I designed & painted the Jamie Maclaren mural… after my own A-Leagues season finished!

Melbourne City Women forward HANNAH WILKINSON reflects on creating a mural for clubmate Jamie Maclaren, which she designed and helped paint at Richmond Station in Melbourne.

Long before I began kicking a ball around, I’d been drawing and creating.

I’ve evolved from winning local poster competitions in high school, to designing anime-style pieces for Tokyo 2020 under the Olympian Artists Programme, to implementing murals, one of which resides on Auckland’s iconic Eden Park. 

READ: ‘Really special’ Maclaren mural unveiled in Melbourne

These ever-expanding artistic opportunities eventually caught the eye of Melbourne City and the A-Leagues, and I earned the honour of creating a monumental piece in the heart of Melbourne that celebrates and highlights the greatness of Jamie Maclaren, the A-Leagues’ all-time top goalscorer.

I have to thank Jamie for his timing. He came exceptionally close to breaking the goalscoring record right when myself and City women were preparing for finals. 

I wouldn’t have been such a huge part of this process if he had managed to get the record at that stage. Instead, he broke it in style, a hat-trick even, once our women’s season had come to a close, and conveniently I was here in Melbourne off-loading after several weeks full of games, both A-league Women’s fixtures and international matches playing for New Zealand in Turkey.

Getting this opportunity meant a lot to me. Not only was it a terrific chance to showcase my work, but I also got the privilege of commemorating a player that truly inspires me. 

I play the exact same position as Jamie – central number 9 up front, for Melbourne City Women. Under City, we have the same playbook, and therefore the same goalscoring responsibilities under a very effective, patient system of play. 

We’re expected to be in the right positions at the right times to put away goals, goals that come from chances that are carefully and beautifully produced by our teammates, from the keeper, all the way to the front line. 

He is an artist himself in the way he knows how to be there, and how to clinically finish those chances, and 143 goals says it all. He is magic to watch, and I hope to emulate his performances in the future in my own football career, particularly in this upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup at home.

The process of creating Jamie was thoroughly enjoyable. In my work, I love to capture energy and passion, and Jamie’s goal celebrations demonstrate plenty of it. 

I love Marvel or DC comic-style themes, especially when capturing athletes in their moments of greatness. I ensured the colours reflected City – shades of blue, contrasted with a golden-yellow to help him stand out as a focal point in the very centre of the piece.

When it came to painting, Sydney-based mural artist Adam is the one who deserves most credit. He captured my design perfectly, completing more than half the design in amazing time. 

I was grateful to jump in and complete the lower third, including Jamie’s tattoo with ‘Follow The Dream’ scripted just above a scene of a football stadium. The process was excellent, and seeing it all come together, in such an iconic location, was truly special.

I will never forget this opportunity, and I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of this amazing project.

Website: https://wilkscraft.myportfolio.com 

Instagram artist page, @wilkscraft