2017 was a year. 2017 was a year that brought plenty of good our way. Unfortunately we started out with a little bad. Some private things in the BlackCatTips house that made us feel sad and made the chilly days of winter colder and a bit dark. We watched Stranger Things on the cold evenings of early January and I laughed as it was strange that it was filmed in my old high school. Soon the sun began to shine and we turned it all around.
When you have a chance you should take it. When they give you an opportunity you should probably give it a try. Good hard work and being honest with yourself will lead to other good opportunities. You shouldn’t take every job they throw at you but give it a little thought first — It might be a good deal. We keep trying to learn. We keep stepping forward.
• In early January I was featured in the AJC as one their Personal Journeys. I remember we took the photos on a cold day in early January when it was threatening to snow. It didn’t snow but I remember the chilly tension in the air.
• I started making some yard art for my new home at Arabia Mountain U.S.A.
• In early March I was lucky enough to have a residency at Hambidge Center way up in the northeast Georgia mountains. It was a wonderful quiet time and I made some new art friends as a result.
• When I returned I painted a small mural for a friend in Candler Park, Atlanta.
• In April I spoke to Whitefield Academy about being WEiRD. When it came time for the Q&A session after the talk, I laughed as one boy asked me how much I weighed.
May was a little more than we expected…
• I painted for Delta Airlines – Big Thank You Event for all of their 80,000 employees. This was such an exciting project for me. I have loved airplanes my whole life and being from Atlanta this was super wonderful. See a little interview about the event here.
• I painted a 4-Foot bottle for The World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta — on display until May 2018. This too was a great honor for me. I wish my grandpa could have been around to see this happen. He worked 31 years a block away from the Coca-Cola Museum at Boomershine Pontiac and called Coke, “Ko-Koler“.
• I did a collaborative crowd painting at the HIGH Museum as part of a First Friday event.
• And last but not least we were taken to court by Dekalb County for the ART I had created on my own property. The county was saying my street folk art was signage and we disagreed. I politely took the discussion public and was greeted by all the local news outlets — WSB, FOX5, WXIA, WABE901FM, the AJC and several local newspapers. A FaceBook post resonated with over 209,000 people. We even had support from as far away as California and Washington D.C. People passing by our property honked and waved. We had notes in our mailbox. Finally we went to court and with the help of Manny Arora and Sara Becker the charges and accusations were dropped. I was free to create again and we moved forward.
• I made a little episode for Adult Swim. See it here. I helped the Williams Street Swap Shop Boys find some lost keys on the Doll’s Head Trail. I also got to help them celebrate their 400th episode. See it here.
• June rolled around and my solo show opened at Spalding Nix Fine Art. See photos here. Read the AJC review here.
• The Summer brought me several public speaking engagements.
The fist was for my solo show and was held at ADAC. Watch it here.
The other was part of Art Over Dinner at Serenbe. The Third was at PeachDish. I also spoke at Friendly Human.
• In October we made a short film with The Bitter Southerner about spirits in the woods and along the road at our new home at Arabia Mountain U.S.A. The film is called Ghosts In The Road. Watch it here.
• The rest of my year was mostly take up with a vigorous flurry of murals.
Maria and I painted murals for INIT USA, Elevate 2017, Matchstic, EXPRESS and NCR.
• Oh yes. Before I forget, I spent a couple weekends in the summer at the new SunTrust Park — The Atlanta Braves stadium and surrounding area called The Battery.
I worked with Xfinity to develop art for an Atlanta Braves Shirt and later we debuted a fancy BlackCatTips / Braves ball hat. I also created art for Xfinity’s Cobb Parkway Flagship Store’s Grand Opening.
On another occasion, we spent an afternoon the Battery at SunTrust Park debuting a shirt I made for Mizuno at the Mizuno Experience Center. See some photos here.
Thanks to all those who helped Maria (WhiteCatTips) and I along the way. It was quite a year. Who knows what 2018 will hold in store. I think I better lay down and think about it all before we get started. See you all soon.
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks