HOMES Campus

Ann Arbor, MI

November 2021

Immersive paintings inside a hallway and two bathrooms at HOMES Campus in Ann Arbor, MI.

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I was really excited to create work at HOMES new campus as it's designed by Synecdoche whom I love, and Tommy the owner is just one of the most awesome dudes ever. He had this great idea for me to paint the ceilings, and I was so into it. That is until I actually had to paint them. 

Squirrel moment! I just found some vector art in Wix that I can use, which sort of kind of is like emojis, but they don't have the faces I need. So I think at some point I'm going to make my own emoji set for the website! Fun! 

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I'm not scared of heights, but being on the top rungs of an 8' ladder and painting above and behind your head, and spinning your head around 360 degrees (all the way left, then all the way right, 'cause heads don't spin 360. duh.) is kind of terrifying.

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Someone I met several days before my painting began, died from falling off a ladder, and the green ladder I normally use was tagged by Tead who died from falling through a roof while painting.

So in my head (no disrespect to the deceased) I kept telling myself, "don't die, don't die, don't die" while painting the ceiling. And this isn't the first project in which I've told myself that. The first time was during the painting at the gym in Monroe, where I had to climb on top of the mounts that hold a basketball hoop to paint the top center part of the ceiling. 

I'm not scared of heights, but also kind of scared of heights. Cause when you wobble on top of tall scaffolding or a tall ladder, it kind of makes you pee yourself a little. 

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I find it pretty comical that in my dream job (which is being an artist), I've been scared of dying on multiple occasions while working, in contrast to when I was a sushi chef, I never once feared for my life. 

I thing it's pretty special to have this kind of fear when creating. What if I F it up? What if the client/collector doesn't like it? What if I die?

 

Painting commissions are a lot of pressure. It's the same fear I had when first starting to paint smaller works just for myself, as I was so worried about ruining a piece of paper, or a canvas. I still worry about this, which is why I don't actually practice calligraphy. It requires one to waste so much paper to become proficient.

 

Commissions on blueprints from a family or company's archive is something I've done twice, and they are terrifying, but so incredibly rewarding as the owners love those works more than I can understand. 

I keep going off the rails. 

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I think the fear of creating is what makes my practice so special. Hahaha... at least it makes it special to me. I hope it makes it special for you. Not trying to get high off on my own shit.

I suppose I could have just said "the greater the challenge, the greater the reward", and saved a bajillion paragraphs of typing and reading.

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I'm very glad Tommy suggested ceilings, because the end result is almost hypnotizing. The spaces are relatively small, but tall, and so it kind of feels like you're somewhere else. Like transported into my abstract world of lines and connected characters.

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I told him, never again.

Never ceilings.

Ever. 

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So make sure to visit the HOMES Campus for crazy delicious donuts, delicious coffee at Dozer, amazing art in their gallery, buy all the Smooj, and take a nice long poop and enjoy the view.

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