BLUE BELL, Pa. (WLVT) — This week, PBS39's Culture Shock segment is featuring mural artist Laura Bray, who started a unique outdoor trend in Blue Bell.
Bray, who runs her own art business called Mural Dreams, says it took years for her to find her niche.
"I’ve tried so many things, like martial arts, writing and drawing," Bray told PBS39. "My parents had a more pragmatic way to raise me. They wanted to be practical and choose a school that was good for my future. Art wasn’t really so cherished, but I rebelled."
The Transylvania transplant settled in Pennsylvania a few years ago. She says her desire to create was like an itch that she just had to scratch.
"I painted my daughters bedroom as a rainforest and painted scenes from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' in my den," said Bray. "I look at my artwork as holistic, because it’s a delight for the mind, body and spirit. It transports you to a different place. My murals are sanctuaries for the heart."
It wasn’t long before a family member asked her to paint a moonlit scene onto a unique area—a garage door.
"She gave me a picture of what she would like, so I took the picture and matched the colors to the house. I used a latex and acrylic paint combination, which are weatherproof," Bray explained.
Word about Bray’s mural spread around the neighborhood. Cecelia Cable is one of a few residents with one of Bray’s garage murals.
"It’s zen-like! My mural is about nature. I see serenity in nature," Cable told PBS39. "I saw my neighbors door and I fell in love with the idea. It’s something different. I’ve only had positive feedback, it’s been wonderful."
The doors take Bray several days to paint. She charges $20 per square foot. To make the art more accessible, she’s known to work with clients on pricing and payment plans.
"I know that person is looking to be nostalgic for a certain time, feeling or place, so that’s what I strive to evoke," she said. "We all have our own interpretation of everything. We see life through different perspectives, through different lenses."
Bray says it’s not always easy to have confidence as a creator.
"I feel like your inner critic is a jerk. We’re our worst critics," she noted.
She shared this advice for aspiring artists: "My philosophy is let the universe carry you, and trust the flow of it."
Watch the video version of this story on Friday, Jul. 31, 2020 during PBS39 News Tonight at 6:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on PBS39.