For those that have visited Taco Bell at Annerley, you would have been warmly greeted by the full-wall mural which encapsulates the essence of 'Live Más'.
The incredible design was created as a custom art piece by South Brisbane student and artist, Su Ji (Susie) Lee, who we discovered through a competition with the support of local universities. The competition asked local artists to capture the essence of 'Live Más' in their own artistic way. We couldn't be happier with the outcome and recently sat down with Susie, to find out a little more about the artist behind the wall mural.
1. What sparked your passion for art and inspires your creativity?
My influences and inspirations are pretty much the same from childhood – nature, people, a childhood art teacher who taught me that art didn’t have to please everyone, and an unfortunately early obsession with horror movies.
2. How would you describe your style?
My study at QUT (Bachelor of Visual Arts) since 2014 definitely made me very versatile and experienced in a wide variety of art mediums and practices (or I’d like to think!). However, I will always love the intimate process of putting pencil, pen and brush to paper. I’m always aiming to create works that combine dark or unsettling subject matters with beauty and detail.
3. As a young artist, how does it feel to have your artwork displayed in Brisbane’s first Taco Bell?
I honestly still can't believe it actually happened. Every step from entering the competition to finally completing the mural feels like a crazy dream I had a long time ago. As an artist still trying to figure out my place in the world, the whole experience was invaluable. I'll always be grateful to Taco Bell for creating and opening up this opportunity for local Brisbane artists. Having it be the first thing that people see when walking into the restaurant is unreal.
4. Tell us a little bit about the thought process that led to the design?
The design went through an incredible amount of change since the first draft. However, the words ‘Live Más’ influenced me from the beginning. It started the idea of ‘breaking out’ of the ordinary to live life as a wild adventure. This visually translated into waves breaking out of a wall, which can be seen in every draft. This idea was then altered in each draft until the final design, which explored the same idea but really pushed it with a ‘California beach’ theme with a youthful street art aesthetic.
5. What does “Live Más” mean to you?
For me, "Live Más" has come to mean living your life guided by passion. That’s going to look different for everyone, but it’s what elevates life from just ‘existing’ to an experience filled with priceless memories and moments, with potential for more.
6. What does the future look like for Susie Lee?
I can’t say I know exactly what the future will look like for me, but I know what I will be working towards. A lot of it will be seeking more artistic opportunities while creating more of my own artwork; collecting beautiful tattoos, and meeting new artists. However, my first big goal in life is to earn the privilege of a tattoo apprenticeship. I’ve always wanted to create art that can help make the world more beautiful and interesting. Tattooing people has always seemed like a way I’d be able to do that.
7. Favourite Taco Bell menu item?
It honestly depends on my mood, but my go-to order would be a spicy beef California Burrito stuffed with a side order of tortilla chips. The crunchiness that’s added just elevates the whole experience and I can recommend adding tortilla chips and cheese sauce to basically anything and everything on the menu. (Yes, I mean putting tortilla chips inside the food. Just trust me on this, it makes the Crunchwrap God-tier.)
At Taco Bell, we're proud to be enabling local artists to share their passions and talents with the community. So stay tuned for more local artist spotlights and if you have a creative talent, get in contact with us, we’re always looking to collaborate with up and coming artists in the local area.