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 . . .