Gold Mined Feature: Manuel Trujillo – Video and Editing/Jasmine Abney – Music by Yheti & Esseks ‘Voices in the Dark’


Spray paint artist Manuel Trujillo performs live in the Channelside Bay Plaza (Photo/Jasmine Abney)

Known for the nightlife, shops, and restaurants, Tampa’s Channelside Bay Plaza is a common spot for entertainment in the downtown area. At night, passers-by also have the opportunity to witness live art performed by a local artist.

Originally from Mexico City, Manuel Trujillo is a spray paint artist from Tampa, FL. Trujillo performs live artwork in the Channelside Bay Plaza using spray paint and fire. 

Trujillo’s interest in the arts began when he was a teenager in Mexico City. While roaming the streets with his friends, he saw an artist doing this type of artwork. At the time, he didn’t know his artistic abilities but at the age of 18 he decided to pick up art and began developing his own technique and style. Ever since then, Trujillo has strengthened his artistic skills and with no former training in the arts, he continues to practice on his own with other mediums such as watercolors, charcoal, and pencil to incorporate with his spray paint art.

Apart of his technique is the use of fire. Trujillo uses fire to not only attract a crowd, but, to also dry the paint faster and to add gloss to the final product. Since living in Florida, much of Trujillo’s artwork consists of beach scenes with palm trees and the ocean, but what he enjoys creating and sharing with people the most are sunset pieces.

Although Trujillo performs and sells his artwork as a career, he is most passionate about being able to share his artwork with others. “Here in Tampa, where I’ve been for several years in this plaza of Channelside, I have had my ups and down economically but every night that I come, I actually enjoy just being in front of people doing what I love to do most, which is sharing my artwork with all people from around the world.”

Trujillo also aims to share his knowledge on his technique, in the hopes of inspiring others to develop their own passion for the arts. “Many people that come and see me or see other artists with this type of technique, they go home and try to do it on their own. At the beginning, it is quite hard and quite expensive to get [all] the materials. But, just like anybody else, if you would like to do this just stay on it and keep on painting. Do not copy, just do your own way as you feel it because art is not perfect. Art from the artist is always [from] his point of view and each painting will be individually different than somebody else’s. The technique is this, but at the end, each painter or each artist will have his own style, and that’s what it is: for somebody to find his own style and sticking to it and be proud of it and continue doing it. So don’t give up, just keep doing it.”

Learn more about Manuel Trujillo and his artwork through his Facebook page.