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July 26, 2021 3 min read

THE BASICS
 

Name:
Jessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn

Residence:
Baltimore, MD

Occupation:
Muralist team
Jessie & Katey painting mural on wall

Jessie and Katey are a Baltimore-based artist team that transforms public spaces into playful and vibrant experiences. This dynamic duo has been turning urban areas into works of art for the past decade. And now, we’re teaming up with them to bring you our newest print - Chromatic Voyage. We sat down with the pair to learn more about their process and their latest collaboration with Rumpl.

You guys have a signature, geometric style to your art. Has that always been your go-to style or has that evolved over time?

Katey: I think it kind of happened over time because we were really interested in murals and the murals we started off making were a little wackier and didn't have as much form in them. Then it kind of made sense going with perfect geometry because we were scaling our designs up and needed a method to do that. It just worked out!

Jessie: Yeah, it's way more efficient because we started designing with the foresight of how we would approach it on the wall. Just thinking about a quick, easy to understand translation to a bigger scale really informed how we designed. We don't grid anything or project, we just use the geometry to tell us where to go.

What is your process when creating a mural?

Katey: It's such a funny process because you're drawing really small and you put it on the computer and then you're blowing it up really big. It’s just a very step-oriented process.

Jessie & Katey painting mural on wall

It’s so cool you were such good friends before you started a business together. How has it been working with each other?

Katey: Our friendship has just made this collaboration so seamless. The fact that we could jump into business together and start a whole, I guess, art practice with style.

Jessie: And empire.

Katey: We started an empire, but with a style that either of us didn't have outside of ourselves, so we created it together. I think the fact that we still enjoy hanging out is crazy and we have a lot of fun. It's just been really easy, which is cool and I’m very grateful for that.

How did you first get the idea to start doing murals and public art displays?

Katey: I think more than anything we were driven by unique spaces because one of our first pieces we did was on the floor in a park. And I think it just struck us that it was super well-received and we hadn't seen very many other floor murals at the time. That was our driving force - just always try to make it spill onto the ground or around corners and have more fun with it in a non-traditional sense of how you would typically see a mural. That was also the reason we chose to work abstractly. It was definitely intentional because we noticed there was a lack of abstraction in public art. It's really playful, and it feels more musical to us and accessible to people in a way that’s not story-driven.

Jessie: Yeah, it's also really nice to see people interacting with it, whether it's kids making up games or people coming to take photographs. Everyone makes our work their own and it's like the collaboration continues.

"We believe that the aesthetics of one's environment can influence their emotions and state of mind."

-Jessie & Katey

Jessie & Katey painting mural on steps
Jessie & Katey painting mural on steps

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