Monette T. Punzalan

Fireflies Mural

Final mural idea for a group mural show in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District. Featured a Filipino folk tale about Kapre, a tree giant and the origin of fireflies.
My Role
Graphic Designer
Personal Project
Aug 2017


The previous year, my father had been diagnosed with cancer. While he had a quick and successful recovery, I wanted to make this as a gift to him.

When I was a kid my dad had set up an impromptu indoor camping trip for us. He told me various stories about his family and growing up. He said he was afraid of the trees as a boy because there was a filipino fable about giants living among the branches. These giants smoked cigars and their embers became the fireflies in the forest. He and his friends would dare each other to go near these trees. The mural was an encapsulation of that memory.

Fireflies Mural
Fireflies mural design

Painting my first mural

I ended up getting a wall that was talled than I expected, so I had to extend it on the fly. I also had to become comfortable with a scissor lift.

Michael Che, the organizer of the show, made a facebook live feed as he helped me use rollers to paint the background. Even though I wondered why any viewer would literally watch paint dry, I had a blast painting this and was really pleased with the results. Thankfully, my dad liked it too.

Fireflies Mural with Monette standing in front of it
Me posing in front of my Fireflies mural