Katie Vonderheide (East Hollywood) and Justin McInteer (Echo Park) are the two talented souls that make up Beautification Solutions, a painting collaboration. The two met when they were both running galleries in Los Angeles.
1. What got you into painting?
We both went to art school and have been painting for a long time. In around 2010 or 2011, I was running a gallery with my partner, Chris, and we had a stand alone building which, is pretty rare in LA. We decided to make one side of the gallery building a mural wall which, would switch out with each show. This way, artists could have an interior as well as public show. Or, we could have one artist on the exterior and one in the interior. Justin began to help me execute the murals since most artists left it to the last minute. We collaborated on several murals. At that time, we discovered how much we love everything about painting.
2. What inspires your sign designs/color palettes?
So many things in life! We get inspiration from film and TV, set design, travel, nature, books, ideas, and our clients and what they're inspired by. We love color and we have hearts in our eyes when we talk about it.
3. What other projects do you do other than sign painting?
I have been getting more into lettering and calligraphy and have been focusing on honing those skills. Justin is currently working on these amazing gradient circles based off some colorful landscape paintings he's created. I feel like we both want to make sure our skill set is never ending and even though we mostly work in 2D, we also really love to build things.
4. How long have you been painting?
We've both been making art since we were children. We started painting together around 2010. We made a goal for ourselves to get a job every month. This was before social media so all of our jobs were by word of mouth. It has been a slow build but, one we've nurtured. Currently we are very busy and super grateful for that.
5. How long does a project usually take you?
It depends on how big the job is, of course. But, typically one to three days. The longest job we were ever on was a mural in downtown LA on 8th St, between Flower and Hope St. That took 15 straight days of work and including us, it was a total of four people working. Our goal is to always work fast but with precision.
6. What advice an you give to artists who are just starting out?
I'd recommend trying everything, seeing what sticks, sticking with what you enjoy. Don't be intimidated by starting something new and completely different from what you originally had in mind. And the old adage is true, "practice makes perfect".