Artist Spotlight: Marisabel Bazan
The muralist behind ‘Dream Big’ talks butterflies and her obsession with West Hollywood
It was one of the rare cool, overcast mornings here in Los Angeles when I walked over to one of my favorite spots, Joe & the Juice, to meet with the self-taught Panamanian artist behind the “Dream Big” butterfly mural at John & Pete’s Liquor store. Her name is Marisabel Bazan and we just vibed. Her international sensibility, a shared love for our West Hollywood community, and the way she draws inspiration for her art had me looking at the world in a slightly different way. Plus, we share a mutual obsession for the area we call home (north of Melrose, south of Santa Monica and the streets from West Knoll through Huntley).
Like me, she’s also excited by all the new businesses popping up on Melrose. Many of these businesses have done a good job of incorporating the neighborhood into their offerings. For instance, I like to chill in the amazing outdoor garden on the roof of Restoration Hardware and of course, I like that talented artists like Marisabel have created beautiful pieces on some of their walls.
Marisabel wants to see her butterflies everywhere, reminding people to Dream Big and Be Inspired. Visit her bio and you’ll find impressive tidbits like how one of her pieces hangs in the permanent collections of the United Nations’ UNAIDS in Geneva or that her unique vision boarding technique caught the attention of Oprah’s Life Lift blog.
I invite you to get to know her a little better.
What is unique about your art and the pieces you create?
My art is an abstract revolution of passion, love, happiness and good intentions and I believe people are attracted to that vibe.
I love the “Dance of the Butterfly” mural at John & Pete’s. How did that all come together?
I am a person that visualizes things. The opportunities I can create excite me. If there is not an actual opportunity coming my way, I will create one. I was looking for a wall to paint around the area and saw the wall at John & Pete’s and loved it. I spoke to them and they referred me to Modern Rugs L.A., the actual owners of the building. They loved the idea I presented to them. I then wrote the proposal to the city and they approved it and voila!
When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
I think being an artist was something that was pouring out of my veins since I was 7 years old. I started as a dancer that evolved into singing and songwriting. When I moved to Los Angeles, I got very inspired by street art, and I started to create a very unique style of vision boards, which led to beginning of this artistic journey.
What piece are you best known for?
I believe that more than one specific piece of art, I am well known for my butterfly sculptures, canvases and inspirational murals. My style includes a mix of multiple media, colors and an expression of freedom. “The Dance of the Butterfly” mural in West Hollywood is a representation of my style as an artist.
When you need your personal art fix, where do you go?
I either go to the art supply store, go for a walk, get coffee, sit somewhere in the neighborhood to watch people, or go to a bookstore and indulge myself reviewing art and fashion design books.
If you could paint anything anywhere, where or what would it be?
I would love to do an art installation in Central Park in New York City.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
I would be a fashion designer.
How does living in West Hollywood inspire your art?
I feel welcomed and motivated by the people in my community. I love the social dynamic of West Hollywood and its multi-cultural essence.
How would a business contact you to do a wall?
What’s coming up next for you?
I am actually developing a new collection called “Popolishis,” I have been sharing the process on my social media, so I invite you to follow me ;D