NEW MURAL: Gold Spike (Current Real World Filming Location)

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Last week I spent 18 hours painting a brand new mural at The Gold Spike hotel in downtown Las Vegas, NV! This is exciting for a few reasons, one being that this is the first public mural of Yerman that anyone can see and second, Gold Spike is the official filming location for the next season of Real World! Here’s the news from Entertainment Weekly: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/10/12/mtv-real-world-returning-las-vegas!

I’ve included a gallery below that details the scope of this project (it covers three walls) from sketch to completion. I had a small team helping me paint which made it go by a lot smoother and I can’t thanks Miguel and Sabriel enough! I was in charge of sketching it out, I had help painting in the cups while I did the Yerman pieces and then I went in and finished filling in colors and adding details. It was a fun project to work on and I can’t wait to see it show up on MTV’s Real World next season!

Hope you enjoy and if you’re ever in the area, come say hi to Yerman and his friends!

 

NEW MURAL: Grouchy John’s Coffee Shop in Las Vegas

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Last week was my birthday so I spent the morning painting a brand new mural at Grouchy Johns Coffee in Las Vegas, NV. This one is incredibly special to me and if you have a few minutes to spare, I’ll tell you why. :)

Back in 2012, my grandfather died and I didn’t leave my house for two weeks. You can read the full details in my previous blog post (CLICK HERE) and the genesis of Yerman, but suffice to say, I was experiencing the most profound sadness I’ve ever gone through.

After that two weeks, I began leaving my house periodically to work on The 80s Kids projects with my partner at the time at Grouchy Johns. I would go from my couch to Grouchy Johns right back to my couch again for quite a few weeks until I was able to gradually go to other places and assimilate to society again, best I knew how to.

Grouchy Johns has always held a special place in my heart for this reason, it allowed me to cope in a world that I wasn’t comfortable coping in and the owners have never been short of amazing to me. They welcome me with open arms every time I enter and no matter how much I try to throw money at them, they never let me pay and I wanted to give them a present on my birthday to not only say thank you but immortalize my grandfather and the period of mourning I went through after his passing.

To most, this mural probably just looked like a cute monster holding a coffee cup but to me it is so, so much more. The grey tones of his fur instead of his normal brown hue signify how greyed out my world was when I was coping. The happy coffee mug portrays how much I relied on the brew to jumpstart my brain waves again to feel creative and inspired and also the importance that Jacob had on helping me feel better during this time to make me feel like a human again best he knew how to. The phrase “Coffee Adds Color” is a cute phrase that to the viewer signifies the importance of that morning jolt to make you wake up and attack the day, but to me it was the coffee shop bringing me back to the real world.

I hope you enjoy the mural and I hope this explanation provides a bit of backstory as to why it means so much to me. If you get a chance, go check out Grouchy Johns, it’s located at 8520 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89123 and is often times voted Best Coffee Shop in Vegas. Have a brew with Yerman and tell them I sent ya!

 

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Yerman & Plastic Smiles and Their Use In The World of Psychotherapy

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If you’re reading this, you already know my story and how depression has impacted my artistic endeavors. If you haven’t, I wrote about Yerman and his genesis a few blog posts ago. I was contacted a few days ago from a mental health care giver who told me that not only was Yerman impacting people’s lives, but Plastic Smiles as well. I really can’t believe the impact these projects are having on people, I used to dream about this when I was going through my darkest times and now it’s a reality. My eyes well up when I think about what others are going through and how these characters can help. Thank you everyone for the warm reception and support. It means the world to me and I’m glad my work can mean the world to others.

 

Yerman Now Being Utilized in Therapy Sessions!

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When Jimi told me that he was utilizing Yerman in his therapy sessions, it was enough to make me cry. More recently however, I’ve been getting texts from people telling me they’re drawing their own monsters to cope with their depression. It amazes me that this little dude can inspire in others what he’s inspired in me. I discussed this in a bit more detail on a podcast this week if you would like to listen:

http://radiotatas.libsyn.com/episode-30-lets-talk-about-depression