May 27, 2014

I dont know when I stood up. But I finally did.

One night. I was on my back. exhausted. at the top of scaffolding and staring at the stars. listening to cars driving by. hearing people at the bars. and voices yelling down the block. No one could see me. I was up in the air and covered in paint and sweat.

and I thought. wow. 

If only 

If only

I could see this. 

There is something really surreal about finishing something big.

Something important. 


Thanks to the team at EAT. and 
their newest restaurant, Foo Dog. 

for the opportunity to not only work on the design of their dining room. but also. 

to throw my work all over the front and sides of their building. 

chance of a lifetime. 

I appreciate it. 

I appreciate how you value art in your design. and 
how you value

the artist. 

we are a better city
when our city supports artists. 

RVA is getting that. 


and so artists come here to work. 

and that means artists who take their work seriously. who are professional in the way they create and 


I want to live in the kind of city that is thinking. and creating. 

I am so proud of the direction we continue to move in.


im in. 


About my latest project- A mural on the east side of 1537 West Main Street.

This restaurant is particularly meaningful to me because of the building it is in.

 the former home of Main Art Supply & Framing. 

a store where I got all of my supplies. and where a dog would help you check out. 

and to think that I would one day help design the restaurant in its place is really special. 

for a local artist who slipped in there often. with gift cards. or to stock up on paper when I first quit my day job and threw myself into selling illustrations.

I would sometimes walk there and buy just two new markers. and it made my day. 

Things like that. 


The building is registered as historical property, so any mural design has to be in the same place where older signs already existed. 

It is meaningful for the art store sign to be behind/ a part of
my work. 


I need to be really clear here. 

I have a heights thing. it only started after college. but. this was


When I first climbed to the top I felt it sway and just sat perfectly still. 

staring at the bricks.  

probably for too long. and I thought.... how can I reach the top while seated? 

or. how can I change my plan to pretend I dont need to reach the top. 

I was sweating and silent.

theres something about stepping off the ladder at the top and committing to sitting on the scaffolding. 

you are very aware of the cars driving by.

just saying. 

theres some movement.


I dont know when I stood up. 


I finally did. 

and then I was a badass.

This is a good example of how rocky things look until your 800th layer of paint.

Three cheers for very old bricks. 

and very hot weather that dries paint even if you just look at it for five seconds.

but there is something so satisfying about getting a line to curl up so perfectly awkward

exactly how you want it. 

slightly creepy and weird and controlled. 


I know I have problems because I not only care a lot about lines. Im kind of in love with making marks. 

ok I am very in love with it. 

My hands hurt. 


this city is ridiculously pretty. 

especially at sunset.

sometimes though.the heat.was awful. 

and it was a relief to put my feet on the wall. 

also I knew I wouldnt always be able to reach the top of this wall with my feet.

I would never again touch the picture at the very top.

so it felt necessary.  


to keep touching it.

and I had to sneak Dodgson in the mural. white rabbit turned gray. just this once. he's in disguise. 

I realized some things while I was working outside for a couple weeks 
in front of anyone and everyone who walked or drove by. 

and I need to share some of them... 


1. the THUMBS UP  is very much alive. and 

you know what. it does make you feel good. it works. 
ive made a note to use it more often myself.

2. Stranger than those who scream to you or talk to you. are those who are unphased. 

3. the weirdest comment/yell from below- a guy on a bike throwing his arm in the air and yelling


it was a weird mix of support and insult. and captain obvious. 
kind of awesome. 
I am thrilled my roommates were there for that one. and now. we say it daily.

so guys - PUT THE PAINT.

4. when you are slightly dizzy from heat but focused on finishing. and part delusional.. you will pour paint water down your back on purpose. 

it feels great. and you dont care. 

5. I would be so mad at pacing people. and make up stories in my head about how they were haters. and just obnoxious. until they would yell at me to take my headphones off. 
and say the kindest things. 

lesson learned. 

many people are very good.

6. my favorite lady screamed with urgency to get my attention as she flew by in her car.  she threw on the brakes. rolled down her window frantically and shrieked-  

I LIKE IT!!!  

she won something. if i ever saw her again. i would give it to her.

7. if i had a few more days. I would have gotten a little too confident on that contraption. and broken something or nearly killed myself. it is good that I am done. I occasionally tested limits. dont tell my mom.


oh wait.  wait a second.  

wonderful. and kind. 

i learned that when you are actively going after what you want. 

PEOPLE JUMP ON BOARD and support you. they run beside you because it is exciting. and the ones who love you are especially thrilled. 


Like when you are small.

 and someone grabs your right arm. and someone grabs your left. 

and on the count of three 
they throw you up. and they hold on tight. 

     and you lift off     the     ground.  

and land. 

and they do it again. 

I have those kind of people in my life. I Love Them.

They bring me suntan lotion. 
buy me lunch. 
sit in their car in the rain waiting to take me to dinner.
stop by on their work breaks. 
make illegal u turns to see me.
climb up ladders without realizing they arent comfortable with the height.

sit with me. 

even take the paint out of my sweaty hands and finish another coat of white.
or take me away from the wall and order me off the scaffolding when they see lightning. 

thank you. 

"wait. I need to touch this. because I wont be able to when it's done"
                                                 -  Things your good friends say.


cue exhale.


We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. 

And the human race is filled with passion.

-Dead Poets Society




Amal said...

Badass indeed. I can't wait to see this in RVA. Keep doing and being.

Anonymous said...

Rode past your work on my way to my internship - looks great!

Christal said...

I love it. And I really like your comments about what it took to do it. I am very glad that you pushed yourself to go beyond the edge and climb up on top of that scaffolding. I also hope that there is something preserving the paint for many years forward. (I was dismayed to hear that some of Banksy's stencil art has been vandalized.)

i love music. almost more than everything.