The paragraphs below are from an an entry of mine to the SHINE Mural Festival. The last few months have been crazy, I personally have suffered a loss and grieved the passing of my grandmother. In turn so has the local community that knew RayZilla and his musical influence on the hearts of so many.
Ray “Ray-zilla” Villadonga sadly passed away June 10th and it would be fitting to piece together a painting that honors the music history of St. Pete and Ray was certainly a larger than life figure. One of my favorite things to do is draw local bands at various venues around town. One night I saw the musician in his element, had the pleasure of showing a sketch I’d done to Ray and really enjoyed the reaction. The warmth of artists supporting one another’s craft shone through, he was such a positive, radiator of energy, a storyteller and bear-huggable guy.
Binge Music is on 1st Ave North, the wall faces the flow of traffic, gets plenty of sunlight, and would be great large canvas to pay tribute to musicians of the past than grew up, lived in, or had influence in the St. Pete music scene or community.
A Godzilla theme would be fitting, but the project doesn’t need to focus solely on Ray-zilla’s passing but the beauty of the music scene here as a whole. To make people proud of the past, grateful for the present, happy to keep on barefoot dancing and twisting the night away.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Cheers.”
P.S. A few weeks after creating and saving this post, the actor who played Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima, passed away. Although the image above is a work in progress for new clients Cali Tacos To Go. They have a Godzilla burrito on the menu, so upon hearing of Mr. Nakajima’s passing I pushed for this idea. Not exactly a literal tribute to Ray Villadonga, but I sure am listening to his albums while painting.