SAN ANTONIO – Sports and art are two things Mike Arguello has loved since he was a child.
Eventually, though, he ended up giving up one of them when it came to participation.
Art is what won out, getting his full-time attention now as an adult.
He paints murals for a living, mainly on the inside and outside walls of local businesses.
“Portraits is one thing that I’ve always drawn since I was a kid,” he said.
However, his commissioned work can run the gamut.
One day recently, his assignment was to paint a mural inside a brand new restaurant on the city’s Northwest side, Crawfish Café.
The artwork included the business’ logo amid other images that represent San Antonio, including the Alamo and Tower of the Americas.
“I just gave him those ideas and he took it from there,” said restaurant owner Kiet Duong. “He gave me the first draft and I was, like, ‘Wow!’”
Duong says he first saw Arguello’s work on Instagram and knew he had to work with him.
“I’m really a fan of street art and I think it really enhances this space,” Duong said.
Arguello, a native San Antonian, says he accidentally stumbled upon his career.
Using his own natural talent, he earned a partial scholarship to the Southwest School of Art.
His formal education soon was cut short, though, after the birth of his daughter.
But a chance meeting with another local muralist, Nick Soupe, helped to cement his future.
“And I kind of just asked him, ‘Hey man. How do I get into this? It’s super cool,’” Arguello said.
He continued to paint, honing his skills and eventually earning a name for himself among the city’s most popular muralists.
Arguello signs his work with a nickname that friends gave him years ago for his cool composure, “Mike Comp.”
He said he is grateful to be able to do what he loves and has plans to share his knowledge.
“Hopefully one day I can bring my daughter on as my little apprentice,” he said. “As long as there are walls and businesses and canvases being made, I’m just gonna keep on doing this.”