Artist Brings Outdoor Mural to His Former Elementary School
During the summer, professional artist and Laytonsville Elementary School alum Eric Karbeling was in the middle of a move from Miami to Hawaii. He was visiting his family and looking for something to paint when he had an epiphany.
“I had the idea to try and paint something at Laytonsville, since painting schools is one of my absolute favorite things,” Karbeling said. “I’ve painted a handful of schools before but haven’t really been home for long enough to paint a school I went to. [When I was] home for a few weeks visiting my family, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to make it happen.”
Karbeling, a 2001 alumnus of the school, talked to art teacher Sarah Cairns and principal Maria Watson about his idea. He sent them rough sketches of a skateboarding bulldog idea and they loved it. (A bulldog is the school mascot.)
From conception to completion, the project took two weeks. His father helped him finish the artwork, and other family members masked up and visited him as he worked.
Once it was finished, Watson tweeted about it: “I hope this brings an added sense of excitement and joy whenever it is safe to return since bulldogs skateboarding couldn’t be more playful, excited, and full of joy! It takes a LaytonsVILLAGE!”
Karbeling’s mother Valerie is a secretary at Gaithersburg High School, and his sister Leslie is a counselor at Garrett Park Elementary School. Karbeling also attended Gaithersburg Middle School, and graduated from Gaithersburg High School in 2008. He had been living in Miami since college. He works full time as a UI/UX designer.
Karbeling says he found his painting style through playing with watercolors as a way to force himself to become more creative. The first mural he ever painted was in his own apartment.
“I’ve been obsessed ever since and taking on every opportunity possible, especially painting large-scale murals,” he said. “I’ve painted murals for organizations, including mural festivals, music festivals, professional sports teams, private clients and charity/community projects. I’m a big believer in creating any opportunity you can to further your passion.”