Muralist collaborates with Facebook on Augmented Reality project


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Peru Dyer Jalea, better known as Peru143, is a Canadian muralist and graphic artist who dedicates his artistic energies to enriching the traditions of graffiti and muralism. Peru was recently commissioned the design of several frames for Facebook's new project - an AR (augmented reality) camera effects platform. Read our exclusive interview on how his career began and how he ended up collaborating with the tech giant.


How did your career begin? 

I used to get arrested for trespassing in train yards or for skateboarding so I started selling canvases in high school to pay for the fines. Many years later, after a European tour, I decided that I was done working in small scale and dedicated myself solely on painting walls. Luckily I was approached by Mu in Montreal - - with whom I still work with, and had the opportunity to explore and learn from other muralists. 


Who and what inspired you to become a professional at what you do? 

My father is very industrious so my brother and I both became hard workers as a result and we indirectly motivate each other - - I've met a lot of very talented people along the way that have inspired or nurtured some aspect of me, too many to name a few, I've also taken all kinds of courses and certificates and studied Illustration & Design in Montreal where I had some great teachers but I learned my work ethic from my close friends and family and my style was developed illegally in the streets.


What else would you have done if you hadn't become an artist? 

I can't imagine life without art but I'm not just an artist, aside from running my own business painting murals, live painting and doing a little graphic design, I also make Installation and Display Art which is mostly sculptures and woodwork for festivals and opening/updating retail stores around North America. I also have a professional degree in Spanish-English translation and speak a couple other languages while learning a couple other on the side; I go skateboarding once a week and have travelled the world with my wife which, when I'm able, I help with her museum of immigration - - and we're about to expand our family so I will also be a father soon, I couldn't ask for anything more.


Would you say it's important artists work with brands? 

It's not important at all really haha! Artists make art out of a primal need to express themselves, not to further consumer culture but it is fun to be able have opportunities to work on fun projects or collaborate with other artists, and if brands will fork the bill then I'm all for it!. Brands seem to have larger and larger budgets for these kind of projects lately which I think is step in the right direction in terms of furthering our culture.


What has been your biggest brand collaboration and how did it come about? 

One of my biggest brand collaborations has been with Facebook. I was sought out by the North American curator to paint 2 walls for their upgraded Facebook Canada offices, which I ended up painting a third time. A year later they asked me to design a couple of Frames for a new photography platform and it included a full interview as well as having me in their promotional video which was aired internationally. They've been the ideal client in that they give me full creative control and they pay well enough for me to afford to do other smaller community based projects with lower or no budgets that balance out my work and give me peace of mind. 


How has social media helped you promote your work? 

In the same way it has helped most people I imagine, spreading awareness on my work but I feel it has worsened my lifestyle in that I now spend too much time working on social media and, despite having worked for my reputation and recognition, I find it necessary to play the game in order to continue being noticed and getting gigs among the mass of artists these days. Like Facebook for example who required me to start a FB artist page in order to be able to release my frames. I ended up starting a "Fictitious Character" page :-)


What other brands would you like to work with in the future? 

 Google would be a great opportunity to try something crazy. Lego perhaps, anything for Elon Musk... or Bill Murray... I'll always be into skateboarding and have designed a few boards and shirts but I'd like to do some more work for that industry, Independent, Santa Cruz, Girl, Enjoi... so many great brands. More than brands I'd like to travel the world some more so I'd like to see National Geographic approach me or some airline like Air Canada or the Star Alliance itself.


Anything else you would like to share… ?


People should be kinder to each other. The world is a crazy place and things like art and love keep some of us sane. There's a lot of important political art out there but I think I stand out because my art cheers people up, I'd like to one day be able to make them feel the interconnection among all living things and that we're all one. The things we could accomplish...


Peru143's work:

Muralist collaborates with Facebook on Augmented Reality project