Tavanotti said she stays optimistic and doesn't dwell on the past. In fact, she thinks there was one positive outcome: community engagement.
"Eleven hundred people have told us what to do," she said, referring to the number of votes for the project.
She also cited the 50 or so people who showed up Saturday, eager to see the word that was chosen by their community.
"That gives them a sense of ownership, especially if you voted for the winning word," she said.
Eleven students are currently working on individual design concepts. On March 12, they'll present them to a panel of judges at the Laguna Beach Arts Commission meeting, where the winning concept will be selected.
However, Tavanotti is quick to point out the mural is all about teamwork, and she's been encouraging students to critique and learn from each other along the way.
Once a design is approved by the Arts Commission, work will begin on the mural right away.
Since starting the Power of the Words project last year, Tavanotti has received feedback from all over the U.S.
Cities such as New Orleans, Detroit and others in Florida have been speaking to the art instructor about possibly bringing the project to their towns.
Price spoke with Tavanotti about doing a mural in the state Capitol and perhaps in his district, which encompasses Hollywood, Culver City, Los Feliz and Koreatown.
Similar to the process in Laguna, Tavanotti would start a poll for the community and find local art students to come up with the winning concept and paint the mural.
"I've always used one-word mantras," she said. "I've always believed in a mantra's ability to change behavior, and it's a great way to plant seeds."
She believes community engagement in the murals will spur creativity and an appreciation for art.
On Sunday, Tavanotti drove down Laguna Canyon Road to hose off the word from the gray wall. As she stood in front of it, she noticed drivers pointing and passersby talking.
She thought for a moment, put her hose in her car and decided she'd give "wonder" one more day.
For more information, visit powerofwordsproject.org.