Public Mural | Graphic Design, Painting
A community mural located in my high school math quad. Not only a design task, but importantly a management, budgeting, and community-driven project with long standing effects.
Role – Designer, Director
Date – 08/2014 - 01/2015
Biggest Challenge – recruiting, organizing, and managing a team of students; the sheer scale of the project
Biggest Takeaway – the value of community impact in a design process
The Power of Community
Painting a public mural differs greatly from painting a canvas– it reflects a community and represents so much more than just its design. When my high school approached my about this idea, I knew I wanted to push for collaboration and student voice to be the foundation of the project.
Stage 1: Ideating and creating a scaled digital design. I implemented feedback from students as well as math teachers whose classrooms surrounded the wall.
Stage 2: Budgeting and planning. I estimated and purchased the proper paint and materials, and made use of free paint sample cans for smaller areas in order to cut down the budget.
Stage 3: Painting. I projected my design onto the wall which allowed students who weren’t as artistically proficient to get involved. This stage was the most challenging, as I had to organize waves of student volunteers and instruct each person on what to do. I found my shy self learning to speak up as I directed students much older than me with increasing confidence.
Having spent many early mornings and late nights doing touchups, I am extremely proud of how the finished design turned out, but I am much more proud of the communal footprint it left on campus.
The mural inspired other students, who, one by one, came to me seeking guidance on their own mural projects. Slowly, I saw the gray walls of our campus transform into stunning visual pieces dedicated to various clubs and organizations. Each piece is artistically powerful, but their true value lies in the conversations they facilitate. When I walk by the Media Arts mural, I hear students discussing a recent field trip to the famed Hollywood sign. When I pass the English wing mural, I see students pointing out characters from our reading curriculum.
The ability of art to inspire and unite a community is truly amazing, and something I will keep in mind in all my future design thinking.