Concrete CanvasFeb 01, 2019 ● By Christine Perrenot
Downtown Frisco is going through a constant period of change and innovation, and there is something new and impressive happening every day. Not only are more people converging on the once-quaint area, bringing the need for additional apartments and entertainment destinations, but the arts are leading the way in terms of enhancing the visual appeal of the historical and beloved area.
At the corner of 4th and Main Streets, you cannot miss the newest mural completed by one of Frisco’s very own artists. Reflecting the city’s influence, cultures, history, entertainment offerings and more, the mural, appropriately titled “Frisco: Past and Present,” colorfully catches the eye of anyone strolling Main Street on a shopping excursion or simply driving by on the way to work.
Any artist’s work requires vulnerability, talent and passion in order to be appealing. Joshua Boulet, the man behind this new art display in Frisco, is a freelance artist who considers himself self-taught and privileged to share his talent. He loves to draw, and, at any given moment, can be found with his sketchbook in hand. He knows what it takes to lure people into his art.
Mr. Boulet started drawing at a very young age (most of his creations included Star Wars themes or Ninja Turtles characters), and his passion has only grown with passing time. “My parents always encouraged this. The spark for my love of art has burned in my heart since youth, almost like a raging fire, and I am lucky it has not diminished a single bit. I am very passionate about what I can create,” Mr. Boulet shares. Fast forward to now, and Mr. Boulet has created giant murals, magazine covers, drawings and paintings. He has even done work for Dark Horse Comics and Pepsi®!
When the opportunity to paint the new mural that would grace the aged walls of downtown Frisco came up, he jumped at the exciting chance to get involved. Not only would the project bring attention to the importance and benefits the arts scene has here in Frisco, but it would also provide the outlet for Mr. Boulet to express his ideas and vision of what makes Frisco so unique.
It all started when Mr. Boulet’s high school friend, Stacey, contacted him through social media telling him about submissions that were being taken for the mural project. “I thought it would be great to have some of my artwork in a place I grew up, so I created a concept drawing and applied!” he shares.
Mr. Boulet has lived in Frisco since Preston Road was just a two-lane street with no streetlights. After growing up in The Colony and graduating from high school there, he lived in several places, like Seattle, San Francisco and New York City.
To gain insight and additional inspiration for the piece, that was brought to life with only spray paint, Mr. Boulet explored the Heritage Center to gather information about Frisco’s rich legacy and historical past. For sections of the mural that were to depict the present day, he simply drove around and did some sightseeing for himself. With so many details to include, the mural was destined to portray the culture of Frisco through a collage of diversified images.
After investing so much time, energy and creativity into the mural, it was finally time for the ribbon-cutting event, which took place November 30, 2018. Mr. Boulet says the experience was nothing short of overwhelming, but in a good way! “I did not expect such a large turn out! I had been posting about the unveiling on social media, and having so many of my friends show up almost brought me to tears. Then, they handed me the microphone and I had to put all of that out of my mind and try to talk. I do not remember what I said! I was told I repeated myself once, but that I made the audience laugh twice!” he remembers.
Now that the mural is completed and spectators have had the chance to take it all in, Mr. Boulet feels proud to have made his mark on the city through his artistic expression. “Hopefully, the mural will inspire young artists to follow their dreams. With hard work, a lot of things can be accomplished,” he shares.
Although the vision of the new painting belongs solely to Mr. Boulet, he admits it would have been impossible to complete if not for the help he received throughout the process. “My dad helped me out a lot. He had a truck we used to transport ladders, paint and heaters,” he says. “Sometimes, it was really cold outside. Once, I had to dance on top of the scaffolding to stay warm!” he shares. “I had a lot of friends come out to check on the progress, and one friend came back to help out for several days. The Frisco Association for the Arts has been wonderful, as well. Since the first phone call, they treated me awesome and always appreciated the hard work that went into making the mural. Plus, they paid me!”
So, what are Mr. Boulet’s plans for the future? “A lot more art,” he says. “Hopefully, more murals! I have one more mural planned right now for Woodville, Texas, where my mom lives … for the side of her shop.”
After the completion of this current project, Mr. Boulet plans to travel the world and sketch anything and everything he sees during his excursion. He has a YouTube channel that includes more than 100 videos of himself drawing places like Rome, Auschwitz, Spain and more. “I would love for more follows, so check it out!” he shares.
To bring art to life, one can express themselves through any medium possible, whether that is writing, painting, singing or dancing. If you have a talent or gift, it is your responsibility to share it, just like Mr. Boulet has here in Frisco. For young artists or those who dream of creating, Mr. Boulet recommends taking as many life drawing classes as possible. What are you waiting for?