John Christian gave insight into what inspires him to create art, in particular, murals. Even before murals were his main focus, John would paint murals to earn extra money. “In a 30 year span John has built and created 15 art centers, studios, and/or live theater locations in eleven cities in six counties in Georgia.” During his time building and maintaining theaters, John created murals to help cover the losses of the theaters.
While working in theaters, painting sets and backdrops, and creating murals on the side, John decided he wanted to create more of a legacy, which lead to the Georgia Mural Trail which continues with his forthcoming murals in Newnan, Georgia.
History is an amazing source of inspiration for John Christian. During our conversation, he told us about a past project refinishing a sign that was discovered when an old building was being torn down. This sign had not been seen since 1908. John has a deep love for history and art. His pride comes through as he tells this story and says, “you’re always revitalizing history.”
Being able to tell the history of each town is of great importance to John. He explained that his murals will always tell a story, highlighting the important historical moments of each town.
John Christian discussed his process of finding these important pieces of history for each town, and deciding which elements should be present within the final mural. John discussed the importance of coming up with a mission statement for each mural, deciding what each mural should accomplish both visually and emotionally. His process involves creating a list of potential themes and elements to include in the mural and narrows this down until he finds the most important details that make it into the final design in order to perfectly capture the unique history of each city.
Throughout our conversation, we asked about his previous experience creating a mural for the LINC. He talked about the previous murals by saying, “the first mural was more […] selfie shots. […]it says Love the linc and [has] a lot of flowers, a lot of brightness on one side. And then the other side basically was […] old antebellum columns to indicate […] downtown […] historic Newnan.”
He went on to explain the theme of the new mural. It will represent Newnan’s history, especially the industries which built Newnan. He showed visuals of his designs for the murals and how this project will focus on the history of Newnan, especially the medical industry. He said, “this top one […] more shows the medical aspect of Newnan and it goes from the first African-American person to get their doctorate degree in quite a county, which is pretty amazing.”
He explained that the second mural focuses on more modern Newnan history and how various industries helped build Newnan into the city it is today.