TAMPA, Fla. — Bianca Burrows was on a trip to New York when she heard Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna tragically died in a helicopter crash.
"I remember being in shock... and for the mural, I had originally thought to paint Robin Williams. It was sketched and marked all I had to do was paint. But as soon as I landed back in Tampa I said, 'Oh no I have to do Kobe," Burrows said.
Burrows graduated from the University of Tampa in 2012 where she studied art. She went on to paint beautiful murals across Tampa Bay and makes a living from commercial art projects.
"Sometimes, I would find myself draw a blank when I wanted to create art for myself. It's like my commercial work was easy because someone gave me their vision and I made it come to life," Burrows said.
Seeking a source of inspiration, more than five years later, Bianca is back on UT's campus where she is taking art classes and completed the assignment to create a mural.
"They had to choose a monumental icon, someone that means something to them. and they take what they see in a photo onto a 6-by-8-foot vinyl tile," said Chris Valle, a professor of art.
Spending more than 15 hours to finish the mural entirely, she incorporated the Laker's team colors and even added clippings of newspapers where Kobe and Gianna were the headlines.
"In the artwork, you'll see articles about him and his daughter and it adds more depth to the piece and makes it more vintage. Because these articles are a part of history it won't be printed or written again," Burrows said.
She also shared her artwork on social media and instantly received praise in the comments and likes of support.
"I didn't expect it to reach so many people. I feel amazing knowing people are getting something positive from my art," Burrows said. "I think it's nice to bring attention to someone like Kobe whose made an impact for so many people."
To keep up with Burrows and her art, you can follow her on Instagram.
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