A new mural in the St. Cloud Library is being unveiled this month.
Osceola County resident, author and artist Peter Raymundo will soon share with the community his mural of his character Cora — a mermaid from his Scholastic book, Third Grade Mermaid.
“We are thrilled that Peter chose to create these beautiful mural’s in the children’s area of the St. Cloud Library,” said St. Cloud Library Youth Services Librarian Crystal Hamrick. “His enthusiasm to promote art and literacy to the children and families is very contagious and sparks an excitement to explore the riches that can be found in the library… And under the sea.”
“When I look at his sketches and what he has done so far, I am sure when it is done, it is going to be a popular area to visit in our library for many years to come,” Hamrick continued.
Raymundo said the idea of this mural first came about last year, when Hamrick asked his permission to share his character on the walls in the children’s area.
“They originally just wanted to put decals on the walls,” he said. “But they knew they were going to redo that area, so I offered to draw it myself. The more we looked at the space, the more we planned. The idea of it evolved.”
From decals on the wall, to drawing the character, came the idea of painting a full mural — not only featuring Cora, but also a full ocean scene.
“It became more elaborate than I thought,” he added. “We were taking this to another level.”
While Raymundo has been working on this project since mid-April, no guests of the library have yet to see it. The local author and artist said this reminds him of when he was working for the Walt Disney Company, on the animated feature film “Mulan.”
“We had this project that we’d be working on for years, but no one could see it,” he said. “I remember thinking, ‘I wonder what it’s like for the public to finally see something you’ve been working on in private for so long.’” Raymundo hopes that, once unveiled, this mural will be enjoyed by everyone in the community.
Since his start date of April 13, Raymundo has worked on the mural every weekend. He has spent about three to four hours every Saturday and Sunday, beginning with just a blank wall.
“The first thing I did was share a rough of what I was going to do, and got it approved by the library,” Raymundo said. “I incorporated a lot of coral and created a full ocean scene using the original color of the wall as the water.”
Sketching it on paper may have been easy, but Raymundo said sketching a character — even one of his own — on a wall is, “easier said than done.”
Raymundo sketched the whole scene in one day, using seven or eight pencils that were sharpened down to the ends by the time he finished.
“The hardest part of drawing it is really just making the characters as accurate (on a wall) as they are on paper,” he said.
But this isn’t Raymundo’s first rodeo. For some time, mural painting was his main source of income.
“Income and career success are two different things though,” he said. Raymundo always dreamed of being an artist and author, and having his work shared with the public.
“I remember being in art school and looking at books and wondering how I could do that, and not just the work I was doing out in the garage,” he said. “You just have to have an unshakeable faith in yourself. And I’ve always had that.”
Raymundo’s mural of his Third Grade Mermaid character, Cora, will be unveiled at the St. Cloud Library on May 30. Everyone is invited to the celebration, which will begin at 11 a.m. The St. Cloud Library is located at 810 13th St., St. Cloud.
In addition to the mural, Raymundo will also soon release a Dial Books for Young Readers title — I AM NOT A FISH!.
The children’s book will be available on June 4, and there will be a book release event at the West Osceola Library on June 8 in correspondence with World Ocean Day. The event will feature limited-edition prizes, 4ocean bracelets, an appearance from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and more. Plus, guests can purchase I AM NOT A FISH! and have it signed by Raymundo himself. The West Osceola Library is located in Celebration, at 503 Campus Street.