The 2017 World of Dance Finals are just around the corner (July 22 in Pasadena), and we caught up with artist Michael Ong about the mural he created for the event.

A bit about Michael ‘M1KEZOR’ Ong:

He’s been painting  for some time now but has been publicly and persistently painting and sharing his passion for about the last 3 years.

  • His style: A touch of urban contemporary with a dash of care free.
  • Places he’s showcased his work: Orange County/Los Angeles art galleries, OC/626 night markets, and even Coachella.

WOD: Tell us about how you got to create the mural for the finals?

MO: I actually did an art booth at World of Dance 2 years ago then the next event I painted a live mural. I guess they liked my style and I got asked to paint a photo wall for finals and I replied with a quick, ‘HELL YEAH!!!’

WOD: What was your inspiration for the final project?

MO: I wanted to bring a fun vibrant feel to the event. I tend to use bright colors and bold lines that draws people’s attention. What better way then to paint flamingos on a beach?? In a room full of pigeons, be a flamingo. I made it look like a post card with the words, ‘Wish You Were Here’ so all the kids could give FOMO to all their friends when they took pictures with it.

WOD: What was one of the things you are most proud of for this project?

MO: I not only paint but I actually work as a Respiratory Therapist at night and sometimes day. So I’m most proud that I actually was able to do this without it getting in the way of my other work. And I guess… staying awake while I painted during the day in this last heat wave. Not lit. OH!!! also! The mural is just 1 part of the piece. We are also adding props and astro turf to make it a 3D interactive installation for guests. I’ve never done anything like that before and I’m totally stoked to see everything together.

WOD: Can you tell us about some challenges you had to creatively navigate around?

MO: I don’t really do much typography so that was quite a bit of a challenge. I had a different font in mind but was thrown out.

Keep in touch with Michael on his official site, via Instagram, and on Inviscus.

As we hear up for the World of Dance 2017 Finals on July 22, check back for exclusive interviews with dancers, artists, and more. Can’t get enough World of Dance? Tune in Tuesdays at 10/9 central to NBC’s World of Dance as contestants battle it out for the $1 million prize. Get interviews with contestants and more on the official online publication for World of Dance