As a high school student I was fortunate enough to have several influential adults guide my path. This legacy fuels my mission for youth advocacy. One of the programs I worked with was AIGA Seattle and their LINK Program. LINK collected youth in the art room at Franklin High School 1st Saturday of the month and introduced them to designers, illustrators, sculptors, and other artists into the classroom to learn about their professions. This was the first time I saw my art being a career path and participated all 4 years of my high school career. When I graduated, I follow their lead and with LINK’s assistance built a portfolio to apply to the Graphic Design Program at Seattle Central Community College which I was accepted into. This program was instrumental in my development and as an artist gives me a business foundation that I attest to my success as an artist. I firmly do not subscribe to the idea that artists need to be starving to be successful.
What all that being said, I re-connected with the program when I was in Leavenworth last year leading my Into the Woods workshop. Each year LINK closes out their academic year with a mural and I was asked to lead this years. I’ve been working with White Center, bringing in art opprotunities so I sent out an email to local businesses. Almost immediately Tommy of Tommy Sound emailed back.
I met with Tommy for an onsite visit and he gave me the tour of the building. It’s phenomenal. A sound room oasis. He’s got big dreams and the dedication to back it up. This made me even more excited to be apart of adding art to the space. When he asked what were were going to paint, I looked at the section and immediately thought of an aquarium because of the awning. Coincidently not only did Tommy have the same idea, it turns out the old business before was a fish store too! Come to think of it, I think I knew that too since I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 10-years. I love it when things work out like that. I then went home and turned out this as the preliminary design for the mural;
Saturday morning bright and early a group of AIGA volunteers came out and mapped out the small section. There’s a few ways to get a small image onto a wall; projector, free-form, or my favorite The Grid. After we had the design in place and youth showed up we started our day painting. It was wonderful, our resident DJ Sage kept us in Disney classics all day to motivate us. It was really a treat to come back to AIGA to design and paint this mural with youth who were once like me.
Stop by White Center and say ‘hi’ to the the mural and find the little yellow submarine one of the participants snuck in 💛.