Darin’s Murals Will Make You Smile

When you spot Darin’s murals, prepare yourself to smile and ride a wave of nostalgia.

Darin's colorful mural he did for Graham Stephan's backyard. This painting is bright and fun with plants like palm trees, cactus, and blue leaves.
Backyard Mural by Darin in Los Angeles.

Drawing inspiration from the golden years (yes, the ’90s), Darin’s murals characteristically feature adaptations of classic cartoon characters along with other characters of his own creation. The bright colors, thick outlines, and playful imagery will surely put a childlike smile on your face. We grin from ear-to-ear every time we see Darin’s murals, and so we felt compelled to reach out to get a little more insight into his life and artwork.

What’s unique about your work?

My methodology is vastly different depending on what sort of project I’m working on but my influences always play an integral role. Throughout my work, you’ll often notice subtle nuances that are inspired by 90s cartoons, graffiti, anime, and modern minimalist masters.

Darin's mural at Montclair Parking Garage, Oakland, CA right next to Darin's childhood home. Hello Kitty character and other 90's inspired cartoons
Sanrio Souffle by Darin in Montclair Parking Garage, Oakland, CA

What is your favorite (or least favorite) material to work with and why?

I’ll always love using aerosol, especially on murals and large scale pieces. Lately, I’ve been venturing out and more heavily integrating acrylics & exterior house paint. For smaller, personal pieces I enjoy posca markers, collages, whiteout pens, and watercolor.

How do your pieces come to life?

My creative process is best described as controlled chaos. I’m always looking at my surroundings for interesting shapes or aesthetically pleasing color palettes… I can’t turn it off. It’s a sickness.

Mural by Darin on the side of a private residence in Culver City, CA. Bright Colors, 70's Vibe Plants.
70’s Vibe Plants by Darin at a Private Residence in Culver City, CA.

What motivates or inspires you?

It may sound melodramatic but if I’m not in the act of creating or have a creative project coming up, I feel uneasy—I’m sure there’s some psychological unpacking that can be done there (lol).

One quote I’ve always enjoyed is “I’m just trying to be a better person than I was yesterday,” and I totally forgot who said it—sorry homie.

Sanrio Song by Darin at N&M Market, Oakland, CA. Bright and Colorful 90's inspired Cartoon characters on the facade of market.
Sanrio Song by Darin at N&M Market, Oakland, CA

What makes a space special?

Any space that seems drab or a naked wall where I can add color or life makes it special because of my interaction with the environment. If my mural, painting or just a splash of added color makes someone feel better, even unconsciously, I feel like I’ve done my job.

Even if the subject matter, message or quote is expressing a negative feeling, I always aim to have the veneer of positivity to the naked eye so that, a child for instance, can gain joy from viewing it.

Darin in front of a brick wall in Oakland, CA.
Darin

What funny moments, unexpected surprises, or obstacles have you encountered?

Too many to name!

I’d like to take this moment to thank my friends & family. Without them I don’t know if I’d even still be here, let alone making art as a living.

See Darin’s Murals>

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