Artist’s secret to James Brown mural in Augusta: ‘Keep it funky'

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 3:19 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - If you’ve been around downtown Augusta lately, you’ve seen the new mural in the works that’s dedicated to the Godfather of Soul.

While it looks like the work is almost done, the artist behind it says there's more to come.

Although the mural isn't quite finished, it provides different scenery in downtown Augusta.

“I never look at the clock when I’m on the lift and I’m painting. I’m in my element. I could be there for 25 hours if my body could take it,” said Cole Phail, the artist behind the James Brown mural.

“His songs have a common theme: Keep it funky,” the artist said. “So my goal is to keep it as funky as possible.”

From 6 at night to sunrise, he's working. And he says the community couldn't be more supportive.

“They come by yelling out the window, encouraging me,” he said.

From the moment he picks up the paintbrush, he's in his element.

He says there's nothing more fulfilling than doing what you love while giving back to the community.

“In general, I’m not always just painting murals,” he said.

He says he does other things like video production or transforming old pictures.

“People come here with their old damaged photos — the last photo of their mother or father — and I’m able to bring it back to life for them, and that has a huge sentimental impact,” he said.

He says he's doing what he was created to do — not moving by man but unto the Lord.

He says he realizes his gift, and he never knows how he’ll be using it the next day.

“One day I’m working on a video production, the next day I’m working on a graphic design, and the next, James Brown mural,” he said.

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