If you’ve driven past our 62nd and Keystone Ave. location in Indianapolis lately, you may have noticed a new piece of public art. William Denton Ray, the artist behind Whimsical Funk, designed and painted this mural in a style that is true to his name. The very whimsical, and especially funky, artwork is catching the eyes of drivers, guests of Jiffy Lube, and plenty of Chick-fil-A visitors!
We’re taking you behind-the-scenes with William and getting a closer look into how his mural ‘Indivinity’ came to life.
How William Got Started
You may recognize William Denton Ray as the resident artist for Sun King Brewery, but how did he get there? He is an Indianapolis native and after studying ad design and fine art in college, he worked as an artist for a few companies before deciding to live his dream of making his own art full-time.
William was helping Carl Leck, another Jiffy Lube Muralist, paint the 500 Festival mural when Carl got a call from Sun King Brewing for some can designs. Instead of taking the job himself, Carl introduced William to the owners.
“I started with a t-shirt design, which led to a can design, which led to another can design, and another,” said William. “Eventually it led to an interview and I accepted an offer from Sun King in the fall of 2016 and haven’t looked back. It’s honestly the best job ever.”
William enjoys creating a lot of whimsical and abstract characters and loves the strange and obscure.
“I grew up skateboarding and I remember picking out a new skateboard and a lot of that had to do with the graphics,” William continues. “There were all kinds of crazy raw expressions to choose from and it seems like each team or skater had their own identity. It just stuck with me and still does to this day.”
Creating his own brand identity is something William has worked diligently towards and can clearly be observed in his artwork. His unique characters command the focal point of each work, and now one lives on the wall of Jiffy Lube!
Mural Concept & Design
You might be surprised to hear that the design for this mural was an evolution process.
“Most of the time I am not trying to create anything specific. I more or less let the lines build until something is revealed and then I start thinking about what the lines’ forms and composition are trying to say.”
The initial design for the Keystone Ave. mural was two very abstract heads facing each other. They were wildly colorful but William thought the design seemed static so he scrapped the idea and asked if he could submit a new idea.
The new concept, now known as “Indivinity”, is a woman looking west.
“I knew I wanted her looking west because it’s representational of where the sun sets and where Midwesterners dream of going, or at least some do…California dreaming.”
The lady in the mural is named after and represents these three words:
William spent 6-14 hours designing and making around 50 loose hand-drawn concepts for the mural before deciding on a final design. Once he settled on the design, he gridded out the mural in Illustrator for ease of translation.
He painted the mural over the course of four to five days, usually painting around four hours each day. Since the wall had a lot of texture he ended up using some spray paint which sped up the process.
To learn more about William Denton Ray you can connect with him here:
Studio: Studio 076 at the Harrison Art Center. Open First Friday from 6pm-9pm.
This mural is part of a larger collaboration with the Arts Council of Indianapolis – The Every Part Matters Mural Project. Thank you to William and the artists of the five other murals completed in 2018.Additional artists and mural locations include:
Blend Creative Minds — 5444 W. 38th Street (International Marketplace)
Carl Leck — 8175 Allisonville Road (Castleton)
Craig Martin — 2 S. Earl Avenue (Lafayette)
Barbara Stahl — 1280 N. Green Street (Brownsburg)
Shamira Wilson Young — 5630 N. Georgetown Road
And congratulations to the five new artists that have been selected for 2019. See who the artists are and where they will be painting here!
The Every Part Matters mural project is Jiffy Lube of Indiana’s commitment to public art that provides both internal and external benefits to our people and the communities in which we work and live. “It’s positively impacting our business, but more than that, it is improving our communities and inspiring our people,” explains Jiffy Lube owner Steve Sanner. Find a Jiffy Lube of Indiana location near you.