If you aren’t already hip to Very Gay Paint, now’s the time to smarten up. Founded in July 2020 by Los Angeles-based comedians Nicholas Scheppard and Jenson Titus, Very Gay Paint uses eye-catching colors, clean-lined shapes, and lots of tongue-in-cheek humor to create vibrant paint murals. As they say: “Turn your walls gay with paint.”
Earlier this year, the pair was commissioned to paint a Pride mural on the Santa Monica Pier—their largest exterior paint project to date—and Clare helped them get the job done. (Hint: they used a product we’re launching soon—can you guess what it is?) “We wanted to create something that was joyous yet impactful,” Nicholas says. “Not just a run-of-the-mill rainbow walkway.”
Learn more about the super fun and talented duo behind Very Gay Paint, from how they got started to their design process. Nicholas and Jenson give us the scoop ahead.
Before the pandemic, the pair pursued comedy exclusively. But when all their shows were canceled and they were stuck at home with nothing to do, they decided to give paint murals a try, inspired by images they saw on Pinterest. A quick Instagram post later and: “our friends started wanting murals of their own, Nicholas says. “It quickly snowballed into more commissions. Suddenly, we were booked up weeks in advance.”
As a result, Nicholas and Jenson say there’s always a comedic angle to their paint murals, no matter the project. “Our work demands irreverence because we don’t have backgrounds in art,” Nicholas explains. “Painting is performative and requires an element of improvisation—so in many ways, we’re pushing the limits of visual arts and comedy.”
Despite a lack of formal training, Nicholas and Jenson were able to develop and refine their signature aesthetic in no time. “We use tape to create clean lines and curves,” Nicholas says. “We often find ourselves tiptoeing around the Bauhaus sensibility, but each mural is always unique to the client.”
Along with their graphic yet minimalist aesthetic, the pair is meticulous about how they present their paint murals to the masses “We’re very deliberate about our Instagram captions,” Nicholas says. “We like to make up fun historical facts about gay things—like a comedic revisionist gay history.”
After completing an in-home project for a client that worked for the Santa Monica Pier, Nicholas and Jenson say they were commissioned to create a full-fledged exterior paint mural in honor of Pride Month. “It was our first project on concrete ground,” Nicholas says. “Pride Month is about celebrating a community that has experienced so much darkness,” Nicholas says. “It’s a reminder that we’re resilient yet joyous as we protest the work that still needs to be done.”
Although Nicholas and Jenson's vision for the project went beyond painting a traditional rainbow, the duo wanted to incorporate a red to purple color palette by using Clare colors: Big Apple (a deep red), Sriracha (a rich orange-y red), Golden Hour (a warm yellow), Matcha Latte (a bold green) and Hyperlink (a bright blue). “We used a thick layer of Fresh Kicks to cover up the concrete and mixed certain colors to create secondary hues, like orange and purple,” Nicholas explains. “They’re nice because they aren’t super saturated, but they still feel unique.”
The end result is a vibrant mural marked by crisp geometric shapes that the pair managed to complete in just one week. “This felt like more of a Bauhaus-inspired riff on the typical gay rainbow,” Nicholas explains.
Looking ahead, the duo hopes to continue to make meaningful paint murals that change the way people look at both art and comedy. “Very Gay Paint gives us a new way to focus on performance art that still feels nostalgic,” Jenson says. “But our first love will always be comedy.”