Travis Czekalski and Jon Stommel work collaboratively as ‘Rather Severe’, creating Murals, Illustrations, and Public Art, to inspire their community and enrich the experience of being in public spaces. Their works are a conversation with a wide variety of residential and commercial clients, whom they encourage to share their visions for an art piece and then work with to realize those visions within their own unique visual language. In this way the work creates a direct connection between the artists, their clients, and the communities and places that their artwork becomes a part of.
Travis and Jon each received a BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design, where they began working together in 2010. The first projects they created collaboratively were experimental stop motion animations, transitioning shortly after into commissioned mural projects for a local library and several ‘Mellow Mushroom’ pizza restaurants. In late 2011, Travis and Jon decided to move Rather Severe to Portland OR, with the hope of doing more collaborative public mural works there as well as around the greater Pacific Northwest and West Coast.
Since moving to Portland, they have participated in multiple mural festivals including Forest for the Trees, Colorado Crush, the SODO Track Project, RKY MTN Walls, and Clark County Summer of Murals. Rather Severe has also worked on commissioned commercial painting projects and public murals in many other cities including Roanoke VA, Minneapolis, Myrtle Beach, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland, Bellevue OH, Lincoln NE, Atlanta, Denver, among others.
Rather Severe has also collaborated with corporate clients including Adidas, Target, Mellow Mushroom, Microsoft, Cura CS, and FLIR