Visit Seattle and RevoltTV were inspired by the community outreach of The Sodo Track and came up with a project that highlights the art and mural scene of Seattle. They called this project SODOmotive and staged it at the world famous The Seattle Center. By reuniting 4 artists from Sodo Track; Paola Delfin, Sneke, Gabriel Marquez, and I, their plan was to film the process of us collaborating and painting 4 murals inspired by Seattle for a reality TV style documentary. This was an intense 5 days of filming, painting, planning, AND it was my birthday. July was absolutely incredible. Linked below are progress shots of the mural, the experience of being ‘on set’ and some observations overall from the experience. I will say I’m super proud to have represented Seattle this way and blown away by how this all turned out.
Read more about the project HERE.
Here are a few concepts I drew up for my mural. Overall, this was inspired by an illustration I did for #Inktober18. It’s a genie lamp rubbed and emerging from it is a black cloud with a teacup. Inside the teacup is humpback whale breaching up and out into the world. I decorated the teacup with mandala style patterns and really wanted it to feel limitless. When I thought of The Seattle Center, I wanted this to connect to people. What are we most famous for? Coffee? Tea on a cold day? Rain? Pretty much. First I sketched out the open ocean reminiscent of the Pacific, but then I realized this was an opportunity to plug my quintessential leaf patterns and really connect my Sodo Track mural to this project so I opted to present the golden moon mural rather than the lavender moon one. Visit Seattle later changed my humpback whale to the more Seattle iconic orca (not mad about it) and I then added the galaxy element as a hat tip to The Pacific Science Center (where we go see all the new Star Wars in IMAX).
Here we are all starting our pieces. You can see how we all work and what our process is. Paola uses the grid format. This is probably because she works so gigantic; her work is absolutely iconic and spectacular. I will say this again, Seattle is so privileged to have 2 of her pieces. She is as beautiful inside and out as her work and it was an immense honor to work with her. Gabriel starts like me, from a single focal point and then works from this like a blooming flower. Sneke, his brain is literal and calculated. He knows what he’s doing and his lines are deliberate. Seeing everyone’s process was one of my highlights and I am immensely thankful I had these 3 along for this adventure.
Sneke and I did our artist interviews at Art Primo Seattle on Capitol Hill on my actual birthday (July 6th #CANCER🦀SEASON). Starbucks (who I paint a mural for the following month) even made my coffee extra special. By then I was super tired, had a party to prepare for, and trying to hold in my excitement for the opportunity to be interviewed on my actual birthday. I felt like a rockstar.
Often challenges come up, such as what you originally planned for you just aren’t feeling. I that moment with the mug for this mural. The blue I thought would be a good representation of the sky since I was doing a galaxy whale, but it somehow just didn’t vibe with the rest of the mural. A quick assessment of the colors I had on deck (because I organize by color) and a solution was found. The warmness of the coral/ salmon/ pink/ orange compliments the greens better and sets off the whale. I’m much more pleased with this change, but it’s always unnerving having that time-lapse camera there like the all seeing eye of Sauron documenting your screw ups lol.
There were a lot of moments I wanted to capture so I tried to document everything to later share. I always take for granted what I experience. I really just want to share all of this with my friends and loved ones the unique things I witness. Being on the lift and seeing the world around me from a birds eye view, the stages of the demolition of the arena formally known as Key Arena, to driving my little Suburu (who should sponsor because all of the ways it’s helped me to beautify the city hint hint) through The Center, and being behind camera. It was a surreal experience. And this all happened the weekend of my 37th birthday too. I was really happy to have my family stop by, my sister came a few days just to be there for emotional support. She’s been my #1 since her day 1 and I literally don’t remember a time without her.
Something really special happened while we were onsite at the Seattle Center. A naturalization ceremony was happening so the place was filled with newly welcomed citizens. I really felt proud to witness this and to see fellow Americans loving, welcoming, and supporting these beautiful new Americans. Here were my thoughts from this from my IG:
Highlight of painting the #SODOmotive mural for @visitseattle was watching the naturalization ceremony @seattlecenter On the 4th & seeing the community rally their support & love for our newest citizens. I had an emotional moment on the lift thinking about my immigrant father who came here before I was even a twinkle in his eye ✨. I took his American Dream like a torch and it lights my way as I navigate my career, family & life. I’m forever thankful for opportunities just like this. #sodomotive #sodotrack #seattlecenter #naturalizationceremony #onesevennine #179progress #gopro #4thofjuly #allarewelcomehere
This was an amazing experience both being apart of Sodo Track and now SODOmotive. Both of the projects are in spaces where newcomers to Seattle can see and experience art interactively. This summer was a busy one and I am now thankful for winter where I can hibernate and plan for 2020.