Graphic design major Presley Rumsey is literally leaving her artistic mark on San Angelo.
Also a painter in her spare time, the Lubbock native has crafted three large murals on the buildings of San Angelo businesses, adding to an already vibrant local art movement. Her first mural, a Marilyn Monroe-inspired piece, can be found on the side of Pure Salon & Boutique on Concho Street downtown.
“That one is probably my favorite,” Rumsey said. “It really happened so fast. I was doing some modeling and the owner found out I was an art major and liked to paint, and she asked me if I wanted to paint the side of her building. I was thinking it was just a little corner.”
“I didn’t really have time to comprehend that I was about to paint a 40-foot wall,” she continued. “It took about five days, and I worked from sun up to sun down.”
Her second mural is featured on the side of Coffee 101 on Main Street downtown. Referred by ASU art instructor Katherine Bunker, Rumsey set out to do a more retro-inspired theme. Her latest mural is located on the side of the Texas Trust Credit Union ATM on West Loop 306.
“I paint whatever they want me to paint,” Rumsey said. “That’s why they’re all so different. For the coffee shop, when you walk in, you get a flashback. I wanted it to be bold because I wanted to get people’s attention, so it has big, bold retro lines beaming out of it. The ATM is San Angelo-themed. I couldn’t really get too crazy, but I still wanted something to pop. It has longhorns, bluebonnets and a sunset.”
When asked how she feels when she sees her art on such a large public platform, Rumsey smiles.
“It’s pretty cool,” she said. “I just kind of smile when I see them. I’m like, ‘Yeah that’s mine!’ I’m nervous too, because it’s mine. It’s also unbelievable because I’m like, ‘I did that.’”
Rumsey is also smiling because she is realizing an artistic passion she has had from a very young age.
“It’s just something I’ve always loved to do,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to go into architecture, so growing up, I was that kid who made buildings and houses out of everything. Then I took an art class, and I was really good for my age.”
“I did a lot of drawing,” Rumsey continued. “I wasn’t amazingly good – I mean, I was decent enough to get into competitions, but I never won. I just really liked it for a stress reliever, and I really loved doing it.”
However, during her junior year of high school, her passion shifted.
“We got a painting project,” Rumsey said. “It was a new thing to try, and I just fell in love with it. I didn’t touch paint before then.”
“I taught myself,” she continued. “I took a lot of pictures from Pinterest and really looked into the details of the shadows and the lighting. I’d try to mimic it, and the more I did it, the more I could. I started drawing a bit more and started making it my own style instead of copying.”
And while Rumsey has a distinctive talent, she credits several of her ASU professors, including Katherine Bunker, Randy Hall, Ben Sum and Edwin Cuenco, for her growth and development as an artist. Set to graduate in May 2019, Rumsey is hoping to continue to paint, as well as pursue her career in graphic design.
“I want to try to do both,” she explained. “I’m kind of already going both right now. I work at Live Design Print Shop, and I paint on the side. I get a lot of little painting jobs for homes, then random building mural jobs.
“It’s really working out for me right now, so I think I’m just going to stick to it until life decides to change.”