Cactuses and desert dwellers

It seems every city in the US have started to use their gray utility boxes as canvases for public art. Since being asked to paint one I've been noticing them at almost every street corner! Some corners are more inspiring than others but I've been lucky- mine is right by the Hollywood Palladium.

What you see below is a pretty gouache version of my design on paper (and cleaned up digitally) - the real thing will be painted with house paint on metal.

desertdwellers-sophiequi.jpg

Part of the inspiration for my design was serendipity- I was developing cactus patterns when transitioning into the project, part was aesthetic -the green and tan colors of the Palladium easily lend themselves to a desert scene, plus the cactus shapes appear to match the streamline moderne/art deco style of the building.

palladium.jpg
 this is a mock-up, not the real thing!

this is a mock-up, not the real thing!

I was also intrigued by the name, Palladium, which came from the Greek goddess of the arts Pallas Athena, and inspired astronomers in the naming of the asteroid Pallas that's part of a whole belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, stylistically pictured on one side of the box. Just below is a snake and on the other side an owl, both major symbols associated with Athena - and also very likely dwellers to be found in the California desert.

desertdwellers-serpent-sophiequi.jpg
desertdwellers-owl-sophiequi.jpg

Because Hollywood started out as a cactus desert with a single adobe hut, and despite the big city it is now- thanks to water and the electricity inside the box, let's not forget (as temperatures are about to hit 100F in the next couple days!) we're still very much desert dwellers.

And now for more cactuses on things, check out my latest patterns on Society6 - notice their new products - serving trays and cutting boards! Now's a good time to take advantage of the holiday sale (up to 40% with code HAPPY4TH)- happy 4th of July!