Murals are an interesting creature. They HAVE TO be done at the client's location, they often involve
ladders, sweat and contortionism, and compared to almost all of my other contract work, they are not able to be produced lightning-fast.
I get frustrated since I'm so accustomed to illustrating quickly, that I forget that painting is just a slower process.
On the other hand, murals are a great joy to accomplish. Even if they're not my usual subject matter, I'm almost always pleased
with a product that usually comes out even better than expected. Probably the highest compliments I've ever received to my
artistic ability has been when people see the photos of the Herpeton Boa and ask why I took a picture of that snake!
I've become pretty accomplished at working murals during a business's open hours and still staying out of the way of the customers.
Murals are estimated at my base $40/hr rate based on the hours I expect the project will take. Since they tend to take a
little longer than I expect, this usually comes out to less on the hourly rate. Generally, one can estimate them at $200/day,
being anywhere from a 4 to 8 hour day. It's very hard to predict what type of painting will take more time. Every artist
is different and each will have subjects and styles that are faster or slower. Since murals are always over $100, I ask for
half in advance (which is my standard practice), this also is appropriate since supplies are usually required to begin the
project. Supply costs are usually included in the estimate.
There are a number of factors to consider in contemplating a mural, such as lighting, ladders, open hours and access. Outdoor
murals are a little more complicated in mid-summer and winter. Simple murals which include simple logo designs or cartoon
illustrations are less time consuming. Shading, portraiture and realism take longer.
Most of the murals I've produced I neglected to photograph, though some I still hope to get the opportunity to do so, others
no longer exist. I've produced murals for: Austin Semi-Conductor (LARGE space scene for customer service training); Herpeton
Exotic Pets (2 locations: vines & animals); Yellow Submarine Sandwich Shop (Peter Maxx-style cartoon elements in reference
to the "Yellow Submarine" Beatles film/Burnet location no longer exists); Dance Umbrella Performance Arts Center (6th near
Lamar/Window mural of logo, tour logo and stylized dancing figures/no longer exists); & Curves Fitness Centers (3 locations,
Click on the thumbs below to view photo collages of previous mural contracts.