Wade Harrison, a merchandiser in metro Atlanta, tells the story of Coca-Cola through deliberate brush strokes on a canvas, and occasionally a spray paint can.

Hailing from Toledo, Ohio, Harrison has worked at Coke for 19 years and doubles as a professional artist, specializing in expressionist art.

After working at Coca-Cola for many years, Coke has become a huge part of Wade’s life and his artwork. The timeless Coca-Cola logo is front-and-center in a self-portrait Harrison recently created, which also included the artist holding a palette with Coca-Cola in the background. The piece was highlighted in an art show in Ohio and featured in the Toledo Museum of Art.

The merchandiser and artist enjoys portraits and paintings, and he recently finished a spray-painted piece of the iconic Coca-Cola contour bottle.

“After I leave work, I go into painting mode, but both worlds are forever melded,” he said.

Harrison enjoys his job, he says, because Coca-Cola gives him the opportunity to travel, talk and share experiences with people from all walks of life. “I love to hear other people’s Coke stories," he added. "People talk and I listen, absorb and use these conversations as inspiration.”

Wade Spray Paint

I caught up with him to learn more about how his Coke story has become his life story.

When did you first discover your love for painting?

I’ve always been artistic and have enjoyed creating things. In the second grade, my school principal gave me a scholarship to the Toledo Museum of Art, which impacted me.

How long have you been painting?

I’ve been painting professionally for 30 years, and I studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in commercial painting.

What inspires you?

Anything I see or hear is inspirational. I draw my inspiration from life in general and music like reggae, jazz and hip-hop. 

Harrison hopes to continue to transform his passion for the Coca-Cola brand into mural projects, especially those that intersect with hip-hop culture. His ultimate goal is to have his artwork featured in the Coca-Cola archives to become a part of Coca-Cola’s rich history. Follow Harrison and his artwork’s journey at .http://www.wadeaharrison.com

Amelia Miles is a summer intern at The Coca-Cola Company.