What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
There's nothing "typical" about each client. The key is being a good listener. Once an individual has decided to paint a mural, they already have an idea of what they want. My job is to translate that vision and give them better than what they expect. I need to know their style, the colors they love and the colors that they hate. After deciphering the complexity of the design, it is vital to know the size and scope of the space along with the condition of the surface to provide an accurate quote.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
The answer to this question is best read on my blog under the heading, "Why I don't consider myself a self-taught artist"
Google my name, Michele Levani, to locate my blog.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
It depends upon the complexity of the design, the size and scope of the space, as well as the condition of the surface.
In painting murals, I only use Sherwin Williams paints and glazes. Because of their quality, I can stand behind my work, knowing that the richness of the colors will endure through the years.
Once you're interested in my ideas, I will draw a layout for $50. If you accept my layout and quote, the $50 is subtracted from the quote. To secure my busy schedule and purchase supplies, I require a deposit and then draws are arranged as the mural progresses. I also accept credit cards and Paypal if the client prefers.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
Ironically, in school, because I was already known as an artist, I was asked repeatedly by teachers, (even those that were not mine) to create banners and billboards. I loved working LARGE! No boundaries! My favorite was a 8'x24' Fonzie for a Spanish teacher. lol!
What types of customers have you worked with?
I work in both residential and commercial locations which means that sometimes I'm working with designers and sometimes with stay at home moms. Each client is unique. Really though, when painting children's spaces, my favorite client is the child!
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
That's a hard question. My heart and soul goes into every piece of work that I create. That would be like asking me which one of my daughters do I like best.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
You have to see their work and be sure that it IS their work! I met with a potential client once who was deciding between using my services or another "artist". She told me that the other artist did not bring a portfolio, but rather told her to go to a local seafood restaurant to check out the murals there because she had painted them. I was utterly shocked because the artist that had actually painted the murals in that restaurant had been a personal friend of mine... and he had died a couple years before. That mural was his legacy and she was trying to claim it as her own work! So make sure that they are who they say they are! If you get a chance to see the movie "Big Eyes", you'll understand that statement even more.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
It is extremely important to not violate copyright laws, even though some photos can inspire a space and help convey your ideas to me, the artist. Keep in mind that I will never copy another artist. Also, special permissions need to be obtained for trademark characters.