Let’s take a step back in time, when we could freely walk outside, travel and see beautiful artwork. Not too long ago, award-winning visual artist and designer, Pablo Espinosa was commissioned to create a mural for the Moxy Hotel in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The city, rich in history both infamous and famous, is going through a metamorphosis. Pablo, who was born in Mexico City and has lived and worked in New Zealand and Japan was the perfect fit for Moxy’s desire to embrace the culture of Memphis, but redefine it as it exists today. We recently sat down (virtually of course) with Pablo to discover his inspiration for the mural and see how he stays creative in these challenging times.
TH: What was the inspiration behind your Moxy Memphis mural?
PE: I sought to create a bold piece of artwork that felt modern but also stood the test of time. At the center of my concept is the undying spirit of youth transcending generations: a curious, awake mind, a wild quest for pleasure and an intoxicating freedom that comes from within.
Once I had decided to highlight these qualities the rest came naturally. A chaotic cloud of color, heat and flash, where seemingly random and magical elements coexist in perfect harmony, connecting the three characters, each a proxy for the aforementioned spirit of youth.
TH: How did you feel when you saw the mural at full scale on the building?
PE: It was massively satisfying! I've seldom had my work blown up to such sizes, and much less a piece I was so proud of. Ever since seeing the first few images pop up on social media by the companies involved in mounting and coordinating the installation, up until seeing the mural featured among other fantastic art installations all around downtown Memphis. It's been a great ride and a total career highlight. Now I just have to plan a trip to Memphis to see it in person... once the global situation stabilizes a bit, that is!
TH: Speaking of, what tips can you share that help you stay creative and productive during this unusual time in our history?
PE: If you're a freelance designer or artist, I guess staying home won't be that much of a blow. Make yourself a tidy little routine and stick to it, exercise and keep that sketchbook handy. Maybe work on a relevant public service announcement about staying inside or washing your hands often? Something about getting people to stop hoarding? Just check your sources, it's not a good time to spread falsities. Stay healthy and take care of each other!