WATCHING THE PAINT FREEZE FOR CONVERSE
Imagine for a moment that someone moved your cubicle to your building’s rooftop and told you that’s where you’d be working until spring. Your jerk of a boss aside, you’d better hope you have some weatherproof office attire.
That’s sort of what it’s like for a walldog come winter. New York ain’t always pleasant for most folks during the colder seasons, but for our guys there’s an odd sense of gratification in making it work. Our painters have to take extra precautions to avoid getting sick, which can be difficult when their workdays are spent in 30-degree weather from sun up to sun down. (We’ve painted in conditions of -15 degrees with the wind chill.) Days of hard work can go to hell overnight, and even the most seasoned walldogs have to occasionally duel it out with Mother Nature. But our guys take a lot of pride in their craft. They push through the chill and still manage to enjoy painting everyday – no matter the conditions. That’s part of what makes them the best in the game.
On a recent project for Converse, we painted variations of photorealistic creative on five walls in two major markets, Los Angeles and New York. This was a fun project namely for its roots in hip-hop. Converse partnered with a number of luminaries in the music business to produce the creative for the campaign. Bishop Nehru, Phony PPL, Ryan Hemsworth, Harry Fraud, Gogy Esparza, and Rat King all made appearances in our hand painted murals for their collaboration with Converse for the CONS Sneaker Collection.
Our guys in Los Angeles had some smooth sailing (and probably knocked back a few mojitos on the beach while they were at it). But here in New York we had some of the first winter days of the season. You might expect that the cold weather would have set our East Coast painters back at day or two, but they managed to bang it out in just about the same amount of time as our beach bunnies over on the West Coast. Photorealism is a difficult craft to master for any painter, and large-scale murals in 4 locations being painted by a handful of our best walldogs upped the challenge (a little friendly competition of skill never hurt anybody). Each wall turned out with the same level of precision as the next. (Take a look at the finished products to see for yourself.)
One of the coolest parts about our job is the opportunity to engage people with the art of hand paint, and there’s usually a story behind each wall’s creative, as with this one. It’s not uncommon for pedestrians to stop for pictures or ask our guys about what they’re painting; in fact, sometimes it’s hard to get even two brush strokes in before the next curious passerby stops to chat. For each project we generally have a ton of folks snapping pictures of the process for Instagram and Twitter. On this job, a tenant across from one of our walls filmed us working and made an awesome “Instammercial.” Check it out here.