New Orleans-based lettering artist and muralist Bruna Pétalla is known for her love of her city, a place she describes as “magical.” This passion for the vibrancy and culture she finds in her community—the live music, art, food, and kindness—aligns with Psycho Bunny’s approach to self-expression, which made Pétalla the ideal creative to work on the Artist Series. You can see Bruna Pétalla’s artwork, “The Window to the Bayou,” in-store at Lakeside, New Orleans.
A Brazilian transplant, Pétalla realized she wanted to be a professional artist after she painted her first mural. “It all started when the city of New Orleans lost its magic during the COVID pandemic lockdown. The entire city was boarded up and all the lively energy was gone,” she explains. “That’s when me and other artists started painting murals on the boarded store fronts around the city. It was a way to bring back the smiles to all of us during those tough times.” She couldn’t return to a life without creativity and subsequently decided to pursue a career as a muralist and lettering artist.
Her intriguing style is an organic amalgamation of her Brazilian roots and a healthy dose of the unique and rich New Orleans spice. Bright colors and bold shapes are expertly intertwined in her work, resulting in an aesthetic that is meant to evoke both visual and emotional joy.
Working with Psycho Bunny for the Artist Series gave Pétalla the freedom to be even brighter and bolder than usual. “In a city with an abundance of self-expression, I really wanted to bring the energy I get from New Orleans’ people to the brand by means of the magical local fauna and flora. I want to show the world New Orleans through my eyes,” she muses.
Bruna Pétalla’s artwork for Psycho Bunny’s Artist Series, “The Window to the Bayou,” uses elements that are very characteristic to the bayou people. The lines represent the surrounding water, including the Mississippi River and the small bayous. The leaves and plants are modeled after the rich flora in the Lafitte’s National Park and the backyards of New Orleans natives, where you’ll most certainly always find a banana tree. The crawfish and the crane bring balance to the ecosystem, making them important to the region. The bright colors and aesthetic are representative of how she views the festive souls that inhabit New Orleans.
Her connection to the city of New Orleans is one that is emotional and runs deep. “It’s a joyful city, everything here is inspirational, from the people and the food to the architecture and nature—and, of course, the music and soul. All these things inspire me and I distill them into colors and shapes that express the feelings my city makes me feel.”
Asked about why she wanted to join forces with Psycho Bunny for the Artist Series, Pétalla explained, “self-expression, the acceptance that I can be whoever I want to be. Psycho Bunny is a brand that fits with the New Orleans spirit. And I appreciate when brands work with local artists to create magic.”
Her creative process is one that is based in values and finding a common thread to weave upon. “I look for the values we have in common, and how that connects with the creative direction for the piece, then, I just have fun with it.”
If Pétalla had to summarize self-expression in three words, it would be, “empowering, acceptance, and freedom.” She continues to explain it’s important, “self-expression shows the truth of our minds, allows others to know who you are, and also inspires others to find themselves.”