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This is my "big," Joe.

Like a few of my Cal Poly teammates, Joey and I grew up playing soccer at the same club in San Jose. We weren’t the closest at the time since he was on the older team, but that definitely changed quickly when I followed his (and my older brother’s) footsteps to Cal Poly. 

Joseph has always been a role model to me with soccer, school, girls, and really anything a good friend would be there for. So when I joined the team as an incoming freshmen, Joe took me under his wing and showed me the ropes! 

So why do I consider him my “big”? Our school had a large greek life community, so naturally the team adopted certain ideas that would bring us closer together; like philanthropy events, dinners, and other group bonding activities ;). And since my older brother Kody was his “big”, he was destined to fill the role of mine! 

So when Joebin said he was in need of some fresh art, I was happy to supply!

And what made my job even easier, was that he knew exactly what he wanted: redwood trees. Maybe to commemorate our times exploring the woods in mammoth, or in honor of the wildfires happening in California, or maybe just cause he like trees (the world may never know). 

We went back and forth on the design, and came up with an idea that I’ve never done before. Addressing the phenomena of tree growth, we decided to make the roots and a few of the trees growing through the frame! 

 

With a little extra thought and maneuvering, this concept was a fun challenge and we were collectively impressed with the outcome. This piece of detail was also a great showcase of the limitless creativity and possibilities with my artwork.

Aside from the trees, Joe's vision included a dark, misty background, with sun rays coming through the trees.

“Now that, I dont know if I can do hahaha” I responded. 

But I took his vision and decided to best match it, I would need to step away from the acrylics and try to create a misty layering with spray paint. I played around with the spray paint for a bit and then painted the background with dark blues, black and gold for the rays. 

As for the trees, the leaves were painted with various greens and the trunks with browns and dark reds. The biggest challenge to this piece however was putting it together. With so many small intricate pieces with tight curves and edges, trimming the excess paint off the sides literally made my hands cramp. 

But the uphill battle was won and the piece eventually came together nicely, with only a few missing pieces! 

Next, I wrapped it up and took a quick 6 hour drive up to the bay to bring these trees to their forever home. Stepping on his bed, we hung it up and did a small “unveiling” ceremony. 

Thank you Joey for your continual support and friendship!

P.S.: Hope those roots don’t impale you in the head while your sleeping 🙂

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