My day job as an architect comes with some unique experiences. Like volunteering to help our local downtown Los Angeles community. This year, the global architecture company I work for, DLR Group, celebrated 50 years of practice. And to honor the half a century the company has been in business and the rich DLR Group history, we decided to contribute to a local organization named Jovenes, Inc., which helps local young people and families at-risk succeed with valuable resources and skills.
Some of the things they needed at the time we reached out to them to offer our volunteer services were two new canopies, a few benches, creating a fresh new garden and help with painting a wall mural.
The wall mural was designed by two of their young members who are talented artists in the making. I joined the mural painting group because I had never painted a mural before, and I wanted that new experience while still helping out. The two artists had already sketched the mural parts on the wall before our volunteer day, and we helped them start to paint it.
Working on the mural turned out to be so much fun! It was great to connect with young kids who are excited about creating and who have so much to say through their artwork. So much energy and passion!
But I have to admit, painting a large wall mural, with the sun beating down on us in temps above 90 and sweating like crazy was maybe a little different than painting my usually small watercolors sitting on my comfy couch with the AC on ;-) Little did I know, it was not exactly a walk in the park, but it was so engaging to change the scale and perspective, and at the end of the day, it was amazing to see it all start to come together! We made great progress in just one day and, with their guidance, we helped the two young artists' concept and vision start to come to life.
I have a completely new understanding of what it takes to paint a wall mural, and I have a lot of respect for artists who work with this challenging medium.
While I was having fun painting the mural, the construction was well on the way for other groups of our volunteers.
Keith working hard building one of the canopies.
Chuy absorbed in his task.
With my buddy, Jose, getting ready for some freshly made tacos at lunch.
Not just a pretty architect face: Chuy has mad climbing skills!
Keith and Jose putting together one of the two canopies. Way to go, guys!
Architects, engineers and interior designers, monkeying around one of the finished canopy. We work hard and play hard!
With Isabel (left), our admin extraordinaire, and Liz (right), who is not just an architect, but also a talented photographer. Liz took most of the photos here, and you can find more of her awesome work at elizabethsierra.com Thanks for letting me use your photos, Liz, what great memories!
I'm thankful I got the chance to practice a new painting skill while giving back to our community. At the end of the day, it was very rewarding to contribute to an organization that helps so many and to spend some time with my friends and coworkers on a beautiful LA day!
I'm Cristina Tudor, a Beverly Hills fashion illustrator. I paint live illustrations at fashion, retail, entertainment, bridal and lifestyle events for clients such as Chanel, Ferragamo, Piaget, David Yurman x Galia Lahav, Badgley Mischka, Bloomingdale's, Warner Bros. Studios, Diptyque Paris, Ted Baker London, Eric Buterbaugh x Beverly Hills EB Florals, and Survey Monkey, among others.
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