The story of the mural was inspired by two simple words: innovation and community. Members of Tech Square ATL (TSQATL) Social Club and Startup Exchange came up with the idea to visually illustrate the mission of Startup Exchange and TSQATL through the medium of a mural. Shruti Vedula, the Director of Marketing at Startup Exchange, led the initiative and began to sketch out an idea for the mural, which included sectioning off the 19-foot wall into multiple jigsaw-piece styles. Using this style, Shruti and the team at SX were able to visually celebrate the meaning of community through different and distinct themes via the various sections of the mural while simultaneously showcasing entrepreneurship – all in one art piece.
The process then continued with Shruti meeting with each of the five teams in Startup Exchange: Logistics, Marketing, Growth, Partnerships, and Fellowship. She sat down with them and brainstormed themes and ideas in Figma (a vector graphics editor and prototyping tool) and then took those ideas and sketched them out herself on the iPad app, Procreate. From there, after a little back and forth with all involved parties, she started to illustrate the sketches on Adobe Illustrator. The process involved tracing the sketch, precision in small details, and finally, finding a color palette for each section. Shruti went with a monochromatic palette for each section, to distinctly separate them without adding too much chaos within the piece. Over the course of two months, she finished the last digital process and sent in the piece for final approval from TSQATL.
Starting March 1, Shruti and the Startup Exchange team started the painting process. This involved setting up a projector to display the digitally-designed artwork on the wall, and then the team began tracing and painting. The process involved various logistical challenges, such as needing to obtain scaffolding and figuring out various trips to Home Depot for paint and supplies.
Upon completion, the entire process clearly reflected the innovation and community aspects that the painting highlighted. The work and patience of the Startup Exchange team and TSQATL Social Club team was one that was built on the strong partnership and passion for innovation. Shruti hopes that viewers of the mural will see the power of design to communicate the magic of entrepreneurship!
Shruti Vedula is a second-year student at Georgia Tech majoring in Computational Media. She is passionate about the role of design, user experience, and branding in today's technologically-driven world. She is the Director of Marketing at Startup Exchange, where she has directed marketing for leadership talks, workshops, and networking events. Her inspiration for designing and painting the mural comes from her passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. She hopes that when individuals observe the mural, they will see the power of visually showcasing the magic of innovation.
Shruti hopes to pursue a career in UX design, branding, and digital design. She wants to work towards using her design skills in all different kinds of fields to make a difference in the way ideas and actions are communicated.
Link to photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1S5ScbIiAKfooyYingaRcXyABVIfCgyVL?usp=sharing
Link to photos of artist: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1FeK0MkxkaaIeJmObR2vAqqkMgmCWPPNn?usp=sharing