"40th Anniversary of the Filming of E.T. on White Oak Ave." Granada Hills, CA
"40th Anniversary of the Filming of E.T. on White Oak Ave." Granada Hills, CA
We keep the ancient tradition of writing on the walls alive as we preserve history with Murals. We work with businesses to build help build their brand with painted signs and logos. Murals are a great use of wall space to bring beauty and a community together. We also host Art shows featuring creatives from The Valley
The 5 W's and the H of the "Encino - An Homage" Mural located at 17432 Ventura Blvd. Encino CA 91316 at the QuikWash. We started developing the plan for, (at the time was our 4th Mural), January 10, 2021, around the peak of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and finished April 30, 2023. After running out of funds from aerial lift costs, the project was out on hold, Luckily Councilmember Nithya Rahman's office was there to help provide funds to complete Encino's newest landmark.
“Encino – An Homage”
A Writing on the Walls, LLC Mural production of
the history of Encino (Spanish for Oak). From 1769 – 2028 (Los Angeles hosting of the Olympics).
1) Acorn burst with roots of Encino = Est. August 5, 1769
2) Original surveyor map from 1881 (Background)
3) Jose Vicente de la Ossa – First European to settle in Ranchos Los Encinos
4) Chumash symbology (in place of Tongva)
5) Garnier Building of 1869 – Still seen on Moorpark Ave.
6) RKO Studios – aka Encino Movie Ranch from 1929 to 1959 and filmed on location and produced movies like:
a. “King Kong - 1933
b. Hunchback of Notre Dame -1939
c. Citizen Kane - 1941
d. It’s a Wonderful Life - 1946
7) Sepulveda Dam - 1941
8) Sepulveda Sports complex and Wildlife & Model Airplane Park
9) Encino Velodrome – 1961 (’84 Olympic training site)
10) Encino Commons – Miracle Mile from 2000
11) 2028 Summer Olympics coming to Los Angeles
Today we’d like to introduce you to Phillip Leonard.
Hi Phillip, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
A series of hardships in 2019 and early 2020 that led to a realization more joy, less alcohol, to have personal fulfillment and purpose was needed in my life. Thinking back to when I felt it last and was when I created Murals 20 years prior. I went to a local liquor store/check cashing/market, Jolly Jug where I lived near during that period. Also, where my particular addiction to alcohol and donuts/sugar and creating Art took root, I’ve been alcohol free since 2/16/2020. I asked the owner if I could paint a mural on their wall. The original mural concept was of an homage to my first ever group/class mural in ’85 or ’86 of the Earth and its people, with our commonality, expressed with the theme of Love. The theme changed when the double whammy of Covid-19 and George Floyd protests ransacked America. So, with a thousand dollars from my Dad’s small insurance policy, R.I.P., I started Writing on the Walls, LLC, built a GoDaddy website and a got together with a couple of good friends from CSUN, Jason and Oscar to create Mural #1. It was with the stimulus checks that helped fund our “2020 – The Year of Hindsight/MISS YOUR FACE”, completed 6/20/20.
During a time when Community Art was desperately needed to bring Light and Love from June 2020 thru September 2022, we produced 26 Murals during the Pandemic and twisting nation. Some of which included a Mural Gallery in Encino, Kobe Bryant Tribute, and 40th Anniversary of ET. During that time, we saw the joy of art and music shows, producing six unique events collaborating with small businesses and artisans once people began to re-emerge from their homes more often. Writing on the Walls takes pride in preserving history painting murals on walls the way the ancients started, and we still study to this day. I’ve had the chance to work with dozens of Artists personally and dozens and dozens more through shows we’ve produced.
This journey has connected me to some of the most extraordinary people, creating such beautiful opportunities for our Valley and surrounding neighbors to express, enjoy and feel good about. I am honored to be among them, building with and enjoying what Arts can do as we apply our mutual skills toward mutual desires.
Experiencing this Collective Trauma has forced me to live a life with purpose as you never know when life calls, so Cherish Today. Like the Year 2020 of Hindsight, Live now from what you’ve learned to grow from what you know.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Yes, and no. Sometimes things fall into place as if they’re pre-ordained. While other times it seems like life is hell-bent on stopping you.
Creating large-scale Murals requires a lot of money, and businesses not necessarily having our desired budget has been rough. Working with a variety of Artists has been a fun ride. By that I mean we all communicate differently, interpret life and communicate IT differently too. There are sensitivities that exist with folks who tap into their minds eyes and create for others to experience. Emotional maturity, self-awareness and patience, smothered in a good sense of humor, are treasured values, as is humility.
The reality of time paired with a life lived hard creates a healthy respect for and how precious it really is. The relationship of a youthful mind with an aging body and the ever-increasing, youthful spirit requires a delicate balance to manage.
Decisions good and bad, have given me this body and this life. So, I’m reminded daily how no one has any clue what anyone is going through on the inside and the battles one faces. No victim here, Acceptance to triumph over trauma.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
My real job is working in major live event production as a Lighting, Video and LED wall tech. When the Pandemic struck us, it devastated the entertainment industry. This was when I found out how the grocery shopping and delivery industry was an essential one because every household is dependent on a Ralphs, Target or CVS. Now I do both professionally.
Writing on the Walls, LLC is my passion project to become the change I want to see in the world. I’m known for manifesting my goals and fantastic sense of humor.
I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve created/produced Murals that I see daily on my way to work or play. Knowing that I’m continuing the ancient traditions of preserving history on walls feels really good.
What sets me apart from others is my psychological fortitude, paired with a high emotional IQ and passion to work with a myriad of Artists, professionals and personalities; with a genuine love from a deep well of strength, empathy and compassion from a life filled with triumph over trauma!
Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Figure out what you want to do. Find people doing that and talk to them. Practice what you would say to your heroes or people you admire if you had a moment with them. Say those things often, little by little until you gain that confidence. Tell people your goals while making sure you’re actually doing something toward them. The combined thoughts and energy generated from people knowing who you are and what you’re about can lead to good things. Get used to rejection, it only gets you ready for the right opportunity. Fear is a motivator, not a destroyer.
Enjoy the process of how this was created.
June 2020,we were approached by a business owner, and Kobe Bryant fan who wanted to do something special to memorialize him, while thanking the customers and community for their patronage. Five designs later, and voila!. This 61 foot long and 16 1/2 feet tall mural is located at 17719-21 Saticoy St. Reseda, CA on Ash Liquor Store's West facing wall).