as many of you know by now, we both work with item 9 labs bringing their digital marketing strategy to life. a few weekends ago we were able to collaborate with two inspiring individuals to create + document a new mural at marquee theatre – where item 9 is the title sponsor of many concerts and shows.
this project was really special to me as it was the first time in my professional life where i was able to fully plan, manage, and execute a large-scale (and semi-permanent) creative marketing concept of my own. my intention with this was to show that item 9 labs is more than just a cannabis provider, it is a lifestyle brand and supporter of the arts. by providing space for people outside of the “cannabis community” to interact with the brand’s logo, it creates a familiarity and curiosity. it was also extremely important to me to honor arizona while giving the artists creative freedom to work their magic. i instructed them to keep the item 9 logo as the focal point while using southwestern botanicals to weave through the logo and its background.
working with oscar and aaron on this project was one of the most memorable weekends of my marketing career. i got to spend time watching their creative process unfold and was captivated by their work and who they are as humans. it seemed fitting to share this with you guys and give a small glimpse into what we’ve been helping create for item 9 labs. this definitely could not have been executed so proper without oscar and aaron, 2 independent muralists whose wide range of experience blends together timelessly. read on to learn more about these rad creators!
who are you and where are you from?
oscar ruiz and i’m from el paso, texas
aaron lim, i’m from washington, d.c.
tell us about your journey
oscar: i moved to arizona for a contract painting position in 2016. i learned an industrial trade and worked my way up to being a journeyman coater.
aaron: i moved to arizona 5 years ago to pursue a tattoo apprenticeship but have been doing murals for about 21 years now.
what inspires you?
oscar: rebirth, life & death, transformation, growth
aaron: music, things that distort your perception and make you think differently
what is important to you?
oscar: painting with friends, absorbing. i am still a young artist and i want to grow in an authentic manner. community support and who i surround myself with is also highly important to me.
aaron: love, positivity, and good energy
what is your passion?
oscar: comics and film, i’m a big dc fan
oscar and aaron exemplify what it means to pursue the enjoyment of doing your best and having fun while doing it.
we’re #gratefulAF for the opportunity to work with them, i bet this won’t be the last time!
the desert iris team