One of my goals for 2019 was to work with Starbucks in some capacity. The previous year I had the pleasure of working with the The Lumiere Group for a mural on the Microsoft campus and I wanted to keep my momentum going. This particular project was contracted by Urban Artworks as one of their partnerships connecting Starbucks to local artists for remodels in several Pacific Northwest locations. My location is particularly special to me as it is right next to the 4th ave Costco in SODO where my sister worked for years and I have a strong connection to the employees there. This location is also about 2 miles south of my Sodo Track mural and right around the corner from Urban Artworks.
The initial concept was to combine the organic shapes of my style to reimagine a coffee plant. They wanted me to cover the wall as much as possible. For this I had to research coffee plants, how the beans are harvested, and the life cycle of the plant itself. Needless to say I learned a lot about coffee plants and how beans are harvested. They start out at white flowers and then turn to red berries which are then harvested and roasted. From this research I then wrote a narrative of what the idea of the design invokes. See below also for the mock up.
Canopy Narrative: My work as an artist is influenced by growing up near the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. From this inspiration I create organic and elongated leaf like shapes, accompanied by colors from nature and paired with the intensity of their complementary colors. I then translate the density of the rainforest with crosshatch patterns and color gradients keeping the viewers eyes to wander the design, finding new details with every visit. I’m honored to pay tribute to the beauty of the tropical rainforest with my stylized greenery that makes my murals unique. By presenting the vegetation larger than life and climbing toward a glowing sun, I set the viewer as part of the landscape finding comfort under the shade of their wonderland like canopy.
In this design I play with the idea of bringing to life characteristics from both temperate and tropical rainforest in the midst of the most industrial part of flourishing Seattle. Nestled in between trains, cargo ships, trucks, and man-made transit systems, I want this to location to be an oasis; a reminder that in the midst of industrialization our natural sense of exploration will always surface and shelter may be found here.
Originally this mural was slated to be completed at the end of July, but because of a construction conflicts, my first ever worksite injury, and my trip to Russia we had to put this on hold till then end of September. It was a little frustrating as my other projects had to play Tetris around this project. While there were a some aspects were foreseeable, there were a lot that were simply due to circumstance. Nevertheless it was frustrating and an example where sometimes what you wish for may not necessarily be what you need. This summer was complicated, but while this project had many setbacks, I learned so much. And while it was a super challenge, I’m proud of the progress, the process, and how the mural turned out.
Please enjoy some shots of the completed mural below. If you ever find yourself on a Costco run, stop by and say hi to her 🌱💛.
Please enjoy some progress shots of the mural;