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Back in the business after 22 years away.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Russell Ricks, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. Russell Ricks

    Russell Ricks New Member

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    Jun 28, 2019
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    I'm back in the sign business, but on a limited basis and more specialized after being away from it for 22 years. I currently have a J.O.B., but want to get out of that rat race. For the past 2 decades, I have been painting indoor murals off and on for the corporate client, while holding down various temporary employment jobs.. Why? Because it has paid me better. I would love to do murals full time if I could find enough work. I want to branch out to wall murals outdoors (even though indoor murals are easier to guarantee and have paid me better). If outdoor murals are more common, it would be a nice filler in between my big indoor jobs. Back in the day, I would get a wall sign or mural job here and there while in the sign business in Southeastern Idaho. I'm now in Utah, remarried and have some fine art in one gallery. I'm starting an art school this fall and want to paint murals on the side. How do you go about finding potential outdoor mural work?
     
  2. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    You may want to reach out to these folks to see if there are any networking opportunities. We are a huge fraternity of large scale sign artists/painters, muralists, etc..

    https://www.facebook.com/thewalldogs/
     
  3. player

    player Major Contributor

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    Would it be feasible to design and paint a small version, then print it large and have it installed by others? I wonder if there is more money in it if you can take the hours out of it, but still produce a similar product.
     
  4. Russell Ricks

    Russell Ricks New Member

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    Jun 28, 2019
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    That's definitely an option, but for me personally, I love being involved in the hands on process mural development. Eventually, I just want to paint fine art full time and sell through 5-7 selling galleries and also teach plein air workshops. Even if I'm doing that, when a lucrative mural job comes along, I don't want to pass it up. For example: back in 2007, I painted 5 habitat murals for the Cabela's store in East Hartford, Connecticut. After installation and overhead was taken out, I still profited about $40k in a 4month window. I was burning candles at both ends to get them done. End result ...a personally satisfying opportunity and looks good on my resume.
     
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  5. Russell Ricks

    Russell Ricks New Member

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    Jun 28, 2019
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    ...I see these mural artist in Salt Lake City paint massive wall murals and wonder, "How did they get the work and how was it financed?"
     
  6. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    that's like asking a chef if he can make a meal put it in a can and serve it when ever you want...

    i get it why paint when you can print, but there must be a market for old school somewhere
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. player

    player Major Contributor

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    No, it's like asking a chef to design a recipe to feed 10,000 people. Make a small sample and then writing down the recipe so the 10,000 dinners can be made in a more efficient way. Not considering this is like asking a chef to prepare a meal for 10,000 people on his/her own.
     
  8. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I don't get your food analogies, but I doubt that would work. Most people doing creations from scratch are not gonna be able to make this thing that small that it could be scanned or duplicated without a lotta work. You can take small pictures and scale them or duplicate them, but that's working from a photograph. So, if you're gonna make a mural 8' x 18' why go to all that work and just not make it full size ??

    I would say try finding some letterhead meets in your area or sign shop mixers or even go to some digital sign shows. There's almost always a bullpen there with some of the old-timers squeezing the turps and paint outta their brushes willing to talk and discuss possibilities with other like-minded veterans.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    Much of the mural and public art you see is organized and financed by community generated grants and urban beautification funds. I'm not sure if the NEA is still providing grants for public art. but they used to be instrumental in community beautification projects. You may want to try and connect with any Environmental Graphic Designers in the areas you want to work in and see if there are any networking opportunities.
     
  10. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    It's fairly obvious that the approaches, experience and motivations of the membership here span a broad range as does the advice and opinions offered.

    From what I'm seeing in nearly every other sign related connection I have, sign oriented social media group I belomng to, talking with other full skillset signmakers, etc. "old school" signpainting and related work is enjoying the biggest and most vibrant renaissance and resurgence in the last 25 years. There are Wall Dog and Letterhead events happening all over the planet. Workshops, seminars, mural projects, etc. are nicely attended and there is a whole new young crop of very talented, diverse people of all races, genders, etc... learning how to do this stuff.

    Frankly, I haven't been this excited about our trade/craft in decades.
     
  11. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    :welcome: 2 :signs101smilie: from OK
    I see that the area around Central Utah is pretty sparse in population. I take it you that you are going to travel some for these installations.
     
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