Mitchel Hooser is an Urban ArtWorks volunteer, helping us out and also putting some paint on walls. We asked him for his thoughts on public art and its role in creating engaged communities:

How did you find out about Urban Artworks?
I was walking down Capitol Hill and came across this giant mural they did on Northwest Liquor Store building on 12th and Pine. The whole building was covered in all of this amazing art, I saw the name Urban Artworks and knew I had to get involved.

Which project(s) did you work on with us? Which one was your favorite?
Ive been invited to numerous events but I worked on two silent auctions, one for a pizza party for We are Unicorns that involved drawing on pizza boxes. The second was designing vans shoes at Wayward. My favorite has to be the shoes, It was really satisfying seeing the finished product knowing that someone could wear them around and rock it.

Tell us about yourself, where did you grow up / how did you find yourself in Seattle?
I’m originally from Hawaii born and raised. I just moved to Seattle recently to live with my extended family and to experience the city life. I like to be adventurous, hiking, etc. but also enjoy staying inside to work on my mini projects and listen to good music.

What in your personal life has influenced you to choose your career path?
I’ve always been drawing and its apart of me, wether it be a career or not I like to make things that I enjoy.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
Instagram actually did a lot to motivate me, seeing other artist at work, sharing my process and getting positive feedback. I constantly listen to music, write down lyrics and pin up my drawings in my room so I can see my progress.

Where do you get your inspiration from as an artist?
Recently thinking of my home town, I want to share what it was like living their with everyone. I constantly listen to music, I write down lyrics or words I think of and pin up my drawings in my room so I can see my progress.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?
I guess it would be both, I try to get the execution down but If i slip up, I just think of a way to make the subject differently while still maintaining the meaning behind it.

In your opinion, what are some ways that public art helps create a sense of community?
I think public art is something that makes people appreciate where they live and to see their surroundings differently/more creatively. A boring old wall all of the sudden becomes a page into a different world that make inspire people to have a great life.

What are your thoughts about public art as a tool to reach young people?
I think its a good alternative to challenge young people to think differently and to express themselves. Its a good outlet and therapeutic , when you display it for the community to see, you can build a sense of pride and confidence that you made that.

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