Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. For interior murals, painting something that makes it appear as if there is an opening, such as a doorway or a window, where there was none.
Exterior murals usually have some historical significance if on a commercial building.
When I do studio work, like graphic design, I accept all sorts of commissions, from standard business advertisements, branding design to architectural renderings and even stage props & backdrops for one of our local theaters. And lately, we've been designing and creating decor for large parties, like the 17 dog houses I designed and built out of foam core.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Do your homework...don't shop price. More often than not, you'll get what you pay for...
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Well...hopefully they should first know my style, even though I can paint almost anything, I DO have a style and I'm better at some things and not others.
So they should really know who they are hiring and why. Sizes are important too, as well as wall surface...
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Rather than simply painting a pretty picture on a wall, my murals tell a story, or sometimes hint at a story to be told.
Also, every one of my murals contains my trademark red string.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. What I like most about what I do is that I am always creating something, and given that I do commissioned work, I leave my 'mark' wherever I'm hired to paint a mural.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Where will you put the red string?
I rarely know the answer until I'm well into painting the mural, so even if I wanted to answer, I couldn't. Best to keep it a surprise...they like that.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. Around fifteen years ago, I was commissioned to paint a mural for an ASID showhouse. This was maybe a year or so after I started including my red string in all my work. During opening day, I was interviewed by two ladies for the St. Pete Times. They asked about the red string. I told the the story of how it started and that my wife didn't like it at first...she thought it looked like blood. So they kept returning to ask why I continued painting the red string in spite of the fact that my wife didn't like it:-) (she now likes it, BTW)
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I wish potential customers wouldn't treat artists like we are all starving artists by telling us how many people will see our work, and therefore, you should give us a discount (implied, usually). That's insulting.
I wish they also realized how much thought goes into creating a piece of commissioned art. That part is rarely, if ever charged out as a 'billable hour' in spite of usually having to spend many hours thinking about a project. We just don't snap our fingers and make murals appear.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I'm not sure...fate? It seems that way to me. I was always doing some kind of art but it wasn't until I met four specific people over 18 years ago that I realized that I could earn a living painting pictures.
Specifically, I shared studio space with an artist, 18 or 19 years ago, who did decorative art....murals, floorcloths and painted furniture. Whenever she was asked to paint something she wasn't sure she could handle, she sent the clients to me....
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. The project I'm most proud of would be the 21 exterior murals I painted in Historic Downtown Stuart, Florida a few years ago. There were 7 large 10' x 12' historical murals and 14 smaller murals, each having something to do with the building or it's location.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. Probably the latest 'development' would be the advent of commercially available mural 'prints' such as the myriad of wallpaper murals and lately, a transfer type system that allows anyone to have another image reproduced on a special paper which can then be transferred to the wall or ceiling surface. I feel it opens the door to copying others work and cheapens what real muralists can offer.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. My most recent project was a studio project and I designed and built props and posters for a large party.
Not a huge job, but it took longer than I expected, as happens sometimes. It was extremely well received by the clients and their guests (130+).
I provided 17 custom designed dog houses, built of foam core and paper, four large custom posters (4' x 8') printed in my studio, 130+ placecards, and two other props.
Not my usual project but it was fun.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Too many factors to talk about here...
But some would be;
Difficulty of accessing the space