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Murals are like a breath of fresh air for communities, bringing vibrancy and life wherever they are found. They’re pretty to look at, but they also help build a sense of community, enhance aesthetics, promote cultural heritage, and spark imagination and curiosity. Recently, I had the chance to conduct a Q&A with three talented local muralists. We dove into their creative process, inspirations, and their remarkable creations’ impact on our community. These artists are the real deal; their work has truly injected a new level of liveliness into our city!

Taylor White

Taylor White’s mural A Century of Progress poolside at the Forge at Raleigh Iron Works

Taylor White is a painter and muralist with a wide range of skills, having a special focus on creating large-scale murals.

Jaime: How do you approach designing a mural for a specific community?

Taylor: Clients usually come with an idea or mood for a space. In our initial talk, I assess if their budget, expectations, and my creative freedom align. If we click and there’s room for creativity, we proceed. We agree on terms, then cycle through brainstorming, refining with feedback, and finalizing the design — a process with flexible timing. Once the final design is set, we plan the installation. It’s a collaborative effort from start to finish, balancing their vision with my artistic input.

Jaime: Are there any themes or messages you like to explore in your mural work?

Taylor: When I think about what I bring to the table with my art, it’s really for those who are looking for something more than just a nice pattern with pretty colors. It’s about making a real connection. It’s for folks who want their art to mean something, to reflect their own deep journey and keep evolving with them. It’s not just about filling wall space — it’s about creating an environment that’s rich in thought, beauty, and depth.

Jaime: What materials and techniques do you use in your murals?

Taylor: I use a mixture of top-of-the-line latex, acrylic, and spray paints.

You can spot Taylor’s murals in and around Wake County at The Willard, the Forge at Raleigh Iron Works, and Platform apartments. In 2024, she’ll be bringing more work to downtown, plus Holly Springs and Apex soon! Check out her work at taylorwhite.art and her Instagram @taylorwhitestudio.

Gabriel Eng-Goetz

Gabriel Eng-Goetz’s Dix Park-themed mural on West Street in downtown Raleigh

Gabriel Eng-Goetz is a versatile artist with multiple awards, spanning across various disciplines, to his credit.

Jaime: What motivated you to become an artist, and how did you choose your medium?

Gabriel: I chose art as a career because it has few rules and keeps me challenged day to day. I consider my art practice multidisciplinary, but I’ve been focusing on mural painting for the past five years.

Jaime: What inspires you?

Gabriel: Cultural identity and our human connection to nature.

Jaime: How do your murals contribute to the cultural identity of Wake County?

Gabriel: I like to think they inspire wonder and uplift a community through storytelling. That’s my goal.

Gabriel’s murals in and around Wake County include projects with Dix Conservancy, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Glenwood South Neighborhood Collaborative, Raleigh Iron Works, and Wake Tech’s Scott Northern Wake Campus Library. To see a full list of his works of art check out gabegets.com or Instagram @gabegets.

Sean Kernick

Sean Kernick’s mural at the Village District in Raleigh celebrates nature in North Carolina.

Sean embodies the quintessential left-brain/right-brain persona, boasting an eclectic skill set as diverse as his comic book collection. He explores various creative interests but concentrates on large-format, custom-illustrated murals that push boundaries and convey authentic narratives through spray paint.

Jaime: What inspired you to become a muralist?

Sean: My journey into mural painting started with graffiti back in high school in Philly. Loved the creativity, adrenaline, and competition. Got older and migrated into corporate design for a long while, became an art director, but wanted to keep exploring. Launched the magazine Oak City Hustle and quit the 9-to-5. Ultimately failed due to lack of resources and experience so I started painting murals as a parachute plan while I looked for another job. Turns out the thing I was willing to try last was the thing I should have been doing the whole time.

Jaime: How would you describe your artistic style?

Sean: My style is a mashup of my interests: golden-era illustration meets comic book energy on a 1970s graffiti-covered subway car. Think JC Leyendecker and John Romita Jr. with a backpack full of spray paint.

Jaime: Can you tell me about your creative process from conceptualization to completion?

Sean: The process is about understanding the mural location and the people who live and work there primarily. I sketch digitally, get approval, then go straight to painting with spray paint using a scribble grid to get it right. Speed, efficiency, and authentic storytelling is the secret sauce.

Sean’s artwork can be spotted around Wake County, ranging from a stunning Mighty Oak City mural on Capital in North Raleigh to a heartfelt tribute piece for LeVelle Moton on Salisbury Street in Downtown Raleigh. Follow him on Instagram at @seanorock.

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