The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

New Violet Hour Mural Is All About Visual Brainstorming

By Alisa Hauser | September 24, 2014 3:48pm
 A new mural by Ink Factory on The Violet Hour's Damen Avenue facing wall.
New Violet Hour Mural by Ink Factory
View Full Caption

WICKER PARK — Looking for inspirational phrases? How about "Make no little plans!" or "Igniting change?"

Written in black over a bright yellow background, the text went up Tuesday along the exterior wall of craft cocktail lounge The Violet Hour at 1520 N. Damen Ave., just south of Wicker Park's Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues intersection.

You might not guess from looking at it, but the mural also is a subtle advertisement for Chicago Ideas Week, scheduled for Oct. 13-19 at several Downtown locations.

"The whole goal was to highlight thought process, inspiring others and taking action, but still keeping it cool and hip but not advertising for Chicago Ideas Week," said Ryan Robinson, one of five Ink Factory artists who worked on the mural.

 A portion of the Chicago Ideas Week mural by Ink Factory along the wall of The Violet Hour.
A portion of the Chicago Ideas Week mural by Ink Factory along the wall of The Violet Hour.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

According to the studio's Facebook page, the mural is a conglomeration of imagery and words "that will inspire more conversation about what it means to share ideas and be curious in our community of thinkers."

Located at 1828 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Bucktown, Robinson's company is a graphic recording studio that has worked with Chicago Ideas Week for the last three years, providing a team of hired artists to help bring a speaker's ideas visually to life.

This year's lineup of speakers includes actress Joan Cusack, writer Deepak Chopra, filmmaker George Lucas and many more.

"The core of what we do is listen to a brainstorm session or keynote pitch, and as the speech goes on, we translate in real-time all the discussions," Robinson said.

For this year's Chicago Ideas Week, the Ink Factory's staff of five artists will be visualizing 42 of the week's talks by sketching out what the speakers are saying, sort of like "visual brainstorming," Robinson said.

And for folks interested in learning how to take their own visual notes, Robinson is planning to deliver a talk on the process during the week.

Robinson, 35, said the graphic recording/facilitating industry is on the rise because visual learning is a more effective way to communicate and remember content.

Since founding Ink Factory in 2011, Robinson said being selected to create a mural alongside the wall of Violet Hour has been on his "bucket list."

The Ink Factory's mural replaces a portrait of a sleeping homeless man that went up in mid-July. 

The Violet Hour changes the murals along its front wall every few months and has showcased a wide range of artwork by rotating artists over the past few years.

Previous murals have included deer inspired by Bambi, a cartoonish "Big Drunk Guy," a twilight-hued nightclub scene, as well as geometric 3D patterns and abstract designs that have been the target of taggers.

The most serious of the murals was "Killing Season: Chicago 2010," a visual documentation of sites of Chicago murders by artist Krista Wortendyke.

For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: