I was currently enrolled in a service-learning course at Radford University that focused on volunteer work and community development. As part of the class, we were encouraged to seek out opportunities that related to our concentrations. I was lucky enough to happen upon the need for artwork thanks to the City of Roanoke's volunteer coordinator. The need was for a kid-friendly mural to be painted in the children's visitation room, to brighten up the place and make it a more welcoming, enjoyable, and visually exciting environment for both the kids and parents during visitation hours.
After visiting the site, I felt my first design was going to crowd the space, making it too busy and claustrophobic. I drew up another design right away with another goal in mind: to get the kids and other volunteers involved in painting the mural, too. What was originally going to be a solo project became a collaboration involving volunteers of all ages. I simplified the mural design to large, playful, geometric shapes that anyone would feel comfortable painting, regardless of their experience. And instead of focusing on the sketches I created alone, I wanted the volunteers to speak up and play a part in the process, too. This was going to be a place they helped create.