Why This Agency Just Painted Over a Beautiful Lobby Mural That Took 7 Years to Make

Zulu Alpha Kilo's fresh start

Toronto agency Zulu Alpha Kilo has had an interesting art piece hanging in its lobby since opening in 2008. It started out as a completely white canvas, and over the years the agency encouraged visitors to draw and paint on it.

In the seven years since then, the piece grew into a beautiful work of communal art, as everyone from "celebrities to a future prime minister to hall of fame ad legends and new clients" added their own artistic touches, the agency says.

In fact, the only employee who hadn't touched it was founder and chief creative officer Zak Mroueh. Until now. And Mroueh's contribution was pretty shocking: He recently painted the whole damn thing white again.

The artwork isn't completely lost. The agency filmed most of the additions to the painting over those seven years, and has now taken the footage and made a cool stop-motion video. Check it out here:

The point, as you can see, was to embrace a new blank canvas on the occasion of the agency's 7th birthday. That couldn't have been easy to do. But as Mroueh tells AdFreak, while change is hard, it's also necessarily for creative businesses to thrive.

There's "so much history for me personally in that painting," he says. "It was tough for me to paint over all that history since Zulu's inception, including my kids' contribution. But we always tell clients to do things that make them feel uncomfortable."

The film itself is now projected on the canvas in the lobby. Thus, one work of art has given way to another.

"With so many exciting changes happening at Zulu, it felt like the right time for us to start a new chapter," Mroueh says. "The best part is that you can see the history of the last seven years every time you walk through the doors in the video. It's a reminder of where we've been but also where we're going."


Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo    

Creative Director: Zak Mroueh

Art Director: Zak Mroueh

Writer:  Zak Mroueh

Agency Producer: Ola Stodulska

Account: Laura Robinson

Typography: Sherry Dubeau, Omar Morson

Production House: zulubot

Director: Zak Mroueh

Video Post Facility / Editing Company: zulubot

Editor: Mike Headford, Jay Baker, Richard Thirumaran, Adams Brandejs