Muralist Jon Pucci Has Gone to the Dogs

by Christian De Massis & Julie Tereshchuk on February 27, 2019 in Living Texas, Austin, Art, Sports,

Muralist Jon Pucci first made his way to Austin after falling for a girl from Texas, who said they should move to her hometown after college.

It turns out, the boy and girl fell out of love, but Pucci fell in love with the city and made it his home. Although he’s now based in San Diego, he gets back to the ATX as often as he can. On his last visit, photographer Christian De Massis chronicled Pucci creating an irresistible mural at Lucky Dog Running, a new specialty run shop on South Lamar, owned by the folks next door at Bicycle Sport Shop.

When Hill Abell (owner of Bicycle Sport Shop and Lucky Dog Running) reached out to Pucci about designing a mural for his new running store, the pair started brainstorming about creating an image with references to Austin: its geography and landmarks, the people—runners, cyclists, etc.
Photo Christian De Massis
But, after noodling on some sketches, Pucci kept coming back to the idea of a wall full of dogs—as many as he could fit into the space. After all, everyone loves dogs. Young and old, no matter what your background, it’s hard not to see a puppy (or a bunch of pups) and not smile. Photo Christian De Massis
“As I started sketching and showing my dog drawings to other people, everyone would immediately sit and stare at all the different faces,” says muralist Jon Pucci. “They were looking to see if their dog was in there, and go back and forth about which one was their favorite.” Photo Christian De Massis
Pucci’s biggest challenge with the Lucky Dog mural was deciding which dog breeds to represent and where they should be on the wall in relation to each other. “I knew I couldn’t fit every dog on the wall so I tried to stick with recognizable and unique breeds and tried to space them out as best I could; big and small, short hair, fluffy and shaggy, bulldogs to poodles.” Photo Christian De Massis
“I snuck in a few dogs from my personal life that I thought needed a shout out,” says Pucci. “So, if you know me, and one of the dogs looks like yours, it probably is. Photo Christian De Massis
Pucci’s favorite part of the process was the immediate feedback he got from people when they saw the wall. “Even while it was in process, I loved when people would come by and say they loved the theme or the colors, or that it made them feel happy.” Photo Christian De Massis
After a couple weeks of sketching and swapping ideas, with the final plan in place, the mural took a full week of painting on-site to complete.
Photo Christian De Massis

Cover photo: Muralist Jon Pucci by Christian De Massis

Christian De Massis is a freelance photographer based in Austin.