In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, professional mural artist Katie Trainer painted a new mural to promote inspiration and hope.
The mural, which was funded by donations from Liberty Fire Company and R. Field and Stream, is painted on the windows of two empty storefront windows on the 700 block of Cumberland Street in the City of Lebanon. It reads “Stay inspired” on one window and “It will get better” on the other.
“‘Stay inspired’ was because inspiration means a lot to a lot of different people,” said Trainer. “If you’re inspired, you can hopefully find some hope and optimism and the things that give you motivation and make you feel excited, even if it’s a rough time.
The other side was ‘it’s going to get better,’ and in a time of need, [that phrase] is something that people can share together. Yeah, it’s tough, but it’s going to get better.”
Trainer has been painting murals on those empty storefronts for over two years, changing the design every few months to match the season. She often incorporates light-hearted puns and jokes into her murals. However, for this most recent one, she decided on a simpler, more serious design.
“I went out there and I was about to paint flowers. I usually do things more comical but as I got there, it felt that it needed to be more serious,” she said. “Not interpretive, just simple. Nobody is going to miss the big, bold letters.”
Aside from that project, Trainer often paints custom, commissioned murals for businesses and she teaches murals in various school districts. She was planning on starting two new projects at schools in Chester and Perry counties soon, but they were postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The cool thing about teaching with kids is that you never really know how far your energy is going to go with them,” said Trainer. “I tell them ‘here’s our theme, pick whatever this means to you and draw it out … and then it builds from there.”
Trainer has been a mural artist for the past three and a half years. During that time, she has painted over 60 murals, one of which is the unity mural outside the Lebanon County Democratic Committee office. Aside from Lebanon, she mainly does murals in the Lancaster, Harrisburg, and Reading areas.
“I have overlapping projects continuously,” said Trainer. “I just found this thing that I’m really good at and I paint quick so I just keep building it. It’s an inspirational campaign to just make people feel good.”
She plans on painting more inspirational murals in the near future and is taking donations and suggestions of locations to paint next on her Facebook page. She aims to provide “immediate inspiration in cities to spread optimism,” in light of the developing COVID-19 outbreak.
“Inspiration is my typical go-to when I do any type of mural and right now it’s just very bold and simple and feel good,” said Trainer. “I think people are going to need to be reminded about it for a while before things start to improve.”
Watch a timelapse of Trainer’s composition of the mural below.
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