings restaurant in Newark airport! (NJ) Thanks Justin!
May: I flew to Israel with Artists4Israel and painted a mural on the Israel-Lebanon border wall along with 10 or so other artists from around the globe! This trip obviously needs its own blog post (or three, or ten, or a billion) because I cannot even properly express in human words how impactful this trip was. To sum up, it was the opportunity of a lifetime and despite a bit of crazy circumstances, my mural came out perfectly and is still bringing joy to the people of the village of Shtula.
Where I got this opportunity: I googled "Israel" and "mural" and found the Artists4Israel page. I emailed them and after several months, was asked to go to paint! Incredible happening... Baruch Hashem all the way. And thanks Craig!
August: We flew to Lynn, MA to paint in Beyond Walls 2018. This was my first real "mural festival" since I hadn't even heard of that word until a few months ago. About 35 artists from all over the world stayed in the Salem University dorms and painted all sorts of amazing pieces in Lynn, a short bus ride away. My mural was the biggest I'd ever done! Also as this was my first time being so northwest, it was a movie-like experience (everything from the architecture to the Boston accents!) We made some lifelong artist friends on that trip! I can't say enough good things about the experience.
Where I got this opportunity: My Miami homegirl Nicole Salgar (whom I had just met in Israel) had painted for the 2017 festival and encouraged me to apply! Megathanks to Nicole!
Also August: Downtown OKC commissioned me to paint a new metal ping pong table installed in the brand-new Kerr Park in Oklahoma City, amidst the canyons of my beloved tall buildings! After a few difficulties figuring out how to paint on the metal surface, I was able to produce this beautiful floral-covered piece which provides lots of fun and enjoyment to people all day long.
Where I got this opportunity: Downtown OKC was kind enough to email me and ask. Thanks Joe!
September: I did a quick 1-day mural during Plaza Fest 2018 in Oklahoma City! This was my first time using spray paint, which I did in the interest of time and the bumpy brick surface. I would have liked to make this piece a bit more intricate if I had more time, but I'm happy with it was a one-day mural that will shine brightly until it gets painted over next year. It was fun!
Where I got this opportunity: Plaza Walls founders asked me! Thanks Kris!
After that, I became busy with a few studio pieces for a Jan 2019 show, and all the holiday family stuff.
In 2019, I hope to focus on:
- Big commissioned murals
- 2 mural festivals in places I'd like to visit, one in the US and one international
- Large high-end studio pieces
- Phasing out prints because I'm not that passionate about making them, and I don't have the proper printing facilities or packing facilities to produce them.
- A super TOP SECRET awesome plan in Las Vegas by E and I
- Travel to Japan AND a beach vacation somewhere to recharge
Yalla, 2019 let's go!