Hugging a Bear in Revelstoke: An Interview with Artist Turbo Bambi

Updated: Mar 24


Custom shaped mural with Kawaii inspired figures on ALTO™ powder-coated graphics.

Turbo Bambi (aka Claudia Simon) is an artist in Revelstoke, British Columbia who works in both digital and traditional art, infusing all her work with color, fantasy and humour. Inspired by the beauty of the West Coast and her French-Canadian roots, Bambi's work is fueled by the snow, surf and skate lifestyle.


Her first public art piece, “I Hugged a Bear in Revelstoke”, combines Kawaii style illustration and street art in this joyful, interactive mural. Made for the Luna Art Fest, the mural uses bright colours, fun patterns and unique cut-out shapes to get really engage the audience. It’s already a favourite spot for photos!


We asked Bambi to tell us a little more about herself, the mural and her thoughts on public art.


Custom shaped mural with Kawaii inspired figures on ALTO™ powder-coated graphics.

Tell us about "I Hugged a Bear in Revelstoke"


The idea was to create a digital illustration and bring it to life in the streets of Revelstoke, BC. As an outdoors lover, my goal was to bring a little piece of nature in urban spaces with a comical flavour. I’m incorporating an element of interaction with the public by sharing one of my most dangerous dreams: hugging a bear. To realize this, one of the die-cuts is a life size bear, standing up with open arms. Whoever dares to, can hug him, and safely realize their own dream of hugging a bear.


What are your thoughts on public art?


I couldn't be happier with this project being my first piece of public art. The result and the feedback have been phenomenal. In my opinion, public art has the power to bring cities like ours a unique flavour. As a local or a visitor, exploring a new place where local art is sprinkled at every street corner, makes the experience much more memorable.


Custom shaped mural with Kawaii inspired figures on ALTO™ powder-coated graphics.


What would you like other artists to know about working on public art projects?


As an artist, visibility is everything. I'm a firm believer that having a good balance between a presence online and within our communities, is the key to success. In my case, creating a piece of public art required more logistics than creation itself. However, it was one of the most rewarding and meaningful projects I’ve completed in my career.



What are some of the challenges you faced while making this mural?


I definitely underestimated the production time. Once the illustration is completed, there are many steps from digitalizing the artwork, preparing the files to print, approving the colour samples, and so on. Having the timeline dialed is key, especially for a piece that will be revealed for a festival, in my case Luna Art Fest in Revelstoke. With an amazing team, we were able to install the piece right on time for the festivities.



Watch the making of "I Hugged a Bear in Revelstoke"



How did you find out about ALTO™?


Rob Buchanan is the mastermind behind the "Art Alleries" — a public art project that brings art to the back alleys of Revelstoke. He uses this product regularly and refers many local artists to ALTO™ Aluminium. Considering how sturdy the product is and how vibrant the colours are, I wouldn't want to settle for any less. I'm very grateful that I got to use ALTO™ for my piece, and I'm thrilled on the way it has been received by the public. 





Custom shaped mural with Kawaii inspired figures on ALTO™ powder-coated graphics.


Did using ALTO™ impact your plan or design for the project?


ALTO™ was able to recreate my vision to the last detail. As an artist, keeping the integrity of the artwork is a priority and ALTO™ exceeded my expectations with the result. I consider myself lucky to have a graphic design background, which made it easier when it was time to deliver the files and test the colours. From the moment I send the files to the time of unboxing, it's always a little nerve-racking...nothing but perfection in this case!




Thank you to Turbo Bambi for speaking with us. "I Hugged a Bear in Revelstoke" is a mural made with custom shapes and sublimated onto powder-coated ALTO™ Aluminum and installed in Revelstoke, BC. You can follow Turbo Bambi on Instagram @turbobambi_design or see more of her work at www.turbobambi.com.


Photos courtesy of the artist.


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