“Nurture” was commissioned by Olentangy Liberty High School to add some inspiration to their hallways. The project called for original work that focused on empathy, belonging, and community.

In my personal experience, when someone requests a mural that focuses on community, the first idea that comes to mind is a circle of children holding hands. I wanted to avoid the usual tropes of high school murals, so I needed to find a new way to express them.

I put together a proposal with some mood boards as inspiration. This gives the client an easier time understanding what they want and gives me a better direction for sketching. I compiled three distinct themes that utilized nature, bright colors, and my own personal surrealist style to communicate each concept.

Ultimately the client wanted a combination of all three concepts, so I worked them all into one piece. I wanted to utilize the peaceful qualities of a nature scene and the energizing qualities of bright colors. I start with thumbnails, and from those, the client selects one to be refined further.

Typically the next step is a variety of sketches and color options, but our timeline got cut a little short so we jumped straight to a final concept.

I was given the option to work with students, and jumped at the opportunity! This wall is 20′ high by 15′ wide, so with 6 students helping, we were able to knock it out in a couple of days. We planned to complete it over their spring break, so we had a little less than a week to get it done.

I planned the mural to be collaborative and sorted out the colors and design to be mostly self-led. I arrived a day early to transfer the mural by a grid, using colored chalk to define each area of color. I rented 12′ scaffolding to make reaching the top easier.

The seniors were all incredibly helpful and sweet. I would definitely do this again!