Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Without A Studio: What to Do?

At the end of July, I embarked upon a project for a little boy's nursery in Gainesville. The parents had used the Pottery Barn Jungle Friends bedding and accessories. Pottery Barn sells wall decals for over $119/each. The parents liked the look of the decals, but wanted a customized job that incorporated all of the walls. They also wanted jungle vines which were not available as decals. I worked with the parents to come up with sketches and colors that would compliment the existing motifs on the bedding and wall valance. Together, we sized and placed the images on the wall using a projector. The clients had very specific ideas of what they wanted the nursery to look like. This made my job much easier and because we had very open communication, I knew that they would be pleased with the end result.

The project took about 3 times longer than I anticipated. Between the consultations, design work and painting, the whole project took about 50 hours.

I learned a lot through this process. In the future, it will make the most business sense to stick to an hourly wage. I will be cautious about accepting "pay by the job" rates. I will also be sure to ask about travel distance and figure travel time into my estimates. Time is money! I will also ask about wall condition and texture. Crisp lines are not impossible, but they take much longer when the wall is textured. Luckily the clients for this project had the walls professionally painted a pale yellow prior to my job.

The project was gratifying, especially since I do not have access to a studio right now. Working large scale in a 2D format, I kept thinking about installations and how I could incorporate similar motifs and composition into a show about functional pottery. I would definitely consider a mural project again in my future.

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