February 2019: I was introduced to Chef William Belickis by friend Josh O’Krent, famous for spearheading Punk Rock Flea Market in Seattle. William is an amazingly talented chef who’d just opened Violet, an omakase style restaurant with a menu influenced by French, Italian, and Spanish cuisine (my favorite). The word, omakase, means to entrust yourself to the chef. His mural concept was based off the artist Hokusai’s The Great Wave. William wanted this to be large and colorful, highlighting flowers and sea life.
In the design I chose to border the bottom of the mural with an origami paper design and add gold like in a Japanese hanging scroll. For the sea life I chose animals you would associate with the Pacific Northwest such as jellyfish (a hybrid inspired by different kinds), crabs, anemones, and a Dia De Los Muertos inspired octopus (who was a pleasure to paint).
The walls themselves are located in the two bathrooms in the restaurant. When viewed from the outside, the two walls combine to make the one large image, but each bathroom is their own vignette. I tried to make each room unique, colorful, and engaging while also tying the two together with similar flowers, patterns, and colors. The goal was to create movement along the path of the wave.
I also played a little game on my IG stories where I invited viewers to share the word for OCTOPUS in their native language. I really enjoy this feature for IG. It’s a way to share my experience painting, process, and interact with the viewers. I later presented this mural and this concept at the annual Cephalopod Appreciation Society event at the Richard Hugo House in May right around the corner. I hope you visit Violet and definitely say hi to this mural.
Here are a few progress photos and highlights 🐙♥︎.