I just finished this big retaining wall mural for an apartment complex in Northwest Portland. I’ve worked with this client before, but was still sort of awed when they said: “what’s YOUR vision for this wall?” and then accepted the first sketch I made. It’s pretty amazing and extremely rare to have a client give me full creative freedom to make a sketch. It’s even more amazing and rare to have that sketch accepted, just as I created it. Usually, my clients come to me with an idea – anywhere from very specific imagery, colors, etc., to having a vague theme to work with. But this time, I just got to go for it. To be fair though, I did keep my audience in mind, and wasn’t about to go totally out of control weird with it either. Afterall, this wall is in a residential neighborhood, and I wanted to make sure it would appeal to at least most folks living there.
The theme is sort of a love letter to Portland. I love how we can live an urban lifestyle in the city, and in 20 minutes, be in the country or in the middle of a forest. We can be on the coast OR the mountains in a little over an hour. It’s an exceptionally awesome place to live, in that way. I organized this feeling into a loooong, short wall. On the right, we’ve got a night scene of the Portland skyline, with street lamps, owls, stars, and a bridge (duh.) As we move left, we see the city transition into natural landscape, and more daytime light and colors. I love this city, and I hope that comes across and is relatable to the people who walk by this wall, or see it every day when they are almost home. Beautiful, magical, weird, Portland.