New mural style draws in community in our Tel Aviv coworking space

by Claire Polansky

Murals in coworking spaces are the secret weapon for tech hubs across the globe. It’s no secret that interior design can enliven a space– or suffocate it. But murals do not only offer a visual energy to the place; they also invite the community into the place as well as aesthetics that draw the ingenuity out of its latent shell.   

Anyone can put a few tables, chairs, and computers with wifi into a large space and invite others to work there. But it takes a few secret ingredients to transform a space into an inspiring place for entrepreneurs to set their vision into motion

Hubsphere started with one mission: to inspire a creative community while also nurturing the growth of startup entrepreneurs by giving them the tools to develop their businesses.

The murals do just this. They instill a framework for creativity while creating a space that draws in community.

How do murals create community?

The whole project has been a collaborative process from innovation to community support. The CEO/Cofounder Joseph Sellem has worked closely alongside Roee Lavan, Hubsphere’s CMO / Cofounder & Head of UX/UI, and approved the concepts and designs before we implemented them. He even added a few brush strokes himself.

The painting began to draw people out of their seats with the first brush stroke across the blank wall. They peered into the room as we were working and watched in silence or cracked jokes about their painting skills. This got us talking to people we rarely engaged with on a day to day basis — as if everyone started to wake up with the smell of paint. It broke the ice.

We not only colored the walls, but we also added a dash of energy to space as we slowly instilled the sense of community through art.

We started out with one mural and the next thing we knew, Sellem requested us to paint a mural in all 9 offices.

It did not take long for the CEO to see the value of murals the workspaces.

How do murals inspire creativity?

Lavan and I are no strangers to murals. Murals have motivated us personally as artists and improvisers since we were about 16 years old. So we understand first-hand how invaluable arts are to innovators.

Lavan reflects upon the first mural of a wolf that he painted on a friend’s wall in Haifa with nostalgia. Soon after, another friend requested a mural for herself. He laughs as he tells me that he ran out of white paint, so he improvised with toothpaste. (Kids, don’t try this one at home). “Somehow it worked out,” he says, “but the smell of mint lingered.” While he did not get paid, the joy of seeing the excitement on his friends’ faces was payment enough. It motivated him to pursue the arts. While he went on to graphics, the essence of the traditional arts stayed with him.

While Lavan was busy painting his friends’ walls, I started painting my own. After seeing Salvador Dali’s “Persistence of Memory” duplicated on my Spanish teacher’s classroom wall, I just had to have that painting on my own wall.  It took me a few weekends to finish it, which meant barely leaving my house when I was not in school, but it was worth it. It was my first large-scale artwork, which instilled a sense of pride. It became my guiding inspiration as I explored my creative drive.

Lavan and I both studied at art colleges and built careers that eventually landed us in Hi-Tech, so it was a no-brainer that we would collaborate on a mural at Hubsphere. In fact, we even talked about it in my interview process for the marketing position.

Lavan took the lead on the project.

He wanted to combine graphic design with fine art in order to speak to the technology and graphics community.

Lavan sought inspiration from other graphic designers and illustrators who completed large-scale works, particularly Timothy Goodman. He designed basic graphic forms with simple lines that he hoped would reflect the culture of the startup community and offer a little bit of humor.

Suddenly we found ourselves in a time machine experimenting with materials once again that would help us achieve our goal. And thanks to modern technology, Lavan was able to use graphic design tools like Photoshop and illustrator to design the piece and project it on the wall so we could quickly and accurately duplicate it — no need for the antiquated grid method here. Yet we were still able to return to traditional painting and drawing materials, although I would not exactly call a sharpie a traditional medium for a wall painting.

We are happy to say that the Hubsphere murals encourage the blend of tradition with out of the box thinking that inspires inspiration.

What unraveled was a blend of minimalist hipster-chic art with an essence of Brooklyn’s industrial rustic decor that is sure to get those juices flowing and colleagues talking.

What is your favorite mural in a coworking space in Tel Aviv or abroad? Tell us about it.

Author: Claire Polansky

As a marcom specialist for online media, my background in psychology, the arts, and academia all came together to meet the needs of the ever-changing advertising market. When I am not writing, you can find me with my dogs on the beach basking in the Mediterranean sun.

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