Well-Known ‘Bean the Astronaut’ Lands New Home on Broad Ripple Mural

Indianapolis artist Joy Hernandez has worked as a videographer for WISH-TV for the past 18 years, but in her freetime she dreams up and paints make-believe worlds for an astronaut named Bean. 

Bean can be found skateboarding, quite successfully we might add, on the side of our Broad Ripple Jiffy Lube store (6401 N. College Ave) in a mural titled “In a Hundred Billion Galaxies.”

Mural Overview:

The title of the mural comes from a quote from the late Carl Sagan, an American astronomer. “Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious,” he said. “If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”

Sagan quotes have appeared as titles for Joy’s other murals in the Broad Ripple area, becoming a theme for her work.

Bean officially “learned” how to skateboard when Joy sketched it up last November. “I can’t personally skateboard, but Bean trained hard to be ready for this moment,” she said.

Originally Joy wanted to incorporate the constellation Orion but when she found herself artistically stuck she decided to look to the sky. She settled on the Milky Way, which became the now-popular swirl in the mural’s background.

mural in progress

“The swirl is what reminded me of a skateboard ramp, and off we went,” she said. “I did have a few sketches of Bean doing skateboard tricks for fans to vote for on Facebook. The other designs became shirts and stickers!”

Bean Lands a New Home:

Joy completed the mural in eight days, although she was always keeping an eye on the radar and thermometer.

“I made sure to stop with enough time for the paint to dry before a storm moved in,” said Joy. “Other days were near 90 degrees so I worked slower and took frequent breaks.”

She spent the first day priming the south-facing wall and then projected the design onto the wall in the darkness of the night.

Once the mural was completed Joy was happy and relieved to see the final product.

“I want it to become a reality so the viewers can see what I see.” She continues, “This project has taken up quite a bit of brain space so it was hard to fathom future projects until this one was done.”

Astronomically Fun Facts:

  • The mural is painted with Novacolor acrylic.
  • Are you familiar with other Bean murals around town? Each planet has a different color background: Mars is red and tan, Titan is blue and yellow, Ganymede (a satellite of Jupiter) is purple, Pluto is pink, and so on.
  • Many of Joy’s murals are based on canvas paintings she has done.
  • Joy calls her Bean murals “World Building. “Bean’s world is make-believe and can represent you, me, or whomever. 

About Joy Hernandez:

Joy started in the art world by studying animation in Chicago with a dream to eventually work for Disney. Noticing she didn’t have the attention span for animation, Joy switched her major to News Videography at UIndy. She took an internship with WISH-TV which eventually turned into her career.

Several years later, Joy’s animation knowledge has evolved into her art.

“It’s definitely carried over into Bean’s world and I feel most comfortable having a character in my art,” Joy said.

In addition to working for WISH-TV, Joy also founded and runs the Full Circle Nine Gallery, an artist co-op. The Full Circle Nine Gallery is composed of two dozen local artists all working together to collectively support and advance their art and creativity.

You can find Joy’s murals painted across the country as well as locally in Indy. When she saw the Jiffy Lube Mural project call for artists she knew she needed to apply.

“I didn’t get accepted the first time I applied,” Joy said, “I took some time to refine my work and find additional opportunities to paint more outdoor murals locally and build Bean’s world. I grew stronger as a muralist and once this summer hit, I was like, ‘I got this!’”

You can connect with Joy Hernandez here:
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Email | Website

This mural project is part of our Growing People through Work initiative, a franchise-wide commitment to building up our employees and the communities where they live and work. The murals are presented in partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

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