Becoming a mural artist as a profession can be both challenging and rewarding. The ability to make a living by creating beautiful murals sounds thrilling and glamorous, but the reality of becoming financially successful can offer challenges. Murals offer a wonderful touch to restaurants, private residences, churches and hospitals. They can also become a fabulous addition to city projects and parks. Many cities offer opportunities to muralists as their art can be appealing to tourists and make even an ugly wall beautiful.
Get your name out there
Take your business cards to local interior designers, paint and home improvement stores, flooring companies and builders to let them know you are available. Mural opportunities can be found on the Internet and in city art calendars, but mostly through word of mouth. That is why it is so important to meet people who are in professions that could use your service. Many muralists offer a small percentage of the invoice back to the designers as a thank you for the referral, and to ensure future job opportunities. Creating a website that can showcase your talent is very important.
If you have not built a professional portfolio, you need to do so. The quickest way to build a portfolio of pictures of your mural talents is to offer your services cheap or for free to your friends and family. Everyone loves murals and most people have a wall in their home or office that could use a little creative flair. Before and after pictures are good to have as they really display how magical a mural can be to prospective clients. These pictures can be posted on your website for the whole world to see and, hopefully, attract business for you.
Local schools and childcare facilities can be good sources for mural opportunities, as they sometimes need murals in gymnasiums, cafeterias or the playground areas. Most cities have bare walls that could use a facelift. If you approach those cities with a current photo of the wall and a drawing of your proposed mural with the price, many are receptive and have budgets for city improvements. Always keep your eyes open for opportunities while you are driving and doing errands. Houses that are being remodeled offer a perfect opportunity to approach the homeowner or builder about your services.
Building up your client base and local contacts is one of the most important processes of becoming a professional muralist. As a freelance artist, your next paycheck comes from the next job you secure, not from the number of hours you punch on a time card. Being a muralist can be frustrating, challenging and exhausting, but it can also be extremely rewarding and financially prosperous.
There are several good books available on becoming a freelance artist; check with your local bookstore. Don't be afraid to call or email professional muralists in other cities and ask for helpful advice--most are friendly and glad to speak with a fellow artist!