Visual Design

Mural for Santa Monica

This mural, intended for a wall in California's Santa Monica, is a creation I envisioned to represent the unique life and culture of the area. I aimed to design a mural that not only reflects Santa Monica's distinctiveness but also adds to its bustling atmosphere.

Researching Santa Monica

This mural has everything Santa Monica is most famous and known for, including their iconic Ferris wheel, the communities love of surfing and beaches, their well known sunsets, and their love for fun coloured houses, specifically beach houses.

I wanted to make a mural that experiments with a lot of texture in the composition, to balance out the use of colour and flat proportion style I like creating within. 

Designing the mural 

When brainstorming ideas for a mural in a lively and welcoming community like Santa Monica, I chose to depict the lifestyle unique to the area. The mural illustrates a scene overtaking a neighborhood house, with water replacing driveways and sand instead of sidewalks, symbolizing the surfing culture. I placed the giant Ferris wheel where a tree might normally stand, with a sunset backdrop and a colourful home at the center of the illustration.

This piece was designed to be unique in concept yet evoke a warm sense of belonging when viewed. To achieve this, I used warm colours for a comforting feel and incorporated various textures throughout. Surfing figures are positioned near the water's edge, creating an effect that, once painted on a wall, gives the illusion they are about to surf out of the mural and onto the land.

Colour and stylistic choices

Trying to figure out the design of the piece, I knew I wanted it to rely heavily on texture, and an off sense of realism with my own neon utopian version of Santa Monica and the lifestyle it has grown to nurture. 

I needed the colours to be all over the place with stark contrasts of dull and bright working together in different areas to make it much more submerged into the kind of world I wanted Santa Monica to be displayed as being. 

I went with the changing colour palette of muted pink, bright yellow, both dull and vibrant greens and blues, and some sunset resembling oranges. I needed the texture in the piece to be constant throughout the whole work, and to be easily replicated in traditional mediums for when this gets considered for becoming a real life mural being painted onto a wall.

For designing the characters, I decided a fun twist of the design would be collaborating the style of Corporate Memphis with my own art style, as adding in too many little details into the faces and body would have created a level of realism in the surfers that I did not welcome, being that it went into a stark contrast against the rest of the design where they stood out too much, making them the focal point of the piece. Instead, by illustrating them in a Corporate Memphis style, they blended in much better and became a little treasure hunt to try to find within the work, making your eyes interact more throughout the piece and find more hidden textures and details that would have been lost had I kept the surfers illustrated with more detail.

The dimensions of the piece are set to be 14" x 6" for the purpose of relaying the work into a mural mockup.

Toronto, Canada