On the heels of the inaugural Carlsbad Art Wall mural painted by bumblebeelovesyou, Los Angeles street artist Morley took his turn at painting the CAW—fully aware that he would be replacing a mural that the local community had grown to love.
Much like the text based street art that he scatters across the Los Angeles urban landscape, Morley’s approach was intelligent, strategic and inspiring, ultimately creating a community favorite. It combines his ability to emotionally connect with his audience while simultaneously encouraging interaction.
On Sunday, March 3, Morley painted his text based mural titled If I Knew Then What I Know Now on the east facing wall of Señor Grubby’s in the Carlsbad Village. The title was inspired by the idea of visiting your younger self and offering life-learned advice to yourself.
While the title painted boldly across the 28ft. wide wall invited contemplation, the dusty green background painted in green chalkboard paint and the box full of colorful chalk invited interaction. With Morley orchestrating his vision and Snyder spreading invitations to the 100,000+ Carlsbad Street Faire visitors, the wall quickly became an entangled collage of wisdom, regret and courage.
From young to old, timid to excited, the wall animated with scribbling participants promptly beginning at 2pm and continuing well after sunset. Text of wisdom scraped the surface advising to wear sunblock and to avoid using the dating app Tinder, while others probed long ignored turmoils of heartache, bloodshed and insecurities.
As the day grew long and the wall blossomed with hundreds of colorful life lessons, participation shifted from chalk yielding scribblers to the wide-eyed gazers of deep thought, contemplation and the fulfillment of an emotional release.
Morley wisely split his time between adding lines of advice submitted to him via email from those unable to attend the event and greeting the crowds of admiring fans who visited the Carlsbad Village specifically to meet their favorite artist. He posed for photos, shared his inspirations and exchanged stories with all.
Adding to his project’s interactivity, he invited participants to search for hidden fortune cookies; each containing a signature Morley message.
The task of painting a large mural in a highly visible location of a small community can be nerve-wracking. To do it by replacing an already loved mural is a task many would pass on. For Morley, it was a challenge with only one option—to go in the complete opposite direction.
Morley’s mural is not brightly colored. There is not any beach friendly imagery and it is not digestible at quick glance—and it does not have to be.
Morley can put his chalk to rest because his future self will only be looking back at mural for what it is… an interactive masterpiece.
Click HERE for the Coast News story (5.5.2015)
Click HERE to follow Morley on Instagram.
Click HERE to follow Snyder on Instagram.