Written by Jesse Scaccia
“I hope the drivers on Brambleton come away with a message of hope.”
– Louie Roybal, artist
The Norfolk Arts District is getting a new large scale mural, courtesy of my employer, Pilot Media, on the Targeted Media building at the corner of Brambleton and Magazine. There was a company-wide contest soliciting concepts that mesh with the company’s motto of “Inform. Inspire. Improve.” 16 employees submitted ideas for the 16×64 foot wall. The winning design was submitted by graphic designer Louie Roybal. Louie holds degrees in fine art and graphic design from Pensacola Christian College.
The piece is called “Currents of Time.” The mural should be applied in the fall. Louie shared some insights on the piece, how he hopes viewers respond to it, and the value of sticking with it through challenging times.
AltDaily: Tell me about the piece. Where were you coming from as you sat down to create your design?
Louie Roybal: My motivation is I wanted something that was slightly on a serious note, not bright and happy necessarily, but not dismal. Something that would imply transformation, evolution in a sense, moving from one place to another. All the while I had this image of a child putting paper boats in the water. Time changes things, and you can adapt to it. We have a different environment than we did a while ago, but I didn’t want to have something specific just to a newspaper company, but applicable to anything.
I like to see calmness and I like to see adaption. I’m a very strategic person by nature. I like to think one step ahead. When I think in terms of business strategy, or even life strategy, I ask myself, What do I have to do to adapt to the environment in 5 years?
Hundreds and hundreds of drivers will pass the mural every day. What do you hope is their reaction to the piece?
I hope they come away with a message of hope. Honestly, I’ve been stuck in traffic different times in my life, I end up getting road rage, everyone does. I hope they take a minute and reflect, and come away with a message: Keep hope. Slow down. Relax. Everything will be okay. Definitely a reminder that they’re not going to be stuck where they are forever. If they’re going through a hard time they can change and adapt.
How do you relate to this personally?
Moving from college into my field was one way. When I graduated, everyone in my field of graphic design was trying to get a job, and it was a diminishing field with the job market going down. I decided I’m fine. I took a lot of odd jobs and did a lot of graphic design in my free time. At one point I was at a tissue bank making bone graphs, and I would come home and design at night. Eventually I got a job, built my portfolio and got a job here. I knew I had to stay with it… there was no way I was going to get into the field right away.
I think that in a way, the mural shows limitless possibilities. The written word inspires. It can convey a truth that can set us free, and fosters imagination. It can take us places we thought were impossible. We are able to adapt and change. We can go anywhere and do anything.
What are your thoughts on The Pilot getting involved with the Arts District, and the Arts District in general?
I think it’s a great thing. Art is a good thing. It’s a luxury in our everyday world. The Arts District is slowly promoting a positive message. Art is good for life.