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Who's making those murals in Camden? Here's the answer

Colt Shirley was born and raised in Camden and is hoping those coming into town enjoy his artwork

CAMDEN, S.C. — Camden has become a hub for large-scale murals coming up on the wall of several different businesses and inside them, and it's thanks to local artist Colt Shirley 

"I lived in Camden my whole life," Shirley says. "I realized when I was probably about three years old I had the creative ability, wherever I was, I was always sketching, putting my ideas up here down on paper." 

Those sketches went from paper to the walls of buildings like Palmetto Paint & Body Work in Camden, where his largest mural stands showing the town's Revolutionary War history. 

Shirley says that the mural took time. "We probably spent about two weeks doing it originally," he says. "I did a proof on Photoshop and laid it out on the building first to know where it goes, but whenever I start I study it for a minute and then I go up there and do a straight line, down where my tree needs to go, I make sure that's where it needs to go, then I just start building paint on top of that." 

Murals such as the butterfly in downtown Camden are ideas from city leaders who asked him to create the art. 

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Shirley says coming out and painting large-scale murals isn't easy but a passion. "You got to get back and look at it, see what you can work on, and then go back to it, and get close in, it's a lot of that, back and forth, but it's awesome I love it," he adds. 

His passion has now led him to paint murals all across the city, from local shops to several schools in the district. One school he just recently painted was Blaney Elementary, with images of students playing, sharks, and several other animals. 

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Shirley says he hopes his work is enjoyable for those in the area, "Just from a blank wall to throwing some color on it, it already looks better, it's an awesome feeling, just letting everyone experience some art and hopefully they have emotions hopefully it's good and they smile," 

As for what's painting is coming next, Shirley says people will just have to wait and see. 

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