WARLI – MURAL OF LIFE

As you know, I’m a complex individual and simple isn’t my strong suit. You know what is? Copious amounts of research and preparation. So even though this mural was always to be simple in its bicolor tones, there was a lot to get excited about within its creation. For me, the more meaningful the project is the more rewarding it is.

I was painting electrical boxes at Santana Row and a lady stopped me as she was getting coffee. We get to chatting and we ultimately discuss a job lead she had working with her client and a brand new home. I owe that lady coffee wherever she is now. Earlier in my career, I wouldn’t hear back from people. Now, each lead is a good lead and the very interested clients reach out or follow up with an email to get it going.

That said, I met a virtual stranger on the other end of this lead and ended up with a plum gig. New construction is always fun but being the artist the weaves the perfect themes throughout the home is awesome. Finding clients who want to express themselves thoughtfully is so cool. So this lady building her dream home met with me to share this Indian style called Warli. I’ve been on a tour of a large chunk of India but I hadn’t seen anything like this yet. I threw together a style sheet and saw way more than stick figures happening here. It may be shapes but it builds a beautiful story and energy.

We met again and she decided that the perfect Warli mural is one that’s meaningful to them, not a knock off of someone else’s design. These mean something to the people inside the homes they exist in. Good. You found an artist who wants to make her clients happy. The client described to me the village her husband grew up in and we started with that for layout. After creating the original elements for the piece, we met again to open up the photoshop and composed a real village with a temple in the northwest, below working fields and highway leading to the village and community. In this way, I am painting a piece of first home in their new home.

Our final consultation was in the finished home and with her art consultants, aka. close friends with knowledge and experience in Indian murals. This was awesome. This was the final tweak of the artwork and the final proposition. It needs a pop of color but what? I had a novel idea – cue the lightbulb and click. We went with silver and gold which is in use throughout the home. It makes what could be considered highly tradition so modern. Some of these were blue, red or mustard in background with white. Only some white and black but this was absolutely one of a kind.

Added meaning: This composition centers on a tree of life and completes with circle of life symbolized by the dance spiral. Also, there’s a son and daughter swinging around playing together that symbolize the family. There’s a little girl with a dog on a leash, which I didn’t see in India. This was the mother’s way of keeping peace in her new house. There’s not also a new puppy but there’s a symbol of you and a puppy to fixate on. There’s also the addition of the a boy shooting a basketball.

After all was said and done, I really enjoyed this job! The whole family was beyond lovely and the setting and environment was top-notch. Sometimes clients who work from home micromanage, check in on an hourly basis and interrupt the creative process. Maybe that’s my need to say something anytime someone’s watching me. Painting on a wall will always feel naughty and the first instinct is to stop and explain one’s self. Here, there was a lot of silence or family business as usual which thrills me to no end. It lets me feel like I didn’t interrupt their lives in this process. There was also a lot of hospitality, flexibility and kindness bordering on love. I can’t wait to work with this couple again!

Here’s how this meaningful Mural of Life came together.

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