Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mr. J. Michael Walker

  EARLIER THIS month, we were visited by a man responsible for "All Saints in Los Angeles" and "City in Mind", Mr. J. Michael Walker.  His illustrative designs aimed to give the backstory to all the saint streets and their inception and design a lyrical map of Los Angeles, respectively. When asked about his inspiration to do take on such a feat, he said it came to him serendipitously, while looking for a street name in a map book.  He noticed all the streets that began with 'St.' and wondered what their origins were.  Having done research, he came to the realization that he would create his own guide to the saints' streets and their history.
       The sheer amount of detail put into each saint is remarkable, and to see that up close really gave me an appreciation for his abilities. As he read an excerpt from his book, All the Saints of the city of Angels, I got a better understanding for his work and just how much thought and back story there is to every symbols and stroke.
        His newest piece, "City in Mind" brought to light some parts of Los Angeles that I didn't even know existed, or that they were known for certain stars or locations.  Looking at his lyrical map I was in awe, never having seen anything like it; it's remarkable it took him less than a month to complete the entire thing!

--Julian Portera

Photo Credit: Myself

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