A Tardigrade to me is a symbol of strength. To science it is a microscopic water creature just over 1 mm long on average. It is the only known living thing that can survive the environment of space, extreme hot/cold temperatures large amounts of radiation and it can even go more than ten years without food or water. How badass is that? In 2015 it was discovered that the Tardigrade's genome is composed of up to 17.5% foreign DNA. That means that it has genes from other organisms such as bacteria that it likely got through viruses. This foreign DNA is most likely what gives Tardigrade's their extreme abilities researchers say.
This world is harsh for any living creature, I say we be a little more like the Tardigrade and keep on chugging along no matter what life throws at us!
Street artist often justify their "vandalism" by saying that their art beautifies forgotten and abandoned buildings. I believe that if done well, art can bring life back to a dilapidated structure and bring a little bit of color back to it's environment. Well take that idea and multiply it times a hundred and you'll end up with the Painted Oceans Red Sands Fort project.
The Red Sands Sea Forts were formidable anti-aircraft defenses built during WWII to ward off Nazi planes and bombing runs. Seventy years later, the forts continue to deteriorate into the sea. That could all change thanks to world renown artist Tristan Eaton and the collection of street artists he has put together. The plan is to live there while they restore and paint murals on the sides of these historical towers. Trisrtan will be joined by Shepard Fairey, Futura 2000, How & Nosm, and The London Police.
The size of this project and the ambition that it takes to pull it off is inspiring. Please check out their Kickstarter page to learn more about the project and help get this project off the ground!
Corner Vet opened it's doors in 2015 as the first full service veterinary clinic in East Austin. I was lucky enough to be brought onboard to do an exterior mural as part of the extensive remodel and restoration their building received before moving in. The design of the mural is designed to match the spirit and energy behind this unique veterinary clinic and it's staff. Their motto is "People healing animals - Animals healing people"
For the design process I began with rough sketches an ideas. The first step is to get into the mind of the client and find out what inspires and gets them excited. The first design I developed was strong, but it wasn't exactly what the client wanted. You see, the design possibilities with any project are endless but just because a design is a good one it doesn't necessarily mean it is the right one. Back to the drawing board we went and after a couple of weeks and several other iterations of the design we finally arrived at "the one"
The Black Labrador on the front closely resembles the client's own dog and the cat on the side is actually my cat "Seven". This mural combined several techniques such as wheat paste, stenciling and hand painting. It was a fun one and I can't wait till the next one!
Who is this strange looking man and why does he keep showing up in my work? Well, its a small glimpse into a part of hispanic culture that is deeply nostalgic for those who grew up watching the beloved Chespirito. It is also my way to bring back some of the culture that is being pushed out of East Austin.
El Chavo was a TV character played by the beloved actor, Roberto Gómez Bolaños, more commonly known as "Chespirito" in the 70s and 80s. If you grew up in Mexico, or in any other spanish speaking country then you likely grew up watching his shows El Chavo del Ocho and El Chapulin Colorado. Today you can even find El Chavo on Netflix which blows my mind. Chespirito played both characters with a sense of vulnerability, innocence and perfect comedic timing. It was the type of heartfelt performance that captivated audiences on an emotional level even though the plot lines were silly by nature.
With the inevitable gentrification of Austin's east side neighborhood, El Chavo murals are my attempt to bring back a little bit of our culture into this rapidly shifting environment. It's amazing to see how pumped someone gets when they see a part of their child hood they might have forgotten about plastered on the side of a building. Those are the type of reactions that make it all worth it. In my opinion art doesn't always have to be cool and edgy, sometimes it can simply be silly and heartfelt just like El Chavo.