With a flick of Tatiana Suarez’s wrist, the mermaid’s long, wavy, pink hair came to life as the sea creature’s large, pronounced eyes stared at the world below her.
The life-like mermaid — which Suarez began earlier this week — will grace the side of a building at 2020 Harrison St. in Hollywood along with five of her sea friends as part of an aquatic-inspired mural.
The mural is the 10th for Hollywood’s downtown area and it coincides with the first anniversary of the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, which was part of an effort to bring art and culture to the business district.
“The murals have been some of the best marketing that downtown has had in a long time,” Commissioner Peter Hernandez said.
Suarez’s piece joins nine others from artists including Lebo, Jessy Nite, Eddie Mendieta, Michelle Weinberg and Rob Robi.
The mural project has really caught on with artists, as well as with the owners of the buildings, said Lisa Liotta, redevelopment and enhanced services manager for the Community Redevelopment Agency.
Suarez, who was born and raised in Miami and just returned after living in Brooklyn for four years, is used to painting in a studio — she now works out of her west Miami-Dade home — but has done some murals in the past including a few for Art Basel.
She draws from her cultural upbringing, her mom is Brazilian and her dad is from El Salvador, and tends to use nature in her paintings.
She said the Hollywood piece, which is on the wall of a building that will soon house space for artists, will be the biggest mural she has done. The wall is 15 feet high, with one section that goes up to 24 feet, and 114 feet wide.
Dwarfed in size by the colorful mermaid in front of her as she painted earlier this week, Suarez stepped back to take a look.
She mixed shades of orange for her arm, and then dipped the paint roller in pink to create the wavy mane — long enough to make the mermaid rated PG.
Suarez will complete the painting at Saturday’s ArtWalk in front of a crowd.
“It’s still a little intimidating to paint while people are watching,” she said, but added that having most of the outline work done will help calm her nerves. “I just try to focus on my ladies.”