May 13, 2024

Art in the wild : LOGE Missoula


Rad Places

Rad People


When LOGE Missoula opens in May you'll see some awesome artwork, photography and design all over the property. The vibes are set high right from the start with massive wall murals from the imagination of Ariel Parrow. Taking Ariel's art and bringing it to an oversized reality was masterfully done by our friend Liam McWilliams of 4amsomewhere.  We had the chance to sit down with Liam and learn more about his work and time in Missoula and his journey along the way. 

So, you just finished a big mural at LOGE Missoula. Give us your pov on Missoula overall and any must-hit-spots that you’d recommend? Missoula is a great place to visit! I’m fortunate to have family who live there. They’ve given me the inside scoop on all of the must-hit spots. The meal I enjoyed the most was the fried chicken and gizards at Double Front. Our meal was accompanied by a game of Shake-A-Day, which I promptly lost, but I was then reassured I could play again the following day, and the day after that. 

Created by Ariel. Produced by 4amsomewhere.

You’re a Pratt graduate and accomplished commercial artist - what is it about putting art into the world that you love? The benefit of being a commercial artist is that you create work that is utility-forward and built from practice. Putting art into the world commercially allows the purpose to be in the act of painting and the technique of application. I love that I can help other creative people showcase their experiences and points of view. 

Before starting 4amsomewhere you were at a big player in the outdoor art at Colossal Media. Can you share any favorites works that you’ve created so far? My favorite thing that I have worked on in my career has been the teaching and nurturing of other painters' talents in the field of hand-painted advertising and murals. Although I am only a small part of these painters’ journey, it is an honor to have been able to work with so many extraordinary people over the years to help them realize their potential. Passing on what was generously taught to me has always been a point of pride. 

Imagine that you’ve had some unique experiences across your career. Anything stand out as the craziest job you’ve done? There are too many to list, but I’ll share one that I haven’t mentioned before. Traveling a lot for work, you start to fall in love with other cities and gain a deep appreciation for their people. In 2016 I was fortunate to work a job in Chicago the day the Cubs won the World Series. My co-worker and I were at a bar after the rain delay leading into the 10th inning. This was the most love and joy that I have ever felt in a public setting. The room erupted, and everyone embraced one another to celebrate. 

You’ve kind of created your own approach to painting and murals – tell us more? For the LOGE Missoula production, pouncing both walls solo was, for sure, my own chaotic approach to the process. Outside of that, the credit goes to the painters who carried the torch past the advent of vinyl and to those who continue to uphold the traditions of hand-painted murals and signs. It is a needless practice that only exists due to the stubbornness of people like myself. 

You have done massive and small, intricate and loud – what do you find most challenging about your craft? I don’t find any part of the craft particularly challenging. This isn’t to say that the work isn’t hard or that there aren’t trying moments. It’s difficult to explain, but this is what I was meant to do. It’s an ability to feel comfortable in the uncomfortable. 

You know we’re an outdoor-minded group, love to know what you’re into when you’re getting outside? Painting outside is important to me. You can feel the world move around you as your body acts as a sundial on the wall. It’s a psychedelic experience to work from sun up to sun down in the same tightly manicured area throughout the day. 

Curious who you’re watching or who you’re inspired by to create – whether artists, musicians, etc., where are you finding inspiration? When creating work, I think to myself, “What would antagonize my little sister the most?” This is the driving force in everything that I do. 

You work some crazy and long hours, do you have a go-to meal or snack that you always pack in your work bag? I like to eat peanut butter and jelly for lunch. The sandwich has three slices of bread and goes in this order: bread, peanut butter, bread, peanut butter, jelly, bread. This and coffee is enough energy for a 10-12 hour day. 

Outside wall at LOGE Missoula

Your company is called 4amsomewhere – gotta be a backstory? When I hurriedly write my name, “Liam,” the “L” and “i” have a disregard for proper kerning, and it looks like a 4. I added “Somewhere” as a play on 5 o’clock somewhere. Instead of quitting time, it’s the start of a shift. 

Liam = 4am. Genius!

More on Liam: 
Liam (4am) McWilliams has been in the commercial arts space from an early age. Graduating from Pratt Institute in 2010, Liam spent over a decade studying mural painting and working in the hand-painted advertising industry. Traveling and working in major cities across the United States, he has extensive experience dealing with different variables and extreme conditions. During his career, Liam has painted commercially at scales ranging from small canvas work to wallscapes over 10,000 square feet. Throughout his career, he has painted in adverse weather conditions, from negative 30-degrees during a polar vortex in Chicago to heat waves over 110-degrees in Austin, Texas. His dedication to the craft, industry, and hand-painted murals is unparalleled. He holds craftsmanship above all else and brings a high-level work ethic and creativity to everything he does.

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