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Sep 12, 2018
The “Life Enliightened” mural in Anchorage Alaska is my favorite mural project I’ve gotten to do so far. It i largescale, it’s in a style I love to work in and it blends concepts that I find beautiful and fascinating. The whole experience was great from the brainstorming to the rough sketch, to the production, through the completion. I look forward to more artwork along these lines.
The concept was a blending of ideas between Leah, co-owner of Enlighten, Alaska and me. We discussed her vision, values and community, and brainstormed possible concepts that align. From there I put some ideas together and came up with some visual representations of what that might look like. After some volleying of concepts, the basic idea was created. I went to work on sketching it all out. Leah okay’ed the direction, and from there it was on.
The concept of the mural is a combination of two ideas: the solar system, and the animal kingdom. From left to right we have the sun, and then Mercury through Neptune. Then, superimposed over the top there are various animals from butterflies, to an orca, a wolf, a giant squid, also a woman and a man. The animals go from more daytime creatures to darker, more nocturnal as you go more to the right, farther from the sun. On the pillars are vines wrapping upward that represent the plant kingdom. The main idea is that we’re all in this together, every last one of us. We live on this planet, floating through space, circling around a star, flying through a galaxy in an ever expanding universe. This mural speaks to the connection between all living things.
The process of painting was a blast. Enlighten, Alaska is on the corner of a major road in Anchorage and had constant traffic. People watched the mural grow and develop throughout the creation of the piece. I got a ton of compliments on it as I was working. Everyone seemed to love it. A local named Joe came up and asked to create a video for his YouTube channel for it. Future projects were discussed with various people. We were even prime-time on the local 10 o’clock NBC newscast. The coolest part was hearing and watching as people took in the mural when it was done. It’s so big and there’s so much going on in it that it would take time for it to completely hit them. I felt really blessed to get the opportunity to do this mural where I got to see the effect it had on people.
All in all I’m calling it a success. The final product turned out well. The clients were totally pleased and became my new friends through the process. The public reception was great and being on the news was a lot of fun. I loved making a painting that takes up the entire side of a building. And murals are such a great way to get art to a large audience. Now it’s on to the next one.
To view images of the mural check out my Instagram and Facebook pages @tgfineart.
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