J.T. Daniels puts the finishing illustrations on the mural painted by Phil Shafer. Photo by Christina McDonough Hunt

By Christina McDonough Hunt

As you pull into the drive-thru at Martin City Coffee, your eyes are dazzled by an array of oranges and blues, along with some larger than life characters that are displayed on the half wall that separates the patio from the driveway.  This newly commissioned mural is designed and painted by Phil “Sike Style” Schafer and JT Daniels, two highly coveted Kansas City muralists. The mural features an abstract background with organic characters, each telling a story of their own.  

“The original idea was super colorful and wild.  But, my idea was to scale the colors back, to give it more of a slick look–bright colors can be kid-like.  Uniting the colors gave it more of a mature look,” said Schafer. 

“I wanted people with different expressions, so that’s what he went by,” said Martin City Coffee owner Penny Romero. She had heard about Schafer, and reached out to him. 

The mural stretches along Martin City Coffee’s drive-thru and appears on both sides of the wall.

Schafer commissioned JT Daniels of JT Daniels Art to paint the characters on the mural. 

“The idea was to add single-colored characters on top of the abstract colors that Phil created, so that you see the background sort of flowing through it and the characters are an overlay.  It’s a natural fit,” said Daniels. “It’s visually appealing.”

The mural was started on August 23 and completed a week later,  thanks to the wet weather.   

“The rain washed away some of the primer,” said Schafer. The design was created using a fade-resistant acrylic paint from California.  

Schafer and Daniels have teamed up to create many pieces of art work around Kansas City, including a mural at UMB School of Economics, Longview Farm, and many more. 

Individually, Schafer has projects that include murals at the KC Urban Youth Academy, the Kansas City Chiefs, and Schlitterbahn.  JT Daniels well-known projects include the mural at Betty Rae’s Ice Cream on Delaware, the Kansas City Chiefs, Ronald McDonald House, and the Raised Royal mural located at Raytown Rd. & Stadium Drive.  

“I love this mural,” Romero smiled.  “I love the colors, it’s really cool.  They did a great job!”

Martin City Coffee is located at 131st and Holmes Rd. 

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