June 12, 2018 2:06 PM

Artist working to beautify Decatur

Decatur, Ill., native and 2014 Millikin University alumnus Eric Weatherford is helping make his hometown more beautiful by painting murals on different buildings around town.

The owner of Oddwall Painting, Weatherford specializes in interior and exterior murals as well as specialty painting. He began his mural career last summer when he won the Decatur Mural Project where an artist is commissioned to paint a mural on a building identified as needing a change.

"A little bit of paint goes a long way, and it is such an effective way to bring life to any building," Weatherford said in a recent interview with the Herald & Review. "The final project is so dramatic, and it is just a positive thing."

Weatherford's first project was a mural that went up on the west wall of Garcia's Pizza located at the 100 block of S. Oakland Ave in the Oakwood neighborhood near Millikin University's campus. The design was his attempt to capture the essence of Oakwood "where friends and family come together to enjoy good food, great drinks and even better music, and break away from the daily grind." The mural features a person with a computer monitor for a head free-falling through a world of 3D shapes.

Weatherford also painted on the inside of Local's 101 Bar and Grille in downtown Decatur, Wethington's Fresh Flowers on Oakland Avenue and did a Pabst Blue Ribbon sponsored mural at Donnie's Homespun Pizza.

This past winter he started Oddwall Painting, helping take homes or businesses to the next level through the creative process of painting.

"It's fun, and everybody likes to see something fun and beautiful or interesting in their everyday life and having these around the community give us that," Weatherford said. "We find a building that we think would be a great position for a mural and then we put out a call for artists to submit designs."

Weatherford said some of his murals are about making the building or wall look prettier, while others are about a message.

While at Millikin, Weatherford majored in studio art and worked with many different forms of media including graphite, ink, charcoal, colored pencils, chalk, paint and computer design.

Weatherford describes himself as being a keen observer with a great eye for details who also has the ability to adapt to any media and still be able to transfer exactly what he sees, and what he creates in his mind successfully onto paper.

Eric Weatherford
Photo courtesy of the Herald & Review