I have collaborated on just two murals in this life and those were both on the west coast. Here’s a couple in-progress shots of my first project: a very large exterior mural in the Belltown District of downtown Seattle, Washington. The mural required four vertical stages of scaffolding, took two months to complete, and depicted various Seattle landmarks in a montage format with, well, flying coffee cups.
The Belltown Mural in downtown Seattle, WA
Though we enjoyed the mildness of the Pacific Northwest summer, our days were dedicated to bringing to life an enormous wall painting. There are many moments from those weeks still fondly etched in my memory.
Those were also exciting times as we were creating in the days of the thriving Grunge music scene. This was back when one could drop into a neighborhood club on any given night (after a day “at the wall”) and see the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains (I saw the latter at the historic Moore Theatre).
Designer coffee shops weren’t the rage as yet, but were just starting to sprout up (seemingly) on every third street corner. Yes, the flying coffee cups mural theme was whimsical at the time, but in retrospect, foretold the coming popularity of a new age of coffee shops and their proliferation across the American landscape. Hello, Starbucks.
As a bitter side note on the mural, a building has since been erected in the adjacent parking lot, effectively entombing our work for all time. I’m hoping those passersby who appreciated our mural while it still stood in the light of day continue to make their way by that site and smile, remembering simpler times.