A pretty way to be permanent

Expressing ambitions through painting murals


Photo by Breanan Cranford

Senior Mariah Jones uses her imagination and creativity to bring to life personal murals. She has been painting since middle school, and states that she utilizes art to complete her goals.

Story by Audrey Haskins, staff writer

Lying bored in her bedroom, she turns the volume down and picks the paintbrush up. After mindless hours of staring at a TV screen, she’s fed up with the lack of creativity. Being grounded, options for entertainment remained low. She realizes as she’s swimming through her imagination that what she saw needed to be brought to life. The first stroke of the paintbrush extended from her time in the 7th grade to her time now as a senior.

Over the last few years, senior Mariah Jones has grown with her artwork. She’s turned her negative actions into murals that reflect her goals and obstacles.

“I paint things that mean something to me. My life goals or something that’s affected me, even childhood movies that mean a lot to me,” Jones said. “I always do a sketch first and once I have an idea of what I want, I just go with it.”

There are many ways to record goals. Some people write, others take photographs. However, Jones’ style choice is her personal creation.

“For goal murals, I paint the people or the world on one side, in the middle I’d paint all the things that could possibly get in my way, and then my end goal,” Jones said.

Jones is the descendant of a type A personality, her mother. She’s taken that drive, ambition and determination her mother had and turned it into her own. This has stuck to her goals and the way she achieves them.

“The latest [mural] I’ve painted was the NYU one. I’m obsessed with New York and I love that school so much,” Jones said. “It’s from my mom, she used to always want to go there, and when she passed, the love came onto me.”

Painting murals to me is a very open subject. Many people have books or notebooks that they can use, but if I see something that can be transformed into something beautiful it’s what I use.”

— Mariah Jones

Jones used to spend the majority of her time sitting around watching TV, craving for something more. However, she no longer sits and waits for inspiration to come to her. The colors between TV static removed themselves from the screen to the sketchbook. Now, creativity flows into her mind instinctively, and instead of reaching for the remote, she toys with the paintbrush.

“You know those people who say they wake up at like midnight and have ‘epiphanies?’ that’s what it’s like for me. I’ll wake up at random times and just paint,” Jones said.

Because of Jones’ realizations, she can change the path she set for herself and follows the fate the world previously made for her.

“I do it because I feel like everyone has a destiny. I do feel like a lot of times people end up changing their destiny with every decision they make, whether it be good or bad,” Jones said. “Every decision you make affects something later on in life. I’m very impulsive, so a lot of the time I have to really think everything through.”

Finding beauty in a world that never gave her much to work with from the start proved to be challenging but not impossible. Jones puts every emotion the world has offered her into her paintings.

“Painting murals to me is a very open subject. Many people have books or notebooks that they can use, but if I see something that can be transformed into something beautiful it’s what I use,” Jones said. “Whether it’s a mirror, a wall or a door. You can find beauty in anything.”