Poke to the Max Mural

This mural was fun! I had to paint it in several sessions with a ton of other things going on in the background, but good things come to those who wait and may I just say I’m so happy we did! Max owner of Poke to the Max which is apart of the Sam Choy’s Poke family is located between Columbia City and Hillman City on Rainer in the South End of Seattle. I grew up right up the hill on Beacon Hill and have lots of feels for this neighborhood. Getting to paint a mural in the hub of this community made me proud as a lot of my family are still in the area.

My initial idea was to match the design with their food trucks and the business inside. I did this by using similar colors this way you associate them all to each other. I used the greens and blues along with the black and white tribal patterns at the bottom. See below for some mock ups.

In theory this looked great, but when we came to the application, it just wasn’t a good fit. This happens and my goal is always to make sure the client is happy and specifically in this case Max being a friend of my family, I REALLY wanted to do a good job. I created another design where I made a sea monster, but this was a no go too. So we simply painted over it with my colorful leaf shapes and it came out better than anyone could imagine. See below for the progress.

We then finished off the design with some fun yellowfin tunas in a tattoo tribal style. Below is the mock up (which looks so real) and the final painting. I chose to use a dark blue as my outline rather than black since it’s easier on the eyes and has more of a surfboard graphic feel.

Enjoy some fun finished images of the wall.

I listen to podcasts when I paint. Some of my favorites are 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter and 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy. These help me keep my unconscious mind busy while my conscious self is problem-solving and being creative. I need something to be background noise which I find helps me concentrate better. Another thing I always emphasize is staying organized… And my Suburu sponsorship (heeeeyyy). Below is how the car comes initially packed and then after I spend time organizing it. This is essential to me and I’ll periodically stop to reset and reorganize my space when I’m onsite.

Ridges that made this mural a challenge.

On a sidetone, the major challenge of this wall was the ridges. Painting ridges is super difficult because you can’t get a straight line without a lot of meticulous line-work. Metal also acts different when it’s cold and sometimes the paint doesn’t want to stay in place. This is why mural painting weather is best when it’s a little warmer! Good thing I had delicious snacks to keep me company.


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