The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] – Volume 23, Issue 48
Drawing805 founder puts a cosmic twist on new butterfly mural
By CALEB WISEBLOOD
When it comes to public art, “less is more” rarely rings true, local artist Luis Linares believes.
“I see a lot of white walls that need to be filled with art,” said Linares, who likes to keep an eye out for buildings in Santa Maria with enough blank space to fit a mural or two.
Linares is an independent, self-taught artist who has collaborated with nonprofits on public art projects in the past. He went solo for his latest mural, which he pitched to the Santa Maria Town Center out of the blue about a month ago, via a cold call.
“Right away, they said yes,” Linares recalled from his conversation with mall management, after he proposed painting a new mural to increase community engagement in the Santa Maria Town Center.
In mid-January, Linares spent five days painting the mural on an empty wall in the mall, work he did not ask to be compensated for.
“The community needs more art. This is for the community,” said Linares, whose portfolio of past murals, paintings, and drawings can be found on most social media outlets under his brand name, Drawing805.
Linares’ art career began with pencil drawings about eight years ago, he said. During his junior year at Pioneer Valley High School, Linares would often sketch his classmates and ask for a dollar or two if they were interested in buying his work. From there, he would save up funds to purchase more art supplies for himself and venture into the worlds of painting and other media.
The Santa Maria resident’s new mural, La Mari.Posa, at the mall was inspired by artist Kelsey Montague’s famous angel wings mural at Universal CityWalk Hollywood, where viewers often pose between the two wings. For his mural’s title, Linares went for a playful twist on the Spanish word for butterfly with a couple of hidden meanings.
“‘Mari’ is the city of Santa Maria and ‘Posa’ is to pose, as to take a picture,” Linares explained.
Before landing on a butterfly as his winged subject, Linares considered a handful of ideas for the mural. He knew early on that he wanted to incorporate some kind of cosmic, spacey theme within the piece, regardless of what it’d be centered on.
“First, I made six different sketches,” said Linares, whose original concept art while brainstorming for the mural included a strawberry, as a tribute to the fruit Santa Maria Valley is widely known for, and Santa Maria simply written out.
All six subject options were placed in front of a surreal, starry background in Linares’ sketches. Another motif Linares used in each sketch, and in his final mural, is a checkered floor design, which adds to the project’s trippy, 2001: A Space Odyssey-esque quality. Imagine exploring a foreign planet to discover a seemingly manmade checkered floor. How freaky would that be?
When Linares decided to take the butterfly route, he browsed his social media apps for inspiration on how to approach painting the insect.
“I was looking through Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for different butterflies, but they were all the same,” said Linares, who wanted his butterfly to have an unearthly feel. “I wanted something different, something more alien.”
After getting the design right and almost a week straight of working on the mural from about 9:30 a.m. to as late as 7 p.m. each day between Jan. 16 and 20, Linares completed his latest project. The final product is now on display for the public to see and even pose next to for photos if they wish.
Like Montague’s aforementioned angel wings mural, there is enough space between the butterfly wings in La Mari.Posa for viewers to pose at its center, as if they’re ready to abandon their cocoons and take flight.
“I hope this mural gives mall visitors and the community hope,” Linares said, “and that everybody feels welcome to take pictures by it.”
Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood feels like a caterpillar ready to break free. Send candy corn (à la Pixar’s A Bug’s Life) to firstname.lastname@example.org.