This Oak Tree mural was created in 2014 with students at Westlake Middle School in Oakland.
They began before I arrived on the scene, by painting tiles using cultural motifs from the Middle East, Mexico, East Asia, East Africa, and other places where the student population hails from. Those would form the mural’s border.
As usual, I began by drawing the image—which was designed by the students and delivered to me in the form of a tiny sketch on scratch paper by their teacher—in pencil on the wall. With the border tiles in, we then started with the outline of the tree branches and roots, using mirror to form some of the lines.
After that, it’s just a matter of sticking on tile after tile after tile!