Plaza District

Create Here

GRAFFITI, ART, PLAZA DISTRICT, VideosDusty GilpinComment

Very honored to be invited back to paint with the Plaza Walls family. It's been 2 years since I painted the portrait of Cuz and Domingo. When Kris asked me to paint the Gatewood wall, I was tasked again with coming up with a concept... always the hardest part.

As my paint date approached, I struggled to find a good concept. Then, in a stroke of chumpness as I drove into the Plaza, it kinda hit me. I went home, told Kristen the general concept, and she helped me fine tune it. 'Don't let the lights burn out.'

I've never painted a mural with the intention of later animating it. I've seen others do it, but have never given it a go. The concept is simple, paint and photo in stages. This particular animation only took 3 stages. I'm super thankful for Nathan Poppe for helping me capture the process with his fancy camera skills.

Give the video a watch below! I'm definitely looking forward to doing more of these soon.

Real Recognize Real:

Plaza Walls is a tremendous project headed up by Kris Kanaly. He and his crew are really curating an incredible mural scene in Oklahoma City. They deserve every bit of funding and appreciation they get. Please check them out, he is doing a ton of footwork to get these murals painted and funded. These murals bring patrons to the Plaza.

Dunlap Codding has been a supporter of my art for a long time. They have invited me over two dozen times to work on paint projects in their office. I was very humbled to find out that they sponsored this mural. Big thanks to Doug and Julie.

• Before I started this mural, I was contacted by my friend Josh Kouri. His 14 year old son, Elijah, had expressed interest in illustration and mural work. Without asking for lessons, tips, art, or my time, he asked if he could help. Sometimes I am hesitant to have shadows and interns because it can be mildly burdensome. However, Elijah never hesitated to find tasks to do. When I needed to work, he watched. When he saw that something needed to done, he helped. If I asked him to do a task, he did it or learned how to do it. He helped me trim about 4 hours of work off this mural and we knocked out a majority of it in one work day. Thank you!

What's Been Happening?!


It's been over a month since our farewell party, a lot has been going on and updating the blog is the bottom of the totem pole. This will be a long one to update you on art we've worked on, upcoming projects, and a recap of our wonderful going away party. I'll do my best to keep everything brief!

February 3rd was the second best day of my life. Our going away party was a night that I will never forget. I am so thankful for everyone that came out to visit. People traveled from far and wide to give their condolences and wish me luck moving forward. Evan Sartin (a regular Drink & Draw attendee) drove all the way from Houston just to be at the event, and that means a ton.

Zac Hatlestad took a ton of wonderful photos, and my friend Dane Karr edited this really great video. Check them both out below. Huge thanks to The Mule for providing the bar. The Nghiems and Vonna Pearl provided incredible music throughout the night. Andy Rine, Avery Cannon, Taylor Dickerson, Steven Silva, Lambo, and Jabee, all roasted me pretty brutally - it was fantastic!

"So, Chump, what have you been doing for the last month?"

I'm glad you asked! The last month has been a combination of cleaning, organizing, and working. You'd be amazed at how much stuff there can be in a 1200 sq. ft. store. My printshop started to look like the junk drawer of my life, and that needed to change. I spent a week cleaning and organizing both my printshop and my home office. Both are now functional workspaces where I will be spending my day-to-day.


On top of cleaning, I've had a few really great projects roll through. First, I was commissioned again by my friends at 405 Yoga to paint their main studio room. About a year ago, I painted their main entryway with a multicolored triangle pattern and we replicated it on a much larger scale. The mural is 30 feet wide and 16 feet tall. It really brightens up the room and adds a ton of energy to the space.


I also had an opportunity to work on another great project with Tower Theatre. They hosted a Coen Brothers Film Festival and had me do a series of posters for the event. It was one of those projects I couldn't refuse, and the guys at Tower are always awesome to work with.

I did posters for Fargo, True Grit, and The Big Lebowski. Here is an image of the Lebowski poster. I now have a little more time to focus on projects like these, so I had the time to hand draw the characters. We do have a limited few remaining, so I'll get them listed on the website soon.


Lastly, I was invited to paint this weekend at the Milk Crate Jam 2! Last year I was out of town during this event and I was super bummed. I'm really looking forward to getting to paint with my friends this Saturday on Gatewood and 16th. Come hang out!


The End Is Near (For this Chapter)

PLAZA DISTRICTDusty GilpinComment
Read it all!

Read it all!

In 2006 I was approached by a few acquaintances to help assemble and operate a screen printing press. I was 20 years old and had zero experience printing but a childhood spent growing up around a commercial art studio. I had no money to invest into the operation and for over two years, we didn't pay ourselves. I dropped out of college and realized that being a full time artist and printer was a lot that I would happily accept.


Tree & Leaf has given me an avenue to pour my art into and it has become a springboard for building and cultivating community. Creating a place where people could hang out and be inspired to express themselves became as much of a mission as printing t-shirts. The shop gave me an opportunity to surround myself with some of the most wonderful people I've ever and will ever meet. I can even go as far as attributing my marriage to the shop; I started dating Kristen after doing design and print work for her as Plaza Director.


Its hard to believe that I've been doing this for 11 years - over a third of my life. I am incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to do this work for this long. It is with great sincerity that I humbly thank every employee, customer, co-owner, and patron of our store.


I am very proud of the quality products, shows, and events we have had in our store. We worked very hard to earn every dollar that made its way to our register. We did our best to use our assets in ways that built up those around us. My employees make a very honest wage and I have given my spaces, tools, and equipment to artists, musicians, and neighbors to utilize as they needed. I am very proud of how we have conducted business over the last 11 years.


Proceeds from every art project and mural job I did have gone to pay the overhead costs of the store. My personal financial profits from the store are low, however, my love for the community that surrounded the store made that reality justifiable over the years. Unavoidable are the overhead expenses that continue to increase. As unfair as it seems, that's the way it goes.


With a heavy heart, I am announcing that the brick and mortar retail location of Tree & Leaf in the Plaza will be closing its doors in February of 2018.


Over the last few years, retail business has become much more of a struggle. There are numerous reasons for the store closure, however, going down that rabbit hole distracts us from the potential opportunities that await. This closure has occupied my thoughts for a long time and I have lost a lot of sleep over many months. The tides of retail sales are shifting and so is our business model. As I navigate these waters, I've begun looking forward to the potential art projects, events, and products I'll have more time and resources to invest in!


Tree & Leaf has always had the mission of cultivating community, encouraging creativity, and being active outdoors. Our closure is bittersweet, but it will not be an end to our line of unique t-shirts, our events, and our community activism. I will still have my other studio space in the Plaza Alley for a while. I will continue to print, design, and paint. If you want to come visit, just ring the doorbell! I'll continue to use the same social media accounts, and you can follow along there.


In the meantime, I'm going to be joyful for the wonderful opportunity I've been given to serve the Plaza District over the last 5 years. As we close the store, we're going to have some fun with it. We're going to celebrate what we've accomplished and make fun of ourselves at the same time. We're also going to have some fantastic sales!


Side note: I cannot express how grateful I am to have a wife that builds, encourages, and corrects me. Kristen has walked alongside me through the difficulties of this last year and I couldn't be more thankful for the guidance and love she offers.


With honest sincerity, thank you for being our customer and friend. Remember: Be honest in word, work, and deed!