The year of 2022 immediately started with the largest project I have ever been commissioned to do: the design and execution of three 14’ x 19’ murals for Scattered Kind in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Feel free to explore my process below; in every section, you will find a written explanation detailing each step of my journey.
I officially got commissioned by Scattered Kind on January 1st, 2022. Andrew Kim, the CEO of Scattered Kind, hoped I could begin painting the murals on January 24th. That gave me a little over three weeks to independently design the murals, put together a strong team, and handle all logistical planning.
The buildup to January 24th was a very exhilarating yet challenging time; the wall design went through at least 65 drafts, 10 color scheme changes, and two large concept switches. Furthermore, since I am based two hours away from the location site, I wasn’t able to physically see the space through the designing process. After many design tweaks, Andrew officially approved my design concept a few days before January 24th, and I was on my way to Brooklyn.
My crew got in early Monday morning (a.k.a. my mom, Susie, and friends Mike & Alexander). Seeing the space in person for the first time and envisioning what was to come was an incredible and out of body experience. Our first task was to clean the walls and make sure they were properly prepped for painting. After, we began painting a soft pale green as the base coat onto the bare white walls. With four sets of hands, we were able to finish painting all 700 sq ft by midday Monday and were ahead of schedule!
On Monday afternoon, we began transferring my designs onto the walls. At the start of this process, I realized an immediate problem that I did not account for: the large pole in the center of the room. This pole made it impossible to project my entire design onto each wall, leaving me in a position where I eyeballed many aspects of each wall design.
Now it came time to bring my design to life with color. Throughout this process, I was extremely lucky to have friends and family come offer extra hands to help me paint. I constructed a paint by numbers system to make it easier for my loved ones to follow; we were even able to organize a Paint by Numbers party, which was a blast!
Seeing that Scattered Kind is a rug tufting business, Andrew came to me one day with extra yarn, wondering how we could potentially incorporate it into the mural. Once I finished painting, I began tufting aspects of the mural, such as some of the leaves and clouds. Being able to make my mural into a 3D piece and witness how much more interactive the space was able to become through this aspect was incredible. It was the missing aspect that tied my entire project together, and it was great collaborating with Andrew and getting to strengthen my rug tufting skills.
The ending of this month-long project left me feeling incredibly mixed. Being the boss while simultaneously being the youngest person on my team, I was extremely proud of myself for overcoming self doubt and insecurities. Despite the fact that there were many sleepless nights, days when I didn’t have a team, and the gravity of the 700 sq ft hitting me throughout the project, being able to entirely revitalize and transform a space through my original designs was an incredibly rewarding experience that I cannot wait to continue to do.
"This project would not have been possible without the support of Andrew Kim, the owner of Scattered Kind, cinematographer Susie Almono, Seth Porges who provided me with housing, my mom Tracy Livecchi, my frequent painting assistants and dear friends Mike Vartuli, Miguel Alexander Najera, Biz Rhoads, Tania Dimyan, & Julia Matsumoto, and many other loved ones who were able to paint, offer me places to crash, and provided me with endless support. None of it went unnoticed."
- Sophia Livecchi