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  • Kristie Robertson

Joonbug the Muralist

HAVE YOU EVER DONE A MURAL BEFORE? What are some challenges or excitements you're experiencing?

I’ve created murals before but never on this scale, nor through this process. I just completed a mural for Common Desk, and now I am in the process of illustrating a mural that will be printed in Highland Park Village Starbucks. Per my latest project for Common Desk, the whole thing was excitingly frustrating, but I enjoyed it. The biggest challenge was mental; wrapping my mind around scaling it from paper to wall. I also wondered if my vision would it come across well to others. I received help and advice along the way from my friends: Daniel Driensky and Sarah assisted with their projector to get the layout on the wall. Arturo Torres and Susan helped finish it out. I did enjoy the process of working on it, from the sketchy ladder to eye level, it all felt therapeutical. I kept stepping back to check it out and thought, “Damn, I’m actually doing this…” I thank Nick Clark, owner of Common Desk, for giving me the opportunity and the freedom to create.

Watch the video below to experience the process behind the mural located at Common Desk coworking space located in Deep Ellum, TX.

Photography and video by:

Mika Mitchell

Follow on: Vimeo

Instagram @mikamitchell

Twitter: @mitchell_mika


Fresh Kaufee is my clothing line. Everything I do is an experience. While Bugs87 is my illustration avenue, Fresh Kaufee is the umbrella in which everything else flows from. From the designs of my apparel to the way they are packaged and delivered, every part of the process is an experience that tells a story.

YOU BEGAN FRESH KAUFEE WHILE BEING AN EMPLOYEE AT McDONALDS. To me that says a ton about your creativity and determination. Have you always been a pretty driven and dedicated artist, or did there come a time when you had let go of other distractions and develop discipline?

I’d say my mother had, and still has, much to do with that. She always found a way to make things work. My art style is rooted in the imperfect perfection clause, so there’s always room to improve, and therein lies the dedication to refine it. On the other hand, I could use more discipline; I have severe tunnel vision, am an excessive worker, and procrastinator—though I secretly like the pressure.

Check out more of the designs and shop online at Fresh Kaufee.

WORD ON THE STREET IS YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING ON A COMIC BOOK? That's awesome! What is it about a comic book that you feel like everyone can relate to / enjoy?

JOON: The nostalgia of reading an illustrated story is something almost everyone can relate to. The content is for selective reasoning; either you get it or you don’t. If you don’t, then it’s likely that you’re still asleep. The story is called, Beanboy: The caffeinated Caper. Beanboy tells the origin story of a black boy born in a turbulent time and situation who eventually rises up to become a leader. It begins with a punch to your psyche, as his father (a slave) whipping his mother (the slave) in 1831, Jamaica. The story is unapologetic and rightfully so.


Art can be a flower, you usually appreciate the bloom without the struggle. I show my process because you need to see the struggle. Otherwise, how else can the finished masterpiece truly be appreciated without going through the process which made it a masterpiece?

DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME YOU CREATED SOMETHING THAT MADE YOU PROUD? That gave you the sense of 'this is what I enjoy and could be good at.' If so, can you tell us about that?

My great uncle was a prominent artist of the family and I’d see his work all over the house. I kept drawing things to impress him. I remember capturing my house through an illustration. He finally gave me the pat and nod, boom. Later on, I’d find that solace in the work itself.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY INSPIRED YOU TO THINK LIKE AN ARTIST? And gave you the most permission to be creative risk taker that you are? Whether it birthed from one conversation or a lifetime of encouragement, can you share what you gained from that person?

I’m not sure there’s a way to “think like an artist.” Just think. Conversations with myself on rainy days have helped me most, meditation with your inner you does wonders. The elderly have also shaped my understanding of life; their wisdom and experiences have somehow left the impression that your life should be your life; your inner thoughts must reflect who you are before pushing them outward, because those said-thoughts manifest tenfold. I couldn’t pinpoint anyone specifically. It’s been more a collective effort of humans and experiences.

Follow more of Joonbug to stay in the loop of some fascinating new projects coming in 2016:

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