Sometimes the best ideas strike when you least expect them, and sometimes it takes a little persuasion for other people to buy into your vision.
Just ask Doubletree Hotel General Manager Marty Matfess.
When he called Bibi Garcia in June about painting a mural on the bottom of a fountain in the hotel lobby, the rising Greenbrier High School senior hesitated.
"I haven't done much painting, and I've never done anything this big, either. Mostly it's been for school or myself," said Bibi, 16.
Matfess asked her to come up with a design for the project anyway. He persuaded her to give it a try when he told her he could paint over the mural if he didn't like it.
That, however, is not going to happen.
"I couldn't have hoped for better. I gave her absolutely no direction," Matfess said.
The hotel manager first noticed Bibi's artwork in the spring when he went to Greenbrier, where his daughter is a student, for a school function.
He was not looking for an artist at the time, but Bibi's work displayed in the hallway caught his attention.
"Her stuff was very colorful, nonlinear. I love her use of colors and contrasting styles," Matfess said.
Bibi came up with a design that featured an underwater theme. The mural, which covers about 400 square feet, includes brightly colored fish and water lilies.
"I was shocked that he'd want me (to paint the mural)," she said. "But I thought it would be pretty exciting. It was pretty scary at first when he just told me to come up with something because I had no idea what to do."
Bibi started the project at midsummer. She sketched the design on the fountain floor before she started painting.
"This basically was kind of freehand," she said. "I can't believe I'm getting paid for it."
Matfess said hotel employees and regular guests monitored Bibi's progress.
"I really enjoy all the people coming by," Bibi said. "Some people stay and chat for awhile. I ask them to be critics."
Most of the comments have been favorable. She said she has gotten many other job offers ranging from painting signs and cars to designing a tattoo.
"It's really an incredible work of art," Matfess said of the mural. "She's just so talented. Really got a good eye."
Bibi, who discovered her abilities when she took an art class as a sophomore, said she is considering a career in medical illustration one day. Although she prefers drawing and colored pencils, she enjoyed painting the mural in her first paid job as an artist.
"I just like how it's bright and colorful," Bibi said. "It adds a lot of life to the corner."
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