TAMPA, Fla. – Cam Parker didn't do it for the applause or even the fame.
Sure, the Tampa artist could give anyone who asks a million reasons why he decided to paint a larger than life mural of his pop idol, but this love game knows no bounds.
“Like if there were a scale from 1-10, I wouldn’t even be on it,” Parker said laughing.
"I wake up, I thank God and Jesus, thank my parents... friends, family and then Gaga."
She's really high on the totem pole, he laughed.
“She gives me creative juice and inspiration," Parker said.
What began as a perfect illusion has become a real-life illustration.
“It was just a really big experiment," Parker said, knowing Gaga would be performing a sold-out concert at Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa on December 1.
"I already knew I want to paint Gaga on the wall, so after I got comfortable with what I was doing, artistically, and more comfortable with people seeing it, I was like ‘huh, I wonder if I could get her over here.’”
Parker has put more than 100 hours of work over the course of two weeks into the mural, and he's still putting final touches. It is the sixth mural in town that the 33-year-old artist has created, he said.
The mural of Gaga is painted on the side of a building at Hall and Franklin. The space was donated, Parker said.
"Just the fact that I’m able to do this and it’s being received by the community is huge for me," he said.
While she has yet to confirm she will visit the mural, Parker knows Lady Gaga has at least seen it. And loved it.
This weekend, Gaga retweeted a video from our reporting partners at the Tampa Bay Times the featured Parker and his mural.
"You certainly did make me cry," the retweet read.
You certainly did make me cry. https://t.co/mkwZIe5VQx— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) November 11, 2017
“It was just a mix of happy, jumping up and down, feeling like I could run three miles and uproot a tree," Parker recalled.
“I just love that transference of energy and love.”
Parker hopes that while Gaga is in town she stops by the mural to take a selfie. He says he's prepared to camp out near it the night before, of and after the concert to make sure he doesn't miss her if she stops by.
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