Are you an artist looking for artistic opportunities? It is great when it happens but can be rare that the artistic opportunities come to search you out. Trying to find places to showcase your art is an ongoing concern and part of the job description of the professional artist. When the opportunities are not coming your way what do you do? Why not create your own opportunity?

In the winter of 2014, a group of artists in our area saw the need for more art. We decided to get proactive and create our own opportunities and a new art council was born. With countless hours of hard work we were able to get our organization off the ground and started building an art community. In the process, we learned that sometimes the fear is larger than the reality.

To help lessen the fear of the unknown, over the next few blog posts, I thought I would tell you exactly what I did to organize a community mural. Sure it was a lot of work with many ups and downs, but in the end it was worth the ride. And I hope that by being transparent, you will see that you too could organize your own mural project.

Who doesn’t like a good story, so let my story begin… Once upon a time, there was this artist who wanted to paint a picture so big that the world could see it…

This community mural project started as a conversation in a coffee shop. I came to the table with experience as a theatre set painter and designer with the love of painting big. I also had completed a few mural projects in the past so felt confident that painting big was no different than painting on smaller canvases except in the size of your brushes and the need for a ladder. There is freedom in painting big that you cannot experience when contained in limited square inches.

The other main difference of this project was the time involved. But the reality is that there are many artists who put a tremendous amount of hours and detail into one small canvas. No matter how labour intensive the project the hours tend to melt away when you tweak your passion.

The planning process took 65 hours spread over 5 months. The key is to start early and to be on top of your schedule so that you will not be blindsided when the hourglass steals your grains of sand.

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I will go into more detail on the scheduling that was done.