Part 1: Put yourself out there
Over these next two blogs allow me to tell you the story of how I was able to create the "either coast & in-between" mural for Jake's adventure home on wheels. First, I will regale you with the details on how this project came to be and then we will move on to the epic experience on the day. Let's begin!
I am going to take you back much farther than you are originally anticipating. I am sure you are sitting there thinking I am about to utter the sentence "a few months ago..." No. We are taking it back about 2 decades. Yes, 2 nearly full decades; back to when I was a wee lass of 12. Surely you are thinking "it could not have started that far back; Jacob would have been like 2 years old at that point". Indeed, you may be right, but for the purpose behind this blog we are going to reel it back to my championship game final as an Albert Street Eagles' basketball player. We were out on the court for our tournament final and down to the last minute. We had finished up our strategic time out where we mapped out the final play we were about to make. I had listened to everything our coach had told us, I watched him madly illustrate a million arrows that depicted what was to happen-- I was to pass the ball to Robbie D. and she was to take it to the hoop and claim victory. I followed along, nodded my head and really thought this was exactly what I was going to do. Well, things change. There I was at the top of the key's shoulder, my shot's sweet spot. Robbie was running into the key with double coverage while I had even more wide-open space than the Dixie Chicks could have ever imagined. My defender had fallen farther back to block that planned pass and I was free for the shot. I am not even sure if I knew that I had actually released the ball as a shot until I heard a screeching "NOOOOOOOO" from my teammates. The air swooshed out of the gymnasium as all held their breath. The ball continued on its lofty path towards the basket as the buzzer bleated. Parents pulled out their hair while my coach sharpened a skewer, ready to roast me on a spit. Slowly and neatly the ball floated through the net and with a sharp swish the game was won.
This moment has remained with me throughout the years, not because it is a cozy member of my bouquet of sporting highlights but because I took a chance on a belief in myself. I went rogue and made a split-second decision to take my chance. I went with my gut, I trusted myself and my judgement as well as my ability. I took my shot, and after a couple of dormant decades, I woke up and took another shot on myself.
Okay, time to take a giant jump back to present day.
The way this mural story starts is as most stories start--quite mundane and probably on a Wednesday. Everything was as it always was. I came to work ready to start my opening side work when my grill master co-worker excitedly came up to me. Having recently designed a custom tattoo for him I thought perhaps he had gone in and done the deed and was eager to show me the freshly inked piece. Instead, he told me to check my Instagram inbox; one of the accounts he was following posted that they were looking for an artist to create a mural for his adventure machine and I should reach out to him.
This was my first introduction to the "Salvage to Scenic" project. Immediately I was blown away by Jacobs incredible and feisty intent to turn a salvage yard truck into an adventure home ready to take on the back roads of America! I was intimidated to reach out because I knew he would have many applicants that had much more experience creating murals than I did, having only done less than a handful myself. However, I also knew I wanted to be a part of this incredible journey more than my fear of being foolish.
With this in mind I reached out to Jacob via email with a quick snapshot of some of my pieces to showcase my artistic style. I was sure as soon as I pressed the send button that this would be the end of this journey. To my delight, this is not how this story ends. I couldn't believe that Jake answered my Hail Mary with interest. We discussed what he was envisioning as far as theme/subject matter and I took the weekend to come up with a variety of rough designs. I felt providing visual sketches of my ideas would be best because while trying to describe my ideas in writing I seemed to come across as hectic and perhaps a bit unhinged. Once again, I worried my time in this saga had come to an end. Immediately I felt sender's remorse over sending rough sketches and began kicking myself for not doing them more professionally. However, I was greeted with a lovely surprise when I again heard back that he liked my designs and was interested in working with me!
Jacob had originally selected my color splashed scene called "Colorado locals". This piece depicted the Colorado bears taking up some of our favorite seasonal activities, such as camping and skiing in the mountains. As the mural date drew closer, he switched to the originally colorful "either coast and in between" sketch. Ironically, this was the piece that I originally thought he might select if he were to choose me because I felt like it depicted the story of his journey across the country. We fiddled with the design to best suit Jacob's style and landed on our simple black linework overtop the solid grey he had painted already. Simplifying the original design also helped with the ambition to finish the mural in one day, which would have been highly improbable with the original idea.
Before I knew it the mural supplies were purchased, an alarm was set, and I was off to our mural location to see if Jake was real or a figment of the internet. Thank goodness he turned out to be real...but more on the big mural day next Sunday!
Thanks for reading along, and I hope this encourages you to take your chance and shoot your shot too.
Keep it #offbeat !