By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Marc Eckel hopes area residents feel the fun of his new downtown mural.
Eckel, of Warsaw, is working on the artwork on the back of his building at 123 W. Center St., Warsaw.
The mural, clearly visible to motorists heading north of Lake Street, shows a boy blowing bubbles with the word “Play” beside it.
“We wanted to do something that was just kind of fun and kind of very friendly to everybody,” said Eckel. “You know how fun it is to just blow bubbles as a little kid? I hope that’s not controversial to anybody. We’re not making a statement; we’re just saying hey, life is great, life is fun.”
The mural is based on a photo of Eckel’s son, 8-year-old Andrew, from a few years back. Eckel’s mural joins another new Warsaw mural featuring a lake scene with ducks. That one was done by Tim Parsley and two assistants and can be found along South Buffalo Street just two blocks away.
He said he was interested in participating in that mural program, but did not like the time constraints that were part of the rules established by Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, which orchestrated 11 murals in 11 communities over an 11-day period in September.
Unlike the ducks mural or another mural off North Buffalo that came together in the past year, Eckel’s work was not commissioned specifically by a group.
Murals are only one type of artwork that Eckel does. The artist-of-all-trades does portraits, graphic design and videos and writes and illustrates books through his business Blue Spaghetti LLC, located along Center Street.
Eckel also paints through his Christian performance art ministry Splat Experience. He’ll tell a story through creating artwork to illustrate it. He’s traveled throughout the U.S. and the world with the ministry.
“A lot of things I do is based on my faith,” said Eckel. “As a Christian, I do a lot of stuff that’s Christian-based … The things that inspire me are my family, my faith, my love of country, all that kind of stuff.”
His creative prowess has been passed down to his wife Juli’s sons. Their two older adult sons are a filmmaker and musician, and Andrew enjoys drawing and music.
Eckel was first inspired by art as a young boy.
“They tell me at the age of 2 I stole my twin brother’s crayons and became the artist,” he said.
Eckel graduated from Grace College in 1986 with an art degree. He worked at General Motors, Ford and Nissan doing illustration for awhile.
“A lot of stuff that I do though is just it’s common sense to me,” said Eckel of his creative skills. “I mean it’s the way God made my brain. People say, ‘How do you do this?’ Well, how do you not do this? You just do it.”