Here at Bham Now, we’ve long been fans of Shawn Fitzwater—owner of Fitz Signs and Murals. So, when our office on Morris Avenue needed a striking visual centerpiece, we turned to the prolific artist to create a one-of-a-kind mural that pays homage to our building’s historic past.
Read on to learn more about what inspired the mural and see photos.
Bham Now and Shawn Fitzwater
I first met Shawn Fitzwater during an interview three years ago, for a story highlighting his restoration of the historic “Color TV” sign in Edgewood. At the time, Shawn was starting to making a name for himself by restoring these “ghost signs” around Birmingham.
Over the past three years, Shawn’s work has made him one of the most sought-after muralists in the Southeast. His painted signs can be found all around Birmingham, including:
- Inside Good Dog Park & Bar
- Behind M2 on the Hugh Kaul Trail AND at the new Ghost Train space
- At the Birmingham Zoo
- At the Buc-ee’s in Leeds
- Welcoming visitors to Edgewood
- And much more!
About the Mural
When it came time to decorate Bham Now’s office, we knew we wanted Shawn’s unique touch. Over the course of several weeks, Shawn stayed at the Bham Now office until the late hours of the evening working on the mural.
“We went through several different ideas for the design—at one point, I was going to paint the Birmingham skyline in a micro cartoon-y style. Eventually, we decided to go with a train theme since the office is right next to the Railroad Reservation.”Shawn Fitzwater, Fitz Signs and Murals
Shawn’s finished mural depicts two train cars along the hallway as well as an intricately-designed steam engine train—one of the first things that visitors will see when entering the office.
“It was a little tricky to get those train cars on that wall! Normally, I’ll set up a projector to trace my line work, but the hallway is so narrow I didn’t have enough room. Instead, I figured out the measurements on my iPad and traced the outline freehand on the wall.”Shawn Fitzwater, Fitz Signs and Murals
“I’m not a graffiti artist, so painting the graffiti-style logos was challenging—in a good way. I researched some of the different graffiti styles to get a reference for how the letters should look. It’s funny, a lot of people think that my artistic background would be in graffiti!”Shawn Fitzwater, Fitz Signs and Murals
“We also placed the graffitied cars in line with the timing of their onset. Bham Now was first (7 years ago), then The Bama Buzz (2 years ago) and Hville Blast (1 year ago). Who knows what we’ll add after that!”Cindy Martin, Founder & CEO, Bham Now/The Bama Buzz/Hville Blast