Strider Patton is a third generation self-taught artist based in San Francisco who's been painting murals for 10 years and recently is diving into sculpture as well. He's painted for renowned organizations from education, hospitality, and technology, to local government, finance, and health care. He also thrives on residential commissions with homeowners and designers too.
Among many other things, Strider directed a 1,750 sq ft youth mural project with 400 kids in Iowa and painted a school in Cambodia with 80 local children. He exhibits works in international galleries, collaborates with a neon light artists on glowing murals, and completed a 4-floor public art installation in Soho London.
Let's get right into our chat...
Shannon Kaye: Strider, when I saw your sidewalk chalk mural at stARTup Art Fair San Francisco at the Hotel Del Sol in 2019, I was blown away by the speed, colors, an joy you brought to that project!
Strider Patton: Thank you! Art is a way of life in my family, I grew up always making things with my hands. Leaving home I wanted to do something different so I went through college and grad school studying cultural anthropology. My education and curiosities ended up informing my art more and more, and I realized I'm happiest and most present when I'm making things.
I was deep in the street art world in the mid 2000s and then found opportunities to create more permanent works in places like schools, commercial businesses and even homes. It’s a dream to now be working directly with design professionals seeing how the right art can createa desired experience.
Shannon: I totally get that. Having an impact on an entire space with color and form can be very rewarding when you see people physically responding to your work. What role does color play in your work? Is it decorative? symbolic?
Strider: Color is critical to my work- It's like ingredients for cooking. One ingredient on its own is one thing, but you start to add others and the whole thing changes. I mostly use color aesthetically to conjure atmosphere and sometimes functionally to direct observation to certain areas.
Shannon: I love talking to artists who do exterior work. Tell us about your experience with color and how it's effected by sunlight and weather. Do these factors influence your color choices?
Strider: The elements are a huge consideration in any outdoor project. Sun exposure, temperature and water are major factors to consider. These are the first things I bring up with clients. Nothing is permanent, but with the right wall preparation, ever improving paint quality, and mural protection coating, I'm less weary of using certain colors and aim to keep the color vibrant for as long as possible.
Shannon: Speaking of clients, what do you need from your clients to create a successful relationship and project?
Strider: Working with clients I use questions and observation- things I learned from anthropology! I ask a lot of questions and spend time in the space where the piece will be painted. We usually go through 2 or 3 rounds to achieve the final design.
Shannon: Tell me more about your clients.
Strider: An ideal relationship with a client is one where mutual trust and genuine interest and respect for each other is established. The more a client trusts me the better the delivery. I’ve been fortunate to work with incredible clients over the years and have had almost no bad experiences. In fact, I’ve made many dear friends from past projects!
Shannon: I love that! I always say that getting paid for a project is awesome, but when I client invites me over or calls for more, those are the most gratifying moments. So what are you working on now?
Strider: Yes, I am working on a collection of studio paintings and small sculptures that are available now. It's been good working on a smaller scale for a change and seeing how that effects my ideas. I'm also always up for new commissions and ready to get on ladders and scissor lifts any time!
A big indoor mural installation was put on pause, and I just got the word that it's opening back up. I’m looking forward to getting back on a scissor lift to paint large! I’ve been incorporating neon lights, LED lights and projection mapping into murals and sculptures. I'll definitely continue with that.
The best place to see my work is on Instagram @striderpatton and you can contact me for commissions on my website/newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colors from Strider's palette that we love
So here we are stepping lightly into 2021 looking to restore a sense of calm and get grounded again as we prepare for whatever this new year may bring.