CARLSBAD — “I like the colors. It’s so wonderful,” said Lidia Rico, passing by the mural on Sunday morning. “It looks like she’s thinking about something,” she added.
The mural, on the east wall of Señor Grubby’s, is called “Butterflies.”
It features a young girl in a yellow and black striped T-shirt laying in grass, staring down into a chatterbox toy she’s holding, a daisy is tucked behind her ear and some butterflies flitter against a backdrop of a bold blue sky.
It’s an original work from the Los Angeles-based street artist Bumblebeelovesyou and the first piece of a new street art project called The Carlsbad Art Wall from Carlsbad resident and street artist Bryan Snyder.
“The piece is about childhood, nostalgia,” Bumblebeelovesyou (a moniker he picked up from his childhood) said. “All of my work encompasses those things, just being carefree, childlike.”
Though his subject matter wasn’t always about trying to recapture the moments in life that were forgotten. When he began his street artworks about 10 years ago in the city of Downey, where he grew up, the artist had a more politically based subject matter.
That all started to change when he saw homeless people in Los Angeles — people his age — asking him for change.
“What would I do if I were homeless?” he began asking himself.
That small idea, he said, turned into big images, and his murals all over the city began depicting youth homelessness.
Some of the street art that has garnered him attention was his installation of paper máché beehives placed in abandoned public phone boxes.
Returning to his Carlsbad piece: “This piece, it’s such a simple image, but it means a lot,” he said. “I feel like we all used to make these chatterboxes as a kid.”
What he hopes people take away from seeing the mural he said he’s already been seeing ever since the piece began taking shape — people stopping and saying how they remember playing with those chatterbox toys.
“I hope they remember their childhood and they talk about an experience they had when they were a kid. And even if it’s for a slight moment, if they feel that feeling, that moment — that’s all,” he said.
Alyssa Bruno described the piece as “very sweet,” and “innocent.” Bruno said she lost her husband, who was also an artist, six months ago, and seeing the art made her happy.
“It’s nice coming to Carlsbad because I feel like it is sort of a carefree city, it’s such a chill city,” Bumblebeelovesyou said. “It needed to fit its surroundings so I feel like the mood of this fits the mood of Carlsbad,” he added.
“It’s like graffiti — kind of edgy, but at the same time kind of subtle — nice,” said Philip Miller after walking by it. “I’m a big fan of street art. I like it because there’s almost no ego with it because it’s there for a time and then it’s gone. It’s just like a lot of work and effort almost for nothing” he added.
Originally, the plan of The Carlsbad Art Wall was to invite a Los Angeles-based street artist to create a new mural on the wall each month. Based on how well this first mural came out and the public’s response to it, Snyder said it will be hard to have to cover over the work for the next artist. Because of that, he said they’re talking about possibly keeping the murals on the wall for a little longer than planned.
The next couple of artists slated to begin murals are Annie Preece and Morley.
“It’s an honor,” Bumblebeelovesyou said about being the first to introduce L.A. art to Carlsbad. “Good luck to those trying to come after me, because it’s going to be a tough one to beat.”