We moved into our chapel in the Crossroads Arts District 5 years ago! In that time we’ve seen the neighborhood explode with the coolest street art in the city (and we would argue, the world). We have been wanting to add our own colorful addition to the neighborhood and after months of planning, prepping, and painting, we debuted our gift to the city at “First Fridays” on May 3rd! Now we want to take you behind the scenes of the making of our mural!
Step 1: The Design
Going in we knew we wanted to create a beautiful mural as a gift to this amazing city and the fabulous people in it. We also knew we wanted to spruce up our little alley in the crossroads and make it really POP! So that left us with a lot of options, which is why this step took the most time.
We reached out to the city to make sure we were following the rules and regulations. Thinking there would be red tape, we were pleasantly surprised when we received nothing but green lights and encouragement.
Which reminded us once again why we wanted to add our own little contribution to this great city. That’s when it all came together. We would have bluebirds on a dogwood tree as those are Missouri’s state bird & tree. And as we are self-proclaimed love junkies, the phrase “Follow Your Heart” felt like a given. The heart would be anatomical to match the aesthetic of the surrounding Crossroads murals! With her KC Art Institute background and a little help from Google, our own Amy Rizzo quickly had the design mocked up and we were in love!
Step 2: The Supplies
We knew our mural was going to present certain challenges because of it being on the street. We would need a road paint that dries quickly and can withstand cars and heavy rain. Oh and we needed about 10 different colors because of our design. After some research we landed on Sherwin Williams Pro Park Paint and it was perfect for what we needed. With a red, blue, yellow, and white, we were able to mix up our desired colors in about a dozen dollar store plastic containers.
We have a go big or go home mentality. So we wanted to have dogwood flowers leading down the alley from our mural to the steps of The Vow Exchange Chapel. We went to work making stencils, first by printing the flowers on extra large paper and then tracing them onto a thin bristol board and poster board. Using our handy dandy exacto knife, we cut out the stencils for each flower pattern.
Step 3: Outline & Paint
Now a mural this size is not easy to free hand. So we knew we needed a way to trace the design. We did a little experiment by printing the design on a transparency paper and holding a flashlight behind to project the image. Before long, one of us was standing on a 14ft ladder in the dark of night, holding a flashlight and a flimsy piece of paper, while the other quickly traced the image with sidewalk chalk. By the grace of God our chalk outline was still there in the morning and we were ready for the paint to hit the road!
Our dogwood flower stencils had their first test run and passed with flying colors! One down, twenty more to go!
Step 4: Party & Pose
After two long weeks, we put down the brushes, washed the paint out of our hair, and called it a wrap! We debuted our baby to the world during the “First Fridays” celebration on May 3rd - exactly 5 years after our grand opening! It has been a blast seeing our little gift to the city get discovered by our friends, neighbors, and fellow Kansas Citians!
Now come on down to our little alley in The Crossroads (between McGee & Oak) to see our Follow Your Heart mural in person! Don’t forget to take your picture and tag it #FollowYourHeartKC