Have you ever noticed how a drab wall or a utility box can become a thing of beauty with art? Isn’t it wonderful when you cruise around a town and unexpectedly stumble across murals that bring that place to life? These are just some of the reasons we think Skye Walker — a well-known artist who lives in Encinitas, CA, and a friend of LonoLife — is worth shining a spotlight on today.
Skye Walker (yep, real birth-given name) is an artist, muralist, and designer whose art is inspired by his love of mother nature, the oceans, mountains, and traveling. We love all those things too over here at LonoLife (along with a good serving of delicious food, of course!). And because we also love stumbling across Skye’s stunning artwork as we go about our daily lives, we thought it was time to find out what inspires him to create his art, his advice for budding muralists, and his favorite things to do in Encinitas (you might want to bookmark those for future visits!).
Why do you think it’s so important for communities to invest in public art?
Public art inspires not only communities, but young artists can see art on a grand scale to get their brains thinking beyond their sketchbook and wonder what else is possible. And now that the world has changed and people want to be outside even more, you can go to a city and see an amazing art show right on the street. You may have to look a little, but there are so many street artists and muralists painting amazing things right now globally.
Do you have an all-time favorite mural? Why?
I love this mural I did for the city of Oceanside, CA, called “The Beauty of the Sea Will Always be with Me.” The community of Oceanside chose me out of 35 artists to create this vision. I had to celebrate Mother Nature and the connection Oceanside has to the sea. It also subtly hints that we should do our best to protect our oceans. I have a lot of favorite murals I’ve done for different reasons, but the fact that the people voted for me to do this one is very special.
The forces of nature are present in almost all your art. How did you become so enamored with nature?
My parents always took my sister out into nature and they were preaching to us that we need to protect and save the planet since we were little. They were talking about it before we were born when no one really was. I loved to draw and paint natural elements — and figure drawing was also super interesting to me. When I combine the figure with nature, it makes the connection real which is very subtle but also complex as our interaction with our environment is ever changing and fascinating. It’s also heartbreaking how humans destroy nature too.
You work long days on your murals. What essentials do you always have with you when creating?
I strive to eat as healthy as I can when I’m doing big murals and long days. I hydrate well and eat lots of veggies and fruits. I also usually have some Lonolife Bone Broth on hand to mix into my Mizu thermos and I’ll sip on that — it keeps me feeling strong and ready to complete the job.
What advice do you have for any budding artists who think they might like to try their hand at murals?
Don’t be discouraged… keep striving to see your dream come true. It’s very hard, not an easy process at all, but it’s so fun and satisfying. And you learn something new every time. And you get a little better each time as well. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t do it either, only listen to what YOU want to do and create… it will pay off in the long run.
Tell us your 3 favorite things about living in Encinitas.
I love these 3 things so much about this town: Surfing, community & how the city supports the arts. Also, having support from people like Irene Pyun and Annika Walden who both works at Encinitas & Leucadia Mainstreet Associations is huge — the artists in this community really appreciate their efforts to keep the art and public arts alive!
For any of our readers planning a visit to San Diego, what are must-see/must-dos?
Ohhhhh, so much to do! Well, start off in Encinitas — all you have to do is just walk down 101 and there’s so much to see and do. Go to Darshan bakery on second street and have your mind blown by their croissants, sandwiches and chai (it’s my go-to). Check out Coffee Coffee in Leucadia and stroll up and down the 101 (I may have a secret mural there too). But of course, you have to just go to the beach, post up and watch the pelicans fly by and the waves undulate all day. You can’t lose doing that!
Take a look at more of Skye’s work at www.skyewalkerart.com or follow him on Instagram.