Monroe County Opportunity Program
August 2021

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This work for MCOP is the largest project I've done to date. I got to paint an entire gym, and it was one of the most rewarding and terrifying experiences of my life. 

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It was one of those projects where you're like, "yeah! It'll be so much fun!" but then when you show up to do the work you're like, "F*CK! What the hell am I supposed to do? How am I gonna do this? I can't do this. What if I mess up? HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO THIS?"

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Mom and Dad, if you're reading this, I'm sorry. I swear. Not full on sailor, but definitely for impact. 

This project was so incredibly stressful. I painted the mural by myself, freehand, and as soon as I started, the paint looked like it was melting as I painted white over black.

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As you can see, the line isn't completely opaque, and the paint itself was thinner than many of the other paints I've used in the past for projects. So I started to worry immediately that MCOP would hate it. I mean, before I painted, they hired REAL painters. Pros who painted the whole gym black for me. And then they hired a VERY skilled artist/sign painter to put the Darin Chappell logo on the wall. 

So, everything was super crispy before me. 

After a mini freakout, I decided to lean into who I am and how I paint. Drippy, melty, and like a child. 

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The project took 4 days.

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And after I got going, my nerves settled, and I started to make good progress. 

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That is of course until I got to the basketball hoop.

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I realized when I got there, that I had no way of reaching the top center. Above the hoop. 

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I had to climb on top of the supports that hold up the hoop. It was terrifying, and the whole time I was up there I kept telling myself, "Don't die. Don't die. Don't die."

Again, if you read all these pages, you'll find this isn't the only project I've done where I've legitimately been scared for my life. 

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HAHAHAHA.

Look at the fear in my eyes. 

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But, damn. 

That looks freakin awesome. 

I'm so glad I pushed myself, and worked past my anxiety, fear, and doubt. 

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After finishing the main floor, I hit two staircases and a lil mezzanine spot. 

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And that was all she wrote. 

But scroll down for the walk thru.

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This project was the most challenge work I've ever done. Because of that, it's also one of the most special projects to me. The quality of line (or lack their of) is actually what makes this piece for me. It's a masterpiece because of the fact that the struggle I had in creating it mentally and physically was captured in every brush stroke.

From a far, it looks crispy, and "perfect", but upon closer inspection, it's full of flaws and imperfection. That's me. That's always going to be me, and so being true to myself and who I am.

 

Going back over and doing another coat to hide the imperfections on this project would have destroyed the artwork. It would then simply become a nice designed thing (there's nothing wrong with that), but the natural-ness, and the authenticity is what makes this work so important as it was also created in the year that changed my life. 

 

So personally, it's an analogy for growth, self love, and it was a big part of building confidence in who I am.  

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I'm am so deeply grateful for Woody who was a champion of me and my work, and gave me this incredible opportunity. I want to thank Kohler Architects, and MCOP! They trusted me and my vision, and I'm so happy they love the work. It's been incredible to get images sent to me from all the different activations in their vibrant community building space. 

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