Bike Walk Macon is grateful to have had four talented artists lend their abilities for the chance to promote for safer biking and walking, and to advocate for better driver awareness around crosswalks. Let’s get to know this artistic bunch!
1) Tell me a little about yourself?
Erin: I am the owner of Mama Hawk Draws where I pursue my passion of hand lettering and graphic design. I use mixed media and fun, quirky vision to help clients to figure out the best way to tell their story, no matter how big or small. I believe in the importance of community and finding the good in life. I have a special interest in supporting other women in work and play. And as a mom, I am passionate about exposing kids to art and how they can use it to impact their lives and society.
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from James Madison University and previously worked at a public relations firm and a start-up company, where I focused on graphic design, marketing, and special events.
I live in Macon with my husband and our three tiny humans.
Lekisha: My name is Lekisha Young. I am an artist hailing from Swainsboro, Ga. I moved to the Middle Georgia area in 2011 to attend The Fort Valley State University. It was here that my journey as an artist began. After graduating with my Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Design, I attended graduate school at Full Sail University and obtained my Master of Fine Arts in Media Design and my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for Film and Television. I am the owner of Anatomic Designs and Illustrations and Anatomic productions. I love to all things creative inclusive of drawing, painting, writing, photography, and videography. It’s really a blessing to be able to work in all aspects of design. To contact me for commissions, graphics, scripts, or any other creative needs, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, visit my website at https://nvlymedia.wixsite.com/anatomicproductions
Omar: I’m Omar abu Staiti, 30 years old, born in U.A.E, roots from Palestine, and Jerusalem. I have a bachelors in graphic design, worked as a photographer and have my print shop. Ez signs, also run force of art, and bartending at nights. I taught painting and arts for 6 years in Lebanon, worked with United Nations, Syrian refugees, Palestinian refugees & did larger murals, and workshops between Lebanon, Norway and Italy. The crosswalk project was the first of its kind for me although I did carpet and sealing paintings before , I got inspired by Butterflies wings and how graceful they are , and no body should rush and feel insecure crossing the streets , hope that drivers appreciate the work and stop more often for pedestrians..
2) What inspired you for your design?
Erin: I love maps and how simple lines can tell a story without using words. When I was brainstorming ideas for the crosswalk I wanted to create a piece of art that everyone in the community could relate to because they could either find their home on the map, the park they play in, where they work, or some sort of connection they have to the city—no matter their age.
Lekisha: My inspiration for my design came from my personal journey as an artist. It’s not easy being an entrepreneur nor being a freelance artist. On this journey, I have been through many storms. However, in order to get to my promise, I have to keep walking through the storms. With Psalms 23 and Philippians 4:13 always in mind and God leading me, I know I will always get to the sunshine. My hope is that this message will inspire those in our community to keep pressing forward to get their promise.
Omar: I got inspired by Butterflies wings and how graceful they are, and nobody should rush and feel insecure crossing the streets.
3) Have you done projects like this before?
Erin: While I have never painted a crosswalk before I have painted numerous murals in our community. I love how this mural can be accessed by everyone on in Macon, day or night.
Lekisha: I have worked with a team competing murals before. However, this was my first solo large-scale project. Post this project, I hope to have more opportunities to share my artistic visions locally, nation-wide, and internationally. I feel as though more depictions of positivity, our history, and what we strive to be in the future will provide a solid foundation of hope and formulate unity amongst all.
Omar: The crosswalk project was the first of its kind for me although I did carpet and sealing paintings before.
4) What do you hope happens after this? What do you hope driver’s will do when they see your art on the crosswalks?
Erin: I hope as a whole, the community will see how important public art is in Macon and how we should create more throughout our city. We can create many shared stories through public art and this project has been a great jumping off point! I hope drivers and pedestrians will take a minute to slow down and enjoy the artwork of the crosswalks as they navigate through it. We are all hustling and bustling through life, but it's necessary for us all to stop and be present and enjoy our city.
Lekisha: Being that it is also located by a school, my hope is that it will provide an example to our you to keep striving for excellence.
Omar: I hope that drivers appreciate the work and stop more often for pedestrians.
5) How was the overall experience?
Erin: Working on the crosswalk mural has been a fantastic experience. I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to share my artwork with the public, work with the Bike Walk Macon team, and meet three incredibly talented artists, Lekisha, Sydnee, and Omar. While I hope next time we don't have to paint in the Georgia heat, I look forward to creating more public art in our community!
Lekisha: This experience was nothing short of amazing! To have the opportunity to leave behind a legacy promoting positivity makes all of the labor well worth it.
Omar: I hope such projects expand and continue, it was a great experience for me, the feedback was amazing, and I hope my work inspire someone to commission me with other projects in GA, especially Macon Bibb county.