Elysian Brewing Company commissioned five very different artists to produce large-scale works across five US cities.
If you think about it, most people's exposure to the best new artists is more likely to take place down the local supermarket than the yearly grad show; with some of our most exciting illustrators moving into the packaging game, the best new trends can be seen on the shelf in the form of craft beer labels and spirits branding.
The DIY ethos of the craft beer scene goes in hand in hand with the independent flair of local arts, something picked up on by Seattle's Elysian Brewing Company, who've put more exciting art under people's noses in the form of colourful murals around the old US of A, as unveiled on July 20th.
Five cities have gotten the mural treatment, as part of a campaign inspired by the two flagship brews from Elysian. The cities targeted were Austin, San Francisco, Orlando, Seattle, and New York, the latter of which was assigned to Timothy Goodman, an artist best known for taking over Trump Tower in 2016 with an unmissable message of kindness, and some Trump lookalike-twins who held hands and got couply in the city.
For his mural located on New York's lower east side, Timothy's inspiration comes from being human and vulnerable, creating "a toast to those who go through the ups and downs of life unapologetically with passion and conviction."
Timothy's home of NY also acted as muse. "Nothing is more satisfying for me than being able to create a mural outside on a busy NYC street," he explains. "I want my art to stop people in the tracks of their life. I want to connect to people with my words. I want to redefine a space. NYC and it’s energy is meant for that."
Sophie Roach brought her intricate, Mesoamerican colouring book style to a hostel wall in Austin, Texas, echoes Timothy's words. "Drawing for myself is great, but projects that engage with the public give me a greater sense of purpose," she tells Digital Arts. "I think we tend to forget that there’s a human behind a lot of the content that we absorb and I like being there to share my process with passerby’s that might not engage with art regularly."
Sophie created her created her mural over eight days using a paint marker, black acrylic ink, a yard stick, and latex paint for colour. She approached the 'make mischief' brief "through an abstract cosmic event occurring within the ecosystem of my art world", wanting "to force people into oblivion with my work even if it frustrates them."
"With the internet in our pockets we’re used to having answers to almost all of our questions all the time," she elaborates. "For me, making mischief means following my gut and being myself even if it means going against what society thinks is normal or cool. That means working at my own pace and not using shortcuts, often to the point of absurd tedium. I also don’t care so much whether people understand the work."
The other artists involved in the Elysian campaign include California's Ian Ross, Seattle's Benjamin Madison and Orlando's Earl Funk; American readers can find the exact locations of everyone's work on the Elysian site.