We’re Brushing up With Muralist Delilah Strukel
Written By: Emily Torres
Photographed By: Bhadri Kubendran San Diego Muralist
Everyone loves a good snapshot in front of a mural—we’re guilty as charged. Not only are these large-scale art projects beautiful, but they also tell a bigger story. What, then, is the story, and who is telling it? In San Diego, that storyteller is Delilah Strukel. A young San Diego State University student and burgeoning entrepreneur, Strukel is the painter and muralist behind some of your favorite spots, including murals and backdrops at Eco Chic Salon, Vin de Syrah, Bivouac Ciderworks, Devil’s Dozen Donuts, Flower Hill Promenade and Modern Love Group’s famed parties.
“I have been an artist my whole life,” said Strukel, about her start in the art world. “I always gravitated towards being creative.” San Diego Muralist
Strukel always favored art classes over any other subject and started to create oil paintings at a young age. When she was in high school, this gravitation towards art also began to tug her towards an entrepreneurial venture. She started to sell oil paintings to friends and family, and when she began college, she started to display her canvas works at galleries and small shows in the city. Just less than two years ago, Strukel experimented with her first large-scale mural.
“I enjoy working in environments that are social, where people pass by and can see me working,” explained Strukel, referring to her murals. “People get more connected to the piece when they meet the artist, and they appreciate the process more when they have seen it in person.”
Evident in her often feminine depictions of plants, cow skulls and other natural elements, Strukel is most inspired by nature and travel. Her interest in both travel and nature dates far back; when she was just nine years old, she went on a cross-country road trip, which sparked both her wanderlust and her affinity to the natural world. Now, she frequents spots like Joshua Tree, Anza Borrego, Salvation Mountain, Ocean Beach and Encinitas for surges of inspiration for paintings that showcase both life and death (though she insists she wants viewers to interpret and connect with work independent of her intended symbolism).
When Strukel looks towards her growing, artistic career, she envisions a life where she travels and creates beautiful work in new places.
“I’m always trying to expand as an artist, but I want to stay true to myself,” said Strukel. “I want to be open to growth and new ideas.” San Diego Muralist