The Artist Behind the Newest Mural
How did you get involved?
I had originally submitted concepts for the mural along Railroad Street. I made the finals, but ultimately my concept wasn’t chosen for that project. I’m so glad it worked out that way! For one thing, it connected me with Canton Councilmember Brooke Schmidt, who is an absolute dream to work with. And, the Railroad Street mural by Shanna Coulter is an amazing tribute to Canton’s history, present and future. I really reworked my concept for the Lee Street mural. I love that ideas can evolve over time and become better and better. The concept I presented was bright and fun. It felt more true to me.
Why did you choose your design?
Murals bring people together. They tend to create a natural place to stop and observe. I chose coneflowers as the focus because they are native to Georgia and have so many healing properties. I think art has that power, too — creating it and experiencing it is healing. Coneflowers seem like the perfect flower to celebrate right now.
Like many of us, I became a gardener during the pandemic. I started with two raised beds. Now, I have five raised beds, wildflowers, plans for an in-ground garden and five of the sweetest chickens you’ll ever meet.
Getting my hands in the dirt and watching things grow gave me a lot of peace and hope for the future. My own stand of coneflowers is in full swing this year, and absolutely covered in pollinators. I love watching my boys nab a strawberry from the garden while the chickens scratch around. There is something so quietly joyful about that.
Describe your background.
I’ve always been an artist. I paint, draw and print letterpress cards. My stationery company is called Beau Paper Co. I have a background in marketing and content creation, but I’d say I started my art career in earnest in 2015. My husband and I designed, and screen-printed posters, paper goods and wedding invitations from our sunporch. Now, we rent studio space in Made Mercantile in downtown Woodstock.
More recently, I’ve worked hard to refine my style and color palette. I have grown so much as an artist since our twins were born. Kids force you to be more creative and make the most of every spare moment. Because my husband, Dusty, also is an artist, art is just woven into our daily lives. I can’t really communicate just how much his support means to me. He’s the best.
Dusty and I tend to work together on projects whenever we can. Previously, I helped him paint the mural he designed at the downtown Woodstock playground.
Working on the Lee Street mural was nice. I designed this one, and he helped me paint it. I loved the early mornings, watching the sun creep down the wall.
When did work begin?
We began working on the mural in April, and completed it early June. It was about an eight-week process, with five of those weeks on the street painting. So much work happens before paint touches the wall. I had to take my concepts, expand it to the 62-foot wall and plan some workarounds for existing pipes and air conditioning units. Once the final sketch was approved, I purchased supplies, color matched the paint and hit the street.
Did anyone stop to chat?
So many great people stopped. I loved it! There were the folks who would shout encouragement on their morning walk, and drivers who would slow down and wave. One lady was visiting from Florida and got to see almost each stage of the mural. I took her photo, and we had a good chat.
The fire crew at Station 16 was great. I got to know many of the local business owners on the block, too. Laurie Sutton from Bananas and Beehives was so kind. I had way too many croissants while working on the mural, but they are so good! Definitely coordinate your photo session at the mural in the morning. That is when the lighting is best, and you can grab a tasty treat, too!