Outdoor Mural & Stamina
After painting mostly solo, three floral door art in Turkey and painting a friendly dragon mural in Antigua, Guatemala, I wanted to see if I would enjoy working with a team of artists, painting larger, outdoor murals.
So, when I was selected to work on the Treehouse Records mural project:
and the Greenway mural project:
in Minneapolis, I jumped for joy.
Fast forward to today: I’m confirming that I’m glad I’ve had this experience, especially the community research, interviews and design stages.
After chatting in small groups to find out the needs and aspirations of the client, I was then able to work within the quiet and serenity of my own studio to process the influx of information and allow it to coalesce into several design directions.
Working outside in the rain, in the sun, in the cold, ambushed by bugs small enough to crawl into my ear canals and meeting the occasional suspicious street character, has made me realized that I probably have enough stamina for creating only up to four murals a year-no more than that!
Expressive Art & Indoor Murals
On the other hand, I noticed that I have a lot more bandwidth when I’m working on interior or residential murals and door art. It makes sense since they are much more manageable and fit my personality the best. I especially thrives in small groups and personal one-on-one interactions.
Indoor murals installations optimize my ability to perfect things on the fly, beyond the original planned design, even as I’m painting.
Past clients who have witnessed that expressive artistic process found it uplifting. It was responsive to their own needs and authentic decorating styles.
Como Conservatory Zoo & Koi Galaxy
Having said that, the ability to be self-directed, explore my slow travel interests while responding to a client’s request, at all stages in the creative process– especially when it comes to murals – usually unlocks novel design concepts.
For example, the idea for this graphic illustration came out of several personal visits to Como Zoo and Conservatory.
They were as fact-finding and brainstorming missions for an entirely unrelated art series calle Destination Diaries which is about Slow travel and urban sketching.
At the zoo and conservatory, I documented what I saw and my personal experiences, both good and bad. In general, I find zoos very challenging places and avoid them like the plague.
Fortunately, while the sketchbook and art journal entries reflect my ambivalence, they also capture my own aspiration for its inhabitants, with uplifting illustrations.
Koi Galaxy became this multi-layered, detailed and colorful watercolor painting on a large piece of watercolor paper largely because I was able to tap deep and harness these two opposing forces.
The final artwork turned out to be extremely versatile. The design goes from fine art, to ready-made mural, to watercolor print and to pattern design. Ambitious folks can also use the downloadable files for their own abode’s decor, their brand visuals or their merchandise’s graphic art.
The food illustrator in me loves the organic forms of the tropical fruits and the stylized edible flowers weaving in and out of this pulsating web of life.
Koi Galaxy is an excellent example of ethereal botanical illustration.
It combines with whimsical garden illustration and animal illustration elements, like the watercolor koi fish and the flamingo illustration, to create a watercolor painting that’s straddles the line between magical realism and fantasy illustration, while demonstrating the resilience of nature.
And so, this is the story of how the watercolor Koi Galaxy mural was born.
Watercolor Mural: “Koi Galaxy” a piece inspired from the natural treasures of Como Conservatory and Zoo.
Follow the links below and discover some of the art journals entries that fueled this project and others:
Have a question about this specific piece, about licensing, commissions or collaborations? Go ahead and contact me here.
Koi Galaxy Smart Phone Case cover
Koi Galaxy Como Conservatory & Zoo Mural Mock up
Koi Galaxy Mug Design Mock up
- To see what original art and art prints have been released and are already available for sale visit the art shop at United Wanderlust.
- Want to see more watercolor travel illustrations, botanical art or food illustrations? Explore them here.
- If you’d like me to commission a new art piece or license existing art for your own projects (marketing, book, editorial, stationery etc.), simply submit a request in my Illustration studio contact form with what you have in mind and we can go from there.
- Or, send me a note through the United Wanderlust shop's contact form.