Young artist basing career on hometown murals

Muskegon County

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) — If you’ve driven down Henry Street in Muskegon lately, you may have noticed a vibrant display of colossal flowers.

It’s not graffiti; it’s the latest mural painted by local artist Jimmy Cobb, a 19-year-old aspiring muralist from North Muskegon who studies new studio practice at The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

Cobb hopes his latest mural, which is painted on the side of Blended Furniture Market, will help launch his career.

“Every piece you do is the next piece in your portfolio,” Cobb said. “Each time, it (your portfolio) increases tenfold and sooner or later you’ve made it, or however you want to define that.”

His first mural was painted just blocks from his former high school in North Muskegon at the Four Corners Cafe.

“Everybody kind of knows you here, so I was coming back from school this year, waving to people on the road, waving to people at the school,” Cobb said. “My first mural really helped launch my career. The positive reception really helped me land my second project.”

Randi Lynn Talsma of Blended Furniture Market found Cobb through word of mouth. She gave him an opportunity and a blank canvas.

“The mural was just something that we were really excited about,” Talsma said. “We had this giant 100-by-20-foot white wall. We gave Jimmy the opportunity to take the lead on the project with the goal to liven up the area but also giving something back to the community.”

The massive floral mural yet isn’t titled. The Blended Furniture Market wants you to vote for its name in a Facebook poll.

“It’s been awesome to see this community rally behind artists and bring something fun to the community,” Talsma said. “We want to open this up to our neighbors and friends to see which title they think is most fitting.”

The project, which took about a week to complete, has Cobb excited to leave his mark across town, the Midwest and maybe even the country one day.

“I kind of did the same thing with high school. I had pieces in high school and now I can walk those halls and be like, ‘That one and that one and that one.’ And now to be able to do that with a city, it’s even crazier,” Cobb said. “Hopefully I can branch this, what I have here, to Milwaukee, to Chicago so at some point, walking the Midwest or even just the country, it’s like, oh, you want to stop in here ’cause I have work painted everywhere. That’s the dream.”

The dream, he said, is boundless.

“I don’t have limits or expectations for myself. I just kind of roll with the punches, I guess,” he said. “Art is just something that you want to put into the world, that’s something you want to share with everybody.”

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