Charlo Walterbach painting a mural on garage doors

Storytelling Studio Artist Charlo Garcia Walterbach

You began your career as a graphic designer. What led you into the world of murals? What do you appreciate most about this medium?

Even though I chose graphic design as my professional career, I've always been interested in artistic and cultural expressions. Working as a designer, I always worked closely with art. I began my professional career as an editorial designer working for The Council of Arts and Culture in Mexico. After a few years, I immigrated to the USA to work as the principal designer of an art collection. Eventually, as I continued to learn more about myself, I realized that my interest in art was not just a hobby or something I just liked doing in my spare time; it was actually one of my biggest passions and a big part of who I am. That's when I decided to explore my own artistic expression more profoundly.

One of the things I like about murals and street art, in general, is how surprising they can be. They are these little moments of joy out there waiting to be discovered by whoever is passing by. I love the idea of a wall standing there waiting to be transformed into art. It doesn't matter the size, or if they are big concrete walls or garage doors, I genuinely believe some walls are born to be transformed into beautiful artistic representations of our time. Maybe this is a very romantic view of something so mundane as a wall, but I genuinely believe all public walls are fantastic opportunities to create art on them.

The Studio is all about storytelling, how does storytelling relate to your work/demo?

As I prepare to work on a mural project, I like engaging with the organization or family I'm doing the mural for, to get to know them better and establish a connection between us. Through that engagement and getting to know each other better, I draw inspiration for the piece. I love getting to know other people's stories and what is important to them to translate that into this visual blanket I create on the wall.

Learning about other people's perspectives and what is important to them is a way of being part of their story, and through that process, my own sense of being part of this community continues to grow.

I believe our stories are what make us. The moments we experience, how we experience them and what we make out of them are what, little by little, shape us. I try to recreate that with my visual language and allow it to constantly grow through the inspiration I get from connecting with other people.

You like to draw inspiration from the people and communities around you—what inspires you most about this collaborative way of working?

I love translating into the canvas symbols that represent that connection that appears through this collaboration, even when they are small moments.

That moment I connect with someone else is a moment in both of our stories. And, even if it is just for a quick moment, our stories are interwoven. So I try to represent that in my art with every symbol, every letter, and line. Even the most unconscious ones represent this visual story being told on the canvas.

Also, through this collaboration, I feel like I'm part of a community, growing roots.

Is there anything else you want visitors to know about you or your work?

I would love all visitors to know how eager I am to get to know them better and that I am looking forward to together creating these pieces representing the joys of our community.