EL CERRITO – Kevin Proctor wanted to be an artist growing up, but abandoned the idea because he couldn’t see his way to a career doing what he loved.
Now, though, after pursuing a career in landscape architecture, he’s feeding his art mojo designing posters and painting murals on the side.
His most striking work is a three-panel mural for his family’s parish, Trinity United Methodist Church near the UC Berkeley campus.
The panels display the message “Love is Undefeated” and cover the three doors to the church’s sanctuary, which was closed about 20 years ago due to seismic safety issues.
The 8-foot by 8-foot murals fit within the bays of the doors.
“It was a chance to improve the appearance of the place and deliver a message following the 2016 election at the same time,” he said.
Proctor, 42, started with his artistic sideline 10 years ago, when he designed a graphic that guests at his wedding could sign in lieu of a guest book.
“I started doing more graphics and people began telling me that I should sell my art,” he said.
Proctor has also done a mural in a San Francisco residence that has been acknowledged by Precita Eyes, the organization that creates and maintains murals in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Proctor says his poster art is “a modern take on vintage poster design,” influenced by travel posters and WPA posters from the Great Depression.
He does all his line work and shading by hand and adds color on the computer.
One of the posters, which combines a glass of beer with a green topographical map as background, was commissioned by the Elevation 66 Brewing Company next to the Rialto Cinemas Cerrito theater on San Pablo Avenue.
“It’s a sparing use of color and bold compositions,” Proctor said. “I tried to minimize the content, making it easy to take in from a distance, like the London tube sign that’s meant to be seen at high speed.”
Proctor has also designed T-shirts and coasters for the brew pub, where his work will be on display in November and December.
“My wife suggested that I talk to them so I gave them a cold call and they asked me to give them some proposals,” he said.
Proctor said he would also like to do a mural in El Cerrito, perhaps on a retaining wall along the Ohlone Greenway. He may also enter a proposal for a mural on the BART support columns at the El Cerrito del Norte station, an idea the El Cerrito’s Arts and Culture Commission has been considering.
Examples of Proctor’s work are displayed on his web site, www.proctordesign.net/commissions-.