Creative, Sweet


Posted by BurgerFuel

With our goal to drop a Creative, Sweet  bomb on a wall in every BurgerFuel store in the country complete, the plan was always to set our sights on community walls throughout the NZA (New Zealand, Aotearoa). We’ve been super excited to continue to expand our community of Creative, Sweet Contributors and explore how talented creatives can breathe new life into BurgerFuel’s visual brand identity.

Palmerston North is a city that truly embraces and celebrates the arts on the regular. And local BurgerFuel franchisee, Ryan, saw an opportunity to enhance a recently rundown alleyway beside the store that had recently been given some council love, thanks to the new street art festival, Street Prints Papaioea. He had a wall that was calling out for a spray of purple.

Artists, @haser_nz and @swiftmantis jumped at the opportunity to collab and get it done. With Haser working abroad, he sketched up a killer design incorporating a renowned local icon and something very close to Ryan’s heart, his ’71 BurgerFuel Valiant Charger. He also utilised a strip of adjacent wall to squeeze in the Palmerston North Clock Tower, for good measure. Nice.

SWIFTMANTIS masterfully brought it to realisation with his unique rendering style and eye for realism. Honouring Ryan’s request to lift the hero subject higher on the wall, so it could be clearly seen when the carpark was jammed. The result catches your eye immediately from a distance and will draw you in for a closer look. Check out the result HERE.

SWIFTMANTIS, aka Mantis Mike is a man of many talents; full-time artist, tattooist, photographer, beat-maker and cat lover - which you will see is often his source of inspiration and subject matter.

When we last caught up with Mike, he was planning a trip to California, which resulted in a successful creative venture, before he managed to gap it out of there as they declared a state of emergency in Cali and locked down the border to Mexico. Heading straight into a 2-week self-quarantine, NZ then went into lockdown. Not ideal. But Mike made the most of his extended home stay and did what he does best… check out his sick home mural Home 2020.

This pandemic might have put a hold on any further international travel plans for now, but you can find Mike tattooing at his spot, In the Shade Art studio. From the outside, you might mistake it for an old abandoned brick building, but step inside and you’ll see why it’s considered one of Palmy’s best kept secrets. With murals peppered throughout, it’s well worth the visit while you add to your ink collection with a carefully considered piece by ‘Mantis Mike’. Check out his work at MantisMikeTattoo.

While the borders are closed and you Kiwis are getting amongst and exploring NZ, make sure you add Palmerston North to your local holiday list. Explore the city’s buildings recently adorned with incredible art from the Street Prints Papaioea initiative. You won’t miss Mike’s biggest project this year, the imposing portrait of Squishee, the local alley cat. This epic artwork has a sweet backstory and a happy ending for a half-eared, short-tailed stray. Aw.