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As a kid, she admits to drawing a lot because it was something to do and something she enjoyed. From the time she was 9 years old through high school, she took classes at the Tulare Memorial Building. But no mat- ter how much she enjoyed the craft, she was always bothered with making it a career. "You know, how are you going to make a living in art? And it was something that I wanted to do but I didn't know if I was going to make a living at it. But luckily it turned out, because that's what I prefer to do," Mitchell-Veyna said. By the time she has finished with a mural, she admits that there is a sense of accomplishment to it. After all, residents are going to admire her work for generations. But she recognizes that her work is a product of business as well, and she takes special care of the product she puts forth. "I try not to become emotionally attached to any of my work because they are disposable...but when I go back and see how they're holding up, and see where I need to touch up... I go about it in more of a business way than really an emotional way," Mitch- ell-Veyna admitted. us far in her career, Mitchell-Veyna estimates that she has painted over 200 murals in all types of cities. And she doesn't plan on stopping any time soon. She said that she plans to continue working until she can't do it anymore. But that doesn't mean she isn't thinking about her posterity. Mitchell-Veyna said that her son will help out sometimes when she's working on a project. She also has an apprentice of sorts who helps as well. "I enjoy teaching them what I know, because it's no specific secret," she added. When Mitchell-Veyna decides to hang up her paint stained overalls and put down the paintbrush, cities and mural committees will likely mourn. And like with all great artists, their work will become all the more valuable. e cities lucky enough to have Colleen's work on their walls will be able to cherish something that illustrates their appreciation of art and the value it brings to their town. Left: Colleen Mitchell-Veyna inspects her mural "When Emperors Ruled " from 2015. e mural is a depiction of packing house labels from when emperor table grapes were Exeter farmers' most profitable crop. Above: Mitchell-Veyna's mural "Firebaugh Ranch-Circa 1890 Exeter's Founding Family" from 2013 on Pine St. on the Boys and Girls Club's north wall depicts how living on the ranch looked prior to the 20th century while also illustrating Mitchell-Veyna's talent to make walls come to life in Exeter. A U T U M N 2 017 S E A S O N S M A G A Z I N E 21

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