'It gives me purpose' - Murals helping Yarmouth artist combat depression

Tai Lewis and Harley Road mural

Tai Lewis (inset) started drawing murals on the back wall of their house in Great Yarmouth to combat their anxiety and depression. - Credit: Submitted

Murals created by an artist to combat their anxiety and depression have been cheering passers-by in Great Yarmouth.

Tai Lewis, who studies games art and design at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), started drawing chalk pictures on a back wall of their house on Harley Road at the end of summer this year.

They said: "I’m autistic and suffer mainly with major anxiety and depression, so the murals get me outside of the house and give me a bit of purpose around the times where I find myself taking university lessons online.

Tai Lewis drawing a mural of the Lion King movie on a wall on Harley Road.

Tai Lewis, from Great Yarmouth, drawing a mural of the Lion King movie on a wall on Harley Road. - Credit: Submitted

They have already painted three murals on the wall. As they are created using chalk, the images wash off after about a month.

The first was a scene from the film The Lion King, next was a Halloween-themed picture and the current mural shows a leaping reindeer.

"The local response had been very good," they said.

"Parents have said their kids love seeing the mural on the way to school. They enjoy guessing what a new one might be too after the old one has gone.

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"Other residents have said how wonderful they look too, how bright they are and how they think they’re a great inclusion to the area.

"It's been really good for improving my mood because doing the large scale art is a fantastic boost.

"Talking to locals who pass by and say a few nice words has also been helping me resolve issues I have my anxiety too, like a slow rebuild of confidence."

The mural drawn by Tai Lewis at Halloween this year.

The mural drawn by Tai Lewis at Halloween this year. - Credit: Submitted

When creating the murals, Tai starts with a sketch and uses a grid to scale it to the wall before first drawing with chalk and then applying water which makes the colour spread and look more solid against the grey surface.

Lion King mural by Tai Lewis

The Lion King mural which Great Yarmouth artist Tai Lewis drew on the back wall of their house in summer 2021. - Credit: Submitted

Depending on the size of the project, it can take from five to six hours or up to two days to complete the mural.

Christmas mural by Tai Lewis

The Christmas mural created by Tai Lewis on the back wall of their house on Harley Road in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Submitted

On Tai's Instagram page, where they share photos of the murals, one woman commented: "Thank you so much for brightening up our walk to school every day.

"My eight-year-old was so excited to see the mural had changed this morning. It's brilliant."

Tai's Instagram account can be found by searching for @mouflon_murals