The Alley Art Wall Attracts Creative Diversity to Carlsbad

Dynamic+artist+duo+King+Cre8+%28left%29+and+Bryan+Snyder+%28right%29+pose+before+getting+to+work+on+the+collaborative+Carlsbad+Art+Wall+project.+The+art+wall+features+17+artists+of+varying+backgrounds%2C+including+muralists+like+Snyder+and+Cre8%2C+to+highlight+the+importance+of+artistic+diversity.+

Photo by Nadia Razzaq

Dynamic artist duo King Cre8 (left) and Bryan Snyder (right) pose before getting to work on the collaborative Carlsbad Art Wall project. The art wall features 17 artists of varying backgrounds, including muralists like Snyder and Cre8, to highlight the importance of artistic diversity.

By Jacob Fletcher, Sage Creek High School

Carlsbad has not always been known for its diversity, but in recent years, varying cultures have found homes in the Village by the sea. Artistically, this culture cannot go unnoticed as diverse ideas and styles have contributed to the prevalence of the city’s visual vibrance and taste.  

Bryan Snyder (@snyderart), a local mural artist and creator of several art wall projects in the Village, is dedicated to bringing artists with different backgrounds and techniques to Carlsbad to collaborate on a sizable mural in the Tyler Street Alley. He intends to incorporate several distinct art styles to prove the importance of artistic individuality.

Snyder sections off the Alley Art Wall with masking tape in preparation for King Cre8 to paint. Those involved show their passion and dedication with the intricate detail and thought that compose the mural. (Photo by Nadia Razzaq)

“Every artist in one way or another is inspired by other artists and the pieces and the styles that really hit home are the ones we work into our own style,” said Snyder. “Also, a new style is intriguing. I like to bring diversity both in the artist and the artwork and the styles. I try to pick an artist to curate each style on a checklist.”

Snyder has sought unique art styles to feature in his projects, keeping a list of potential artists to bring to Carlsbad in the future. One of the artists that Snyder has invited to work on this project, who goes by King Cre8 (@king_cre8), usually works in Los Angeles, which he says has a less vibrant yet more prominent art scene. To Snyder, he is a prime candidate because of the passion they share and his alternative background. 

“It’s a pleasure and honor for me to be able to join forces again with [Snyder] and to be a part of a collaboration with not just him, but with other artists,” said Cre8. “That’s what actually brought me back: his love for art and his concept for putting this together.”

Cre8 focuses mainly on his refined graffiti-like style, which is often associated with dense cityscapes like in downtown Los Angeles but not beach towns like Carlsbad. He intends to impact the collaborative piece using elements of his artistic style, molded by his upbringing. 

“Most people paint what surrounds them,” said Cre8. “I’m going to make it so abstract but clean and smooth. My nice clean lines and color blends are going to really set it off in regards to how the contrast of each artist is produced.”

Participants in the project may struggle through road bumps as working with 17 artists with equal passion can be overwhelming, even for experts. In this case, because of the carefully selected group of artists that all bring something different to the table, their creativity and ingenuity will likely allow them to overcome any problems or conflicts with inventive solutions. 

Bryan Snyder explains the Carlsbad Art Wall project to a tour group. The community has been very receptive of and fascinated by the results so far and most are glad to see a diverse set of skills on showcase in the heart of the city. (Photo by Nadia Razzaq)

“It’s not a challenge per se, but it’s a creative challenge in the sense of working with space, and that’s something that a lot of artists need to adapt to,” said Cre8. 

Other involved artists include Annie Preece, a professional muralist, and Sarah Spinks, a female artist who specializes in tattooing. All of these artists introduce unique skills that may not be associated with the painting of murals. However, talented artists like these are able to use individual skills that are specific to their area of expertise and apply them to other crafts.

“I think what sets tattoo artists apart from other artists are the soft skills that go into the process,” Spinks said. “Your canvas is walking, breathing, living, and has its own opinions and ideas. Tattooing influences my mural work by keeping my quick and efficient, bold and readable.” 

While Spinks does not have an idea for the mural yet, she will be able to contribute certain skills that artists who have not worked with similarly challenging canvases might not. 

Sharing an intense passion for diversity in art, all the included artists aim to impact the community beyond visually appealing tourists and passersby. Enabling people to understand art beyond lines and colors and encouraging distinct expression is of prime importance.

“I want the youth especially to understand that there isn’t a certain mold for an artist, that an artist can be any type of person: background, religion, age, anything,” Snyder said. “They also don’t have to paint a certain way;  there are infinite amounts of styles and any style that is yours and you evolve into your own is a style that you should be painting in. I think that when you walk this wall you’ll see that every artist established is totally different and that’s what we want – in a community in terms of people – we want a lot of different people with different ideas and different backgrounds. When there’s public art, we want different art to encourage creativity but to also share different backgrounds.”

This story was originally published on The Sage on November 15, 2021.