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Bodega Kitty Mural - East Harlem, NYC

During the summer of 2021 I had the pleasure of being involved in the Grandscale Mural Project organized by the non-profit organization Uptown Grand Central. This project invites artists from NYC to contribute their talents to create murals on construction fencing in the neighborhood of East Harlem, NYC. Also check out their Instagram and give them a follow here for cool updates & happenings within the community.

Naturally I had to participate! So after reaching out and being accepted I begin to work. My style tends to be playful and fun and so that's the vibe I set out for while adding a bit of my own personal NYC story to it. In comes the Bodega Kitty!

Growing up I used to work in my father's bodega in Queens, NY and we certainly had a pet cat as tends to be a staple of NYC bodegas.

So I picked up my Ipad and used my fave art program Procreate and came up with this concept. My bodega kitty sitting on stacked cans of beans.

Then it's off to the get supplies. At the hardware store I pick out my paints and I do my best to match up these paint cards with my original design.

Got all the necessary supplies I needed and I'm ready to go.

So in order to transfer my sketch I decided to go with the grid method. For those that don't know, that's when you put a grid of rows and columns to create square over your sketch to make it easier to keep your original design in proportion when you're making it larger. There are a bunch of useful apps out there to use. I like to use this one here. And once that part is done then the really fun part begins...

...we start painting!

My bro Joel on the left came thru with the assist on this one. No right or wrong way to start a mural. For this particular one I start with the lighter colors first. Props to fellow artist Luis Santana on the pics.

Filling in the the darker color now and this part is always very satisfying because you can begin the see the whole image coming together.

One of my favorite parts of any painting, dotting the highlights in the eyes! Then I sign my name in the bottom and all done. Unfortunately about a week later I got some bad news...

...someone had vandalized Bodega Kitty and sprayed a red line across its face. Unfortunately this was done to other murals as well.

Well I decided to get back out there when I could. Drop cloth down. I'm back at it and ready!

Still had extra paint so time to restore!

My wife Lauren even came thru to help out, isn't she the best! Thanks babe!

And finally it's restored and looking like new! This was a fun experience overall and hopefully it helps brighten up the Harlem neighborhood for as long as it's up.

1 comment

1 Comment

lauren atieh
lauren atieh
Mar 22, 2022

This is one of my favorite murals in NYC!! Thanks for sharing. Very cool to see your process.

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