“It has always been my dream to create a mural,” communications sophomore Gabby Perez said. After working for six hours a day for three days straight, Perez made her dream come true.
Perez was asked to create a mural at the front of Buen Dia, an art gallery in downtown San Luis Obispo, by the gallery’s owner Jonathan Ventura.
Perez was referred to Buen Dia by a friend who knew she was talented in art and was hired by Ventura in late 2021.
“I’ve been working with Buen Dia since September. I always wanted to make a mural and, when I was asked by Jonathan, I eagerly jumped on that opportunity,” Perez said.
According to Perez, the mural needed a lot of preparation and brainstorming.
“We wanted it to be super bright and welcoming because the inside gives off a very happy vibe. We wanted the outside to lure people in,” Perez said.
Perez and Ventura used Adobe Illustrator to map out their ideas for the mural digitally and to get an idea of how to take full advantage of their space.
“Jonathan is Spanish and I am Argentine. My first project with Jonathan was a Spanish tile series and the bird was from this project so we wanted to incorporate it into the mural,” Perez said.
Perez used different pastel colors to draw a bird rising up and wrote “Bienvenidos” across the top. Ventura requested that Perez draw a bird similar to one she showed to him when he was in the process of hiring her.
“The little bird is saying ‘Bienvenidos’ and just welcoming anyone to come inside and check out the artwork,” Ventura said.
Perez has always been interested in art and took after her grandma, who was also an artist.
“Whenever I went to my grandma’s house she would pull out a sketch pad and some watercolors and we would paint together,” Perez said.
She then got into calligraphy in sixth grade and she dove deeper into art in early high school by taking more art classes.
However, this mural was Perez’s first art project of this size.
“I have never painted anything this big before,” she said. “I was very intimidated at first, but Jonathan was so encouraging and supportive so it was an awesome project to take on with him.”
Ventura planned to open his own showroom in Los Angeles in February of 2020, however when the coronavirus shut down happened, he was unable to. He then decided to open it in San Luis Obispo and was able to find a space on Broad street. Buen Dia has now been open for 13 months.
“I have always loved the SLO area and it felt right, so I went for it and got the space and opened my shop,” Ventura said.
Buen Dia predominantly creates prints and sells them from $10-40. The prints are locally inspired with pictures of Avila beach, Morro Bay or Pismo beach. All the prints are printed on eco-friendly cotton paper.
Perez felt grateful to be able to have this opportunity.
“I was so honored to be able to do this. It blew my mind that he trusted me. This art gallery is his baby and his small business and I came in so recently, so the fact that he trusted me meant a lot,” Perez said.
The mural was finished Jan 28. Perez’s next project is a national park print project which will be finished in the coming months.