My First Mural Experience

so i started this blog post months ago. just realized i never posted it. 

some thoughts on my experience painting my first mural . . . 

i had known that i would have the option of doing a mural for a month or two beforehand. however, pressure seems to ignite my creativity. probably why this map project worked so well for me. time constraints make my brain kick into that extra gear. love it. hate it, but love it. hence, procrastination. 

i got pretty lost in framing, concepts and getting prints together with my friend chris mccann .... all of a sudden i was a week out from the show, and realized i had no idea how to do what i wanted to do . . . put a large scale map up and paint it . . . seems simple enough.

i needed to paint the mural may 1-3 (mon-wed night) to be ready for the show thursday. it was now sunday. i came up with this type of concept . . . 

  digital reference i did on my ipad

digital reference i did on my ipad

so i investigated stencils which proved to be either too expensive or just straight up impossible (too many lines and shapes to cut out and still have a rigid structure) . . . this is also a good moment to mention that the wall is stucco. not super coarse stucco but definitely bumpy enough to affect the process more than i realized. had i pursued a really expensive stencil, it probably wouldn't have worked that well anyway. 

so i bought a projector. thanks Cayman for pushing this.  highly recommend one if you plan on doing anything large scale. i bought a $300 epson. worked perfectly. 

first however i had to cover the current Chase piece, which literally took me three hours. i felt so guilty about covering a piece that i actually had to get Ben at BAM! to text Chase and let him know what i was up to. almost for his blessing. ha. 

i blacked it out after agonizingly forcing myself to. then i set up my projector on the top of my car parked in front of the wall. found the right piece of map to paint, and went full on into it. cracked open the smaller of two white paint cans. started tracing with a foam brush. found it easier to make straight lines by dabbing. got thru the whole thing, filming this time lapse. literally the coolest looking vibe. at this point i was pretty happy with myself. but that didn't last long . . . 

two major issues. one, when projecting white lines on a black background, and then tracing the white lines with white paint, the result is spectacular while painting. feels like your painting tron onto a wall. the problem comes when you turn off the projector. suddenly all the sloppiness you couldn't see during the painting becomes very clear. very depressing. 

second, i was using the wrong paint. it was a "primer," that unfortunately the home depot employee neglected to mention to me that it had to have white paint MIXED INTO IT. which i didn't do. 

so when i woke up it looked like this --->

brutal to wake up to, to say the least.

  the morning after . . . ugh. 

the morning after . . . ugh. 

on a related note, I don't think i was prepared to deal with the constant public display. to create with a constant flow of people walking inches away from you . . . in a place like venice, full of truly amazing murals and artists. having the mural in a state like this . . . really destroyed me. you can hear the judgment as they would walk by in silence. the quieter it was, the worse i felt. 

  Wednesday night's Progress...

Wednesday night's Progress...

i spent that morning furiously repainting every line by hand with actual white paint. ha. by about noon, i had it in a much better place. definitive street lines. water ways. i was starting to get the occasional "looks great" or "wow" from passerbys. by 3 pm, it looked great. i was, dare i say, proud of myself. 

so with the map up, the rest was pretty easy. using a combo of spray paint and brushes for details, along with some cardboard masks, i knocked out the face by the end of the day wednesday, leaving the morning of the show for some finishing touches ... social tags, red location pin (made of a bolt and red foam ball), etc . . . 

i literally finished all the details about two hours before the show opening. i quickly ran home, showered and drove straight back. 

my first art show. yikes. that's a whole different post . . . 

  the night of the opening . . .

the night of the opening . . .

My first show.

well my head hurts a bit as i write this. had a bunch of very expensive rum with my buddy Pablo at the Milk Room last night to celebrate my first installation of SAMAPS. a LOT of rum. whoops. besides a mildly dizzy and foggy feeling, i'm overwhelmed by a sense of pride that i haven't felt before. a solo mission in art that is becoming something. even if it stopped with this show, here, at the chicago athletic association, i would feel so complete. i talked a little about it in the podcast that will be released soon, but i've always made music with other people, played live with other people, produced other people. rarely do i write entirely on my own and see it released into the world. so here is my creative brain making something just for me that people are reacting to positively. and it feels so good. so thank you to whoever reads this, or checks out my art online, or in person, or buys a print. seriously means more to me than you know.

here is a time-lapse of setting up the show . . . thank you Jill and AJ and the rest of the staff at the CAA hotel. GREAT hotel. highly recommend stopping through here when you can and having a drink and playing some shuffleboard. shake shack delivers to the room here for f's sake. 

cheers!

sammy

Lincoln Timelapse.

uh. weird just wrote a whole post and it disappeared. whatever. james' birthday and hometown. missed a s'more bbq while drawing this one. bummer. but not bummer cause i really like this map. anyway. here it is. 

-sam

St. Louis Timelapse.

okay we are back out again. samaps and timelapses galore. here is st. louis. did the score myself today. enjoy. about to play in lincoln, NE, home of the one and only james valentine. pretty awesome. its his birthday tomorrow so punch him in the arm if you see him. without further ado . . .

-sam

Worcester TimeLapse.

yes, i messed up again. no baltimore time-lapse. i know i know. devastating right? GoPro was out of batteries when i started. already getting a dual battery charger for next round of shows. ha. didn't get enough. bummer too, because mr. carmichael did a terrific play on the house of cards theme. yes we know. its not DC. 

so we skip to worcester. nedra, our lovely and talented chef who keeps us healthy on the road, left a a "haunted pubs of new england" book on our dinner table that day. seemed appropriate to go a little spooky with. so i saw the witches hat amongst the highways and went with it. enjoy. 1863 (aka jesse royal) did a very "stranger things" type of theme to match. nice. 

we are back in action in a bit. someone i know is having a kid. but after that, more maps and timelapses and fun and music and travel.

cheers.

-sam

 

KNOXVILLE Timelapse

had fun with this one. found an amazing tennessee atlas in the Mast General Store ... normally i try to avoid split pages but this particular map opened up at the middle right on Knoxville. perfect. pull the staples out and bam. meant to be. okay okay i get excited about unexciting things. whatever. enjoy. 1863 doing the music again.  #gopro

-sam

Columbia, SC TIMELAPSE

loving the blue neon light in our back lounge. this is my new favorite place to do these. post show. fix myself an old fashioned, set up the camera, go. this one is already posted to redbubble too. okay. enjoy. i'm making a solid effort to add the silliest "production" to these. this week i tried animating the samaps logo. wow. crazy, huh? what to do next. until next time . . . 

Orlando - lack of time-lapse.

interesting moment last night. started a drawing. set up the camera. HATED the result. there was too many people backstage perhaps . . . too much distraction . . . travis filmed me stomping on it actually. then later on the bus, much more calm, with a cocktail and no pressure, i knocked out a pretty good one. apologies for not having a time-lapse, but sometimes you just need a break . . . #samaps #nogopro

MIAMI TIMELAPSE

okay here's miami. its going to be funny watching the progression of my final cut skills (or complete lack there of) ... tried some text! tried some image overlay! threw in a beat i made a while back! this one actually is one of my favorite maps so far. cheers. enjoy. going to try to scan this one and upload. still no luck yet with new orleans but i'm working on an option. enjoy. ORLANDO we are here and ready to go. see you tonight! #gopro #samaps #m5ontheroad #miami

 

NOLA timelapse.

i'm pretty lucky to have a true new orleans musician play some piano on this one. thank you PJ and, of course, jesse carmichael, for doing this one . . . who's up next? travis? james? enjoy. working on scanning this one to post on redbubble asap, although its really fucking big so i'm not entirely sure how i'm going to do it. yeah, stitching. but its stitching 10+ images together. tricky. anyway. back in a bit. enjoy NOLA>   #gopro #samaps

the first of many lapses . .

so this was me practicing with my new GoPro on a malibu map. can't wait to do more. tour approaches. better have all this shit in line quick. ugh. simplicity . . . efficiency . . . these things drive me nuts . . . enjoy this one. first map on tour will be san antonio. will be posting the video, hopefully, the same day as show. and if i can manage to get these things scanned decently, posted to the various stores and social medias by the next day? we shall see. i recommend making the video full screen. looks way better. 

new site info.

okay moving to squarespace. i ain't talking smack about wordpress. i get it. its open source. tweak able and free form. but my brain is loving the simplicity here. 

this blog will be the home for the time-lapse videos i make on the road. i think. unless i find a better way. which i'm sure there is.