Meet the Las Vegas artist inspired by the Vegas Golden Knights

Juan Muniz (Tiana Bohner/FOX5)

A Las Vegas Valley artist is gaining a lot of attention on social media thanks to his comical illustrations of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Juan Muniz has been an artist for more than a decade. He’s done murals in downtown Las Vegas and for businesses, including the Cosmopolitan and Zappos. But now he has his eyes set on a new inspiration: the Vegas Golden Knights.

It all started with a drawing of mascot Chance after the Knights swept the L.A. Kings. Muniz is proud to call Las Vegas home. But he admits even he wasn’t sure hockey would work in the desert.

“Is it going to do well?” he said. “I'm honest, I was kind a skeptical. I was like, ‘Is it going to do well in this city?’”

But he fell in love with the team after 1 October.

“The reason this city is so connected to the team, it isn't because now they're doing great and they're in the playoffs,” he said. “It was more of like, they came at a time when the city really needed to come together.”

Then the Knights continued to make history.

“Especially as the games get tougher, the playoffs get harder,” Muniz said. “We keep coming together as a community. You can't go anywhere in this city without seeing a Knights logo.”

And to say thank you to the team, Muniz is putting his talent to good use, drawing cartoons of Chance and the Knights after each playoff game.

“It’s become a storyline,” he said. “I create illustrations based on the outcome of the game.”

Muniz said once he gets an idea, it takes about 30 minutes to put it on paper – or, in this case, a tablet.

He showed FOX5 one drawn after Game 2 against the Sharks.

We are talking to the artist behind this @GoldenKnights artwork. What inspires him... and how quickly can he draw one of these pieces? You’d be surprised! Tune in at 10 @FOX5Vegas #vegasborn— Tiana Bohner (@FOX5_Tiana) May 6, 2018

“The goal, they took away from us,” he said. “So I did an illustration of the shark saying, ‘Hey he pushed me. And the ref giving him a lollipop.’”

Muniz said it’s all in good fun. One of his favorite parts is seeing the fan reaction online.

“When they started sharing it with each game, it just kept getting bigger and bigger,” Muniz said.

And Muniz hopes it gets big enough to catch the attention of the Golden Knights, themselves.

“To do something with the team that we've taken as us, that's something that I'd like to do one day,” he said. “But for now, all I can do as a fan - of them and this city - is to just kind of keep that rally cry going.”

Right now, Muniz is not making any money for his artwork.

He doesn’t want to unless he can partner with the Knights so that they can get some of the profit.

But he said he does plan to print his artwork on canvas to give to the Knights’ owner, Bill Foley, as a gift.

Copyright 2018 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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