Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mural Project Post 21

This past week, I wasn't able to get in touch with the owners of the building. I need to make this a priority this week because I planned to have painting done by the end of April. In terms of funding for the mural, I still haven't decided whether or not to hold a fundraiser or ask relatives and friends for donations. However, in the case that I am unable to gain enough donations before I wish to begin painting, I have saved some money to buy supplies. As the end of the school year draws nearer and nearer, I am beginning to become more and more stressed about getting the project done in time. I planned on getting painting done by the end of April, but forgot that I will be gone for most of Spring Break. For this reason, the painting of the mural may not be finished until the middle of May.

I have done a lot of thinking as to what the theme of my speech will be and I am getting closer to a general outline of my speech. I have decided that my speech will be about how everyone is born with creativity and that everyone should exercise that creativity in some way or another to keep it from fading with their youth. Similar to the ideas expressed in Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk about how education is killing creativity, I will focus on how everyone is born with the ability to create, but it gets lost by some along the way. However, I believe that some people lose this ability not because of the school systems, but rather a mixture of the discouraging that people give each other and the lack of practice. Just like everything else, I believe creativity is something that can be practiced and with more practice, it comes easier. I know that everyone must be born with the same amount of creativity because of the "left and right brain theory". This is fact that one's right brain hemisphere is more artistically focused and one's left brain hemisphere is more logically focused. Although I don't believe that one hemisphere is more in control of one's thoughts than the other (this is the "left and right brain theory"), I do believe that just the fact that a whole half of the human brain is dedicated to creativity proves that everyone is capable of creating. I think that somewhere during childhood, something must happen to instigate the stop in creative thinking. For example, if someone were to tell another that they were bad at drawing, they would likely stop drawing and their excuse would be that they "can't draw". I think it's sad that so many people think they "can't sing", "can't dance", or "can't play an instrument" because someone told them long ago that they weren't good at it. Therefore, I think the cure to ending this cycle of discouraging and giving up is to encourage others in art and practice it often. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mural Project Post 20

The past two weeks, I have been in touch with the owners of the building which I plan to paint on soon. They haven't decided on a wall which they would allow me to paint, but I plan on meeting with them again in the next week or so to talk more. I also have been compiling a group of family, friends, and peers who all volunteered to help paint. I hope to get the painting done in April, when it will hopefully warm up. As far as funding for paint and supplies goes, I don't have it as of now. As I talked about in my last post, two possibilities for raising money would be to hold a fundraiser or ask friends and family to donate money. I still haven't decided which technique I will use to raise the money I need and I plan to decide within the next weeks and earn the money. 

As the end of the school year draws nearer, I have been thinking about what the theme of my speech will be. While reflecting on the lessons I have learned through this project, I was reminded of all of the times this school year that I felt like giving up. Time and time again, I had to find different ways to remind myself the purpose of my project and the positive impact the outcome of this project could potentially have on others. Although I haven't decided on the topic of my speech yet, I am thinking it will have to do with making your mark on the world, how everyone has the potential to make something great, and never giving up. I know that these all have been key themes throughout the process of painting a mural. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mural Project Post 19

This week, I made a few big decisions regarding my mural's design and location. Although I was hoping to get a location closer to downtown, I hope to be painting at the location I wrote about in last week's post. Despite the fact that it isn't downtown, the owners of the building would offer me a large wall that can clearly be viewed from the street. I'm hoping that after I paint a mural here, it could open opportunities to paint at least one more mural preferably closer to downtown. I am absolutely thrilled to have a location and the support of the owners of the building! I still need to talk to them about what I plan to paint and when I would start, but I plan to do so in the upcoming weeks. 

In terms of my mural's design, I am planning on painting the design I posted earlier called, "All Together Now" (pictured below). I wrote earlier in more depth of why this design is the best I've drawn yet (see blog post 17). Unless I come up with a better fitting design before I paint, I plan to paint this design. Also, I was unable to sketch any drawings this week, but I will continue doing so in case I come up with a better design. Lastly, I also need to think about how I will be funding this project and I have a couple ideas. One option would be to ask family friends for help in funding. This could work, but it would take up a lot of time because I would have to call each and every friend or family member until I came up with enough money. The second idea I have come up with is to hold a fundraiser at school or church. I have been researching how to hold fundraisers and I think it is definitely a possibility I need to keep in mind as I go forward. 

All Together Now

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mural Project Post 18

My favorite thing about 20 Time this year has been the idea the project is based off of. The whole idea behind the project is that giving students 20% of class time to work on a project of their choice will help bring back their love of learning. I also liked that because of this project, I have had enough time to explore my love of art more in depth and have been given the opportunity to make my mark on the world. Lastly, I liked how when we were deciding on a project idea, we were told to "reach for the stars" and that "failure is an option". All too often, I think students are taught that being realistic is more valuable that being imaginative and failure is never an option. This mindset behind the project automatically set me up for the possibility of doing something big and amazing. However, if I am unable to reach my goal, there still is opportunity to learn a valuable lesson through the 20 Time project. 

My least favorite thing about 20 Time was the stress this project caused me at some points during the school year. Even though failure is an option for this project, I still beat myself up on weeks that I didn't get anything done. I am a huge procrastinator and that always leads to regrets on nights before a due date. For this reason, I don't think that my stress was caused by a flaw in the construction of the project, but rather caused by my procrastination and high expectations for myself. The one thing I would have done differently regarding the 20 Time Project goes hand in hand with my least favorite thing. If I could go back in time, I would not procrastinate! I wish I had found a location and planned more during the start of the project. If I had done this, I wouldn't have so much stress. 

This week I finally have some good news regarding a location for my mural! So far, I have found one building that the owners of which would allow me to paint on! As you can guess, I am really excited about this! The owners of the building are friends of my parents and the address is 20141 Kelly Rd., Detroit, MI 48225. Although this building is in Detroit, it isn't exactly in a spot where I had imagined my mural to be. I wanted my mural to be closer to downtown and on a busier street. However, I can't be too picky with my location as I have already had so much trouble finding one. For this reason, I have told the owners of the building that I am still looking for a location, but am very thankful that they would allow me to paint on their building. I asked them if it would be okay with them if I kept looking and came back to them if I couldn't find another place and they said that was completely acceptable. So as of now, I am still searching, but I am glad to know that if I can't find a perfect place, I still have a backup location.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mural Project Post 17

This past week I was finally able to contact the experienced mural artist that my parents know. Unfortunately, he said he wouldn't be much help because he works for a famous mural painter who gets paid to paint in Detroit. Therefore, he didn't know how to help solve my problem with finding a location. His advice was to look around at buildings, call all of the owners, and ask for permission to paint on their buildings until I am able to find someone willing. Although I was quite discouraged that he couldn't help, I realized finding a location is all up to me now. I only have a few more months left and I still need to paint the mural, so I have about one month to find a location. I wrote out a schedule with different tasks that need to be done within each month until the TEDx event at the end of the school year. Here is a copy of my schedule:


  • Drive around Detroit and compile a list of possible locations 
  • Keep sketching

  • Call owners of the buildings and finalize a location
  • Pick a design for mural (with the help of friends, family, and teachers)
  • Hold a fundraiser if money is needed for supplies
  • Get volunteers

  • Painting the mural on weekends (should take about 3-5 days total)
  • Mural must be completed by the end of April

As you can see, March is going to be the busiest month in which I will have to make a lot of decisions and stay motivated with the task at hand. Even though there is so much that needs to be done by the end of April, I think I can do it! 

Also this week, I drew another sketch that could be a good design for my mural. Here is a picture of it and a description of why I drew it and its meaning:

All Together Now
Inspired by a different sketch of mine titled, "In the Palm of Your Hand", I drew this to take that concept further. I really liked the idea that that drawing conveyed that everyone possesses the ability to change the world. I also wanted to show how working together for a great cause can unite people. I think this sketch successfully conveys both of these messages because four different hands with different styles and colors spewing from their palms, put their talents together to create something beautiful. I think it could have a positive affect on Detroiters that would see it if it were the mural design because it could encourage them to stick together and do great things. I am very satisfied with this sketch and think it has the potential to be the design for my mural, but I think I will redraw it because now that I look at it, the hands look wrong. Next week I will redraw it with normal-looking hands.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mural Project Post 16

This past week has been another extremely stressful and busy week. I was feeling really down because I still haven't been able to contact the experienced mural painter my parents know and I didn't have time to get any sketches done this week. All weekend, I have been stressing about what I was going to write about in this blog post and I was planning to draw something random just to have something to put in this post. I figured that something is better than nothing. However, I realized while I was hurriedly drawing, that I wasn't having fun. I know that the reason I chose to design and paint a mural is because I love making art, but I was only stressing myself out and getting upset. Since the point of this project is to explore something that you enjoy, I decided it would be better to apologize for not getting any sketches drawn or moving any closer to finding a location for the mural. I understand that I may get graded down for this, but I am willing to take a chance because I don't want to get into the habit of sketching just to have something to put in my blog post and not for my own enjoyment. 

Because I wasn't able to get any drawings done or get any information on a location, I decided to use the little time I had to research TEDx talks and found one that particularly inspired me. In this TEDx talk, a 17-year-old boy named, Sam, who has Progeria, tells of his philosophy on how to have a happy life. Within the first minute of this video, I was already in tears because of the stories he tells. I realized that when I was sketching just to put it in my blog post, I wasn't happy and this video reminded me of why I chose my Mural Project. I chose this project because art is what I love and what makes me happy. Sam inspired me to "keep moving forward" and I would recommend this video to anyone looking for inspiration.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mural Project Post 15

This past week has been another hectic one for me. I was unable to find time this week to contact the mural artist my parents told me they could get me to meet with. However, I plan on contacting him this week. My dad is good friends with his family, so hopefully I can meet with him sometime this week or next week. In terms of design, I am still feeling really confident in my sketch titled "In the Palm of Your Hand" from last week's blog post. I was able to draw one sketch this week, but I drew it more for fun than for the purpose of using it as a design for my mural. Here is a picture of it and a brief description of why I drew it: 

How to Say "No"

Like I said before, I drew this drawing more for fun, than with the mural in mind. I drew this while I was thinking about peer pressure and how big of a reality it is in high schools today. I know it may sound cheesy or dumb, but I truly do believe that it is a huge issue. I think the key to eliminating this is to teach kids and teens how to say no and how to stand up for what they believe. I think these are great lessons that everyone can use in their lives and that it will prevent teens from making bad decisions. Not giving into peer pressure is very similar to being an individual and forming your own ideas. As I have written about in past posts, I feel very strongly that individuality is very important and that conformity is wrong. I think no one should ever feel they have to be someone they are not just to gain the approval of others. That is also what I had in mind while I was drawing this quick sketch. Although it has a lot of meaning behind it, I will probably not be using it for my mural, but I will most likely go forward with it and add more to it for one of my art classes.

This week, I will take more initiative in securing a location for my mural and meeting with the experienced mural painter my parents know. I hope that things will turn out okay and that he can help me in finding a location and finding out how I will fund this project. As I mentioned in my earliest blog posts, I may or may not need to hold a fundraiser to pay for supplies. This is another question that needs to be answered in the near future and holding a fundraiser may be another step in this process.