Listening and Painting

From Anna Skrabacz, Marketing Manager, Colossal Media

The world has changed dramatically since we were founded in 2004, and so have we. We've grown from scrappy underdogs to global leaders, from a Brooklyn based team of 5 to a bi-coastal company of nearly 100.

2020 was a year to reexamine. When your team works outside on the streets of Wicker Park, Hollywood, and Williamsburg, it’s impossible to ignore huge cultural shifts and crises. We saw in real-time as our communities and clients responded to COVID-19, BLM, and political unrest. Instead of painting product launches, we were being asked to paint “thank you” campaigns on behalf of NYC Health and Volvo. We knew we too wanted to step up and meet the moment, to honor our team, clients, and peers.

First, we needed to look at who we are. In our industry, BIPOC, women, and nonbinary painters are underrepresented. We saw 2020 as an essential rallying cry to further diversify our hiring and to increase our support of DEIB team members. We put our focus on creating a team that’s as diverse as the most extensive paint palette. Since August 2020, 40% of our total hires were BIPOC and 65% were female, making our hires more diverse than the national averages.

During the summer of 2020 we also created a program called Start Today. The mission of the program is to empower Colossal Media employees to uplift our communities, artists, and causes they care about through pro-bono public-facing murals on behalf of inspiring local organizations. The program is committee run and also involves companywide educational sessions led by our community partners. So far, we’ve produced five incredible murals with our partners: You Are Not Alone, Urban Indigenous Collective, Office of Cultural Affairs, the Jersey City Mural Arts Program, Mana Public Arts, Peter Paid for “Stop Asian Hate”, and Black Artists + Designers Guild. Together, we paint these murals to uplift, unite, and educate the community.

At eighteen years old, we’re still committed to our mission to create art of advertising and to always hand paint but we are also open to evolving with our changing times. To do so we’re listening as often as we are painting.