Chris Benchetler is looking a little unsettled. He’s 15 feet off the ground, fumbling with the controls of a scissor lift. His goal is a detailed section of a huge painting a few feet to his left, but the lift bucks and sways with every weight shift. It’s late September and Benchetler is currently in Seattle, working on a mural he and his friend Skye Walker are putting on the side of the evo building. A masked Walker is rattling a spray paint can on the other end of the lift platform, which makes the move even more difficult.
For Walker, a professional mural artist, this is nothing new. For Benchetler, it’s his first piece of art this size. It’s also his first time working with spray paint. In fact, it’s his first time operating a scissor lift. Intimidating? Definitely. But despite the occasional warning buzzer, Benchetler seems almost giddy about the situation.
That’s because it’s exactly the high-stress, do-it-yourself sort of project he loves. Even as he’s learning multiple skills on the fly, he remains unflappable, casually asking Walker for advice. He’s unfazed as we step into his custom camper van for an hour-long interview, even though it’s 90 degrees inside.
He says he always tries to limit his expectations and keep an open mind. About painting, yes, but also about skiing, and surfing, and climbing. He’s just trying to learn everything he can. Jack of all, master of none, he says…