"I come from graffiti," POW! WOW! artist Trav Msk said as to why he only goes by Trav. He also refuses to have his photo taken.
"It's about the work, not about me," he said.
To help him keep moving in life, Trav said he has certain habits.
"I always just want to grow, wake up earlier, go to sleep earlier, make the journey better," he said.
Los Angeles resident Trav is among the 21 artists participating in POW! WOW! Long Beach 2017, running through Saturday, July 22, all around the city. The third annual event features live mural paintings, art exhibitions, discussions and more. He, along with POW! WOW! founder Jasper Wong, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, Port of Long Beach community relations manager Mario Gonzalez and more, attended a media preview on Monday, July 17, at the Varden Hotel parking lot.
Wong said this year organizers wanted to include more Long Beach artists to help bridge the gap between the event's Hawaii beginnings and Long Beach. He also said the event's growth is largely due to community support and sponsors.
"It's (POW! WOW!) a great way to start with art," Wong said. "It's more interesting than fine art and you can meet the artists at the same time."
Muralist Trav said he started sketching his mural at 1430 E. Anaheim St. last night. The piece is on a seven-story building, he said — the largest he's ever done.
"It's paying homage to old signage," Trav said. "As we emerge into the digital era, we see less brick and mortar buildings. People can't compete with stuff online."
That's typical of his current work, he said, which mirrors 1950s and ’60s whimsical signage.
"But I've never been opposed to working with social media," Trav said.
For this piece, he said he's doing a collage of old sign structures, and began by taking images of old signs — mostly from Los Angeles — but wants to incorporate Long Beach items as well. He said he's gathering images of those and is unsure when his work will be finished.
"I'm excited," he said. "I want to get going, get it done."
One of Trav's fans and fellow POW! WOW! 2017 muralists, Bryan "BlueTheGreat," said he's excited to be among the POW! WOW! artists such as Trav, Kevin Lyons and Nosego.
"They're my icons," Bryan said.
He said he's also looking forward to working on the 78- by 8-foot area at The Loop (facing Seaside Way at Pine Avenue and Ocean Boulevard), as it's the largest he's ever done, and he usually works on canvas. The Los Angeles resident added he's started some work, using his signature mummies, on the wall.
"I do mummies to show the conflicting idea of preservation and deconstruction," Bryan said.
This one in particular will be a little lighter.
"Sometimes I do playful and sometimes it's more emotional," Bryan said. "This time, it's more colorful and playful, with lots of freestyle."
For more information, including artists, mural locations and more, visit www.powwowlongbeach.com or download the POW! WOW! app, available at POW! WOW!'s website, which also allows users to earn points toward prizes.
Emily Thornton can be reached at email@example.com.