Submitted by: Ana Santos Acinas
Ana Santos Acinas was one of twelve incredible muralists chosen to participate in the Historic Fourth Avenue Coalition’s mural project; co-sponsored by Chasse Building Team. The twelve temporary mural panels can be found on the corner of 4th and 6th Avenue in Tucson, AZ. These murals are helping to spread so much beauty and joy to our city during these challenging times. If you are in Tucson, we highly recommend checking them out in person.
Ana’s mural captures the local Tucson charm and wildlife, with bright colors and beautiful images. Below, she kindly shared more about her process for creating a piece like this, and how the pandemic has affected her life.
How did you come up with the inspiration for your mural? And What message do you hope to share with others through your mural?
The mural was for a beautification project, offered by a coalition of small businesses in downtown. They were interested in having that corner jazzed up, looking more like the heart of Tucson. It should be totally Tucson, 4th Ave related, or an ode to the desert. On the other hand, I must say that I’m from the Basque Country (Spain) and that I’ve been living here for a year, so it was easy to merge the project idea with my own feelings, because when I moved to this city, I asked myself why I was going to make that important decision, and the answer was that Tucson is laciudad brava that I was looking for, I tried to represent how I see Tucson, as a friendly city that hosts multiple nationalities and cultures. I feel drawn to how this metropolis coexists with its flora and fauna. I hope the mural can express this feeling.
Describe the process for creating a mural like this?
In my case, I had a really great time painting it, but my apartment looked as an absolute mess. The floor of the living-room was covered in paper in order to maintain it clean, and it was like this for almost 2 weeks…
I prepared the drawing on paper and transfer it into digital, so I was sure about the proportions and the colors.
They provided us with a synthetic mesh panel ( 6ft x 12ft) and acrylic latex paint.
I started with 4 primer layers (it’s not the normal thing but the fabric is special). Then, I added the color, and the last step was the sealer.
I started painting with plain colors and then, I did the shadows. The last part was the details like the colorful tears.
I like to paint with natural light so I started around 8 every morning.
I usually paint digital illustrations so, when I have to paint with brushes and with these sizes, I really enjoy the process. BTW, I’m painting a private mural for a client, that you could see really soon.
Please describe for us how the pandemic has affected you personally, professionally, etc.
I think that it’s inevitable not to think how this pandemic has affected our lives, but I try to maintain myself in a positive position. I feel lucky because I’m able to be focused on my work that I can develop at home. And because some of the things that I used to do before this virus are now impossible to do face to face, I have, for example, online classes, and instead of playing sports in group, now I practice some exercises at home, or skate with a friend and a mask (that it’s my new bestie…). But I miss visiting my fam and friends from my hometown more than anything.
But I’m doing ok, it’s not the perfect situation, but this will have an end, so I try to be patience and do the things that make me happy.
To see more of Ana’s amazing work, check out her Instagram @ginger_love