What my friends and I like to do on our down time is have mock photo shoots at random locations throughout Tampa Bay . It gives us, young adults a sense of adventure without breaking the bank.

So on a random Thursday afternoon, I dragged my friends out into Downtown Tampa with my camera in hand, ready for any weird model poses with pretty backgrounds. We began walking through The Straz Center to check out some of the new art pieces that were promoting upcoming musicals, which were at the time Phantom of the Opera and School of Rock. It wasn’t until after our mini photo shoot in front of these art pieces that I noticed a man take out cases of spray paint from his car. The matching artist tags that were both on the piece and painted on the side of his car window should have been a hint that he was the artist.

  Now this is when I introduce Eric Hornsby, a contracted artist for The Straz Center for the last year. Eric was originally from Rhode Island before moving his way to Tampa in 1984 when he was seven years old.  The way that Eric describes his art style was that it was ‘exotic with vivid bright colors that contrast against a black background.’ He told me that most of the time his pieces aren’t often planned unless it was a big project where he’d sketch out an idea first before having some fun with it. Hornsby has pieces scattered throughout our beautiful sunshine state, Atlanta,Georgia and Las Vegas.

To my surprise Eric had only professionally been painting for that last five years even though he grew up with a paint brush always in hand. Before he was an official artist he worked as an environmental tech for six years and prior to that he was a park ranger for eight years, Eric promptly told me that, “Its the same job with a different title.”

If you want to see any other of his works he had an upcoming project near Tampa Heights on the corner of Franklin or feel free to follow him in Instagram @Artistet.