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Step 7.

Get it done!

How to Commission a kid's wall mural
It might be a good idea to get yourself a cup of coffee!
Now take a little time to read through this section. I know you are busy and I have done my best to keep it brief.
Understanding this section before you start will save you time and effort later.

Most of this information applies to you whether you are commissioning a kid's mural directly onto a child's room wall, a mural on canvas, or indeed any kind of artwork that is specially designed for you.
It will give you an idea of what to expect from the artist and what you should do to get the best from an artist.

The key is to establish the artists working methods from the beginning so reducing the chance of any unpleasant surprises later.

Lets re-cap
By the time you reach here (step 7) you and your child should know exactly what you want.
You have chosen between a mural or wall art and have chosen one or more suppliers to look at.
You will have a theme
You will have a budget
You know the space you have to play with and have a size in mind
You have some ideas of the look you want.
Now with all this information, you have an excellent brief to give to the kid's mural artists from which you will choose one to complete the job.

Ok you're ready now contact some child mural artists
If the artist is local arrange the meeting at your home.
If not local, your discussions may be by telephone, e-mail and maybe even by post.

Ask to see their portfolio and see if their style appeals to you and your child. If not you should continue looking for another artist.
Make sure that you see photos or slides of their previous work. Experience is important, but not a true measure of an artists talent. A person may be new to the job but have an enormous amount of natural talent that a more experienced artist may not have. Experience however will often deterimine how smoothly a job will run and how easily an artist will be able to fullfil your requests. It may often be worth the risk if the more inexperienced artist has a style that you absolutely love. You may also find that his/her rates will be lower than an experienced person. With a bit of understanding and extra time you will have a piece of artwork that will give you and your child years of enjoyment not to mention helping the artist by adding to their portfolio.

Ask what mediums the artist uses for painting kid's murals. The most common mediums are acrylic and oil paint. Acrylic tends to be more popular as it dries quickly and is far easier to work with on a large scale. Murals in oil paint will tend to be more expensive due to the higher cost of the paint and the extra time needed in using them.

Ask for references. This is especially important if it is a large job you would like to have done. Try to contact 2 or 3 people who have hired the artist. They should be able to give a solid recommendation of the artists talent, ability to deliver the 'goods' and thier work ethic. With smaller jobs, written testimonials should be sufficient

Get an idea of their prices Ask for examples of what they have charged for previous jobs so you can get an idea of what to expect. Alternatively if you absolutely have to have them paint your child's mural you can ask them to design to your budget.

Some artists charge by calculating on a square foot or even a square inch basis (or the metric equivilants).
The costs will vary enormously
depending on..

The reputation of the artist and his or her experience. The more experienced and well known the artist the more expensive he/she is likely to be.
The size and or the detail in the mural.
The more detail in the mural the longer it will take. The bigger the mural the longer it will take.
The type of mural.
Murals on canvas may be more expensive as they will require installation by either the artist or an experienced wall paper hanger.
Your location.
In areas where people are more likely include murals in their home decor there is more demand for the services of mural artists and hence their prices are likely to be higher
Travel expenses.
If your chosen artist does not live in your area you may incurr travel expenses
Medium the artist paints in
. Oil based paints are generally more time consuming than acrylics

Ask about or to see their terms and conditions of work so you know exactly what to expect from them.
When can you have a quote?
What are the payment requirements?
Typically a final quote will only be available after the initial sketches are completed.
A fee will be required for the final sketches and the quote.
A percentage of the quote will be required to secure the acceptance of the design and the start date of the child's mural.
The remaining balance will be due on completion of the job.

If you would like an example of an artists terms and conditions click here. Everyone works differently, but this will give you an idea of what you might expect.

Present your ideas to the artist and discuss your ideas with them.
Give the artist all the information you have compiled from the 7 steps including pictures and styles that your child likes.
Include anything that is relevant to the mural or has to co-ordinate with the mural ie bedding, colours, accessories. Anything that will help the mural artist understand what you want.
But be open to suggestions from the artist. They will have the experience to know what will and won't work and may have some better ideas that you may not have thought of.

Look at posters of your chosen theme for ideas and styles. A poster could have elements that could be translated into a wonderful kid's wall mural.
Click here for some of my mural ideas and inspiration

Show them your child's room if you can.
If the artist is local this is absolutely necessary.
For kid's murals on canvas or other wall art, send the artist photos of the room if possible, but at the very least dimensions of the room and walls and the size you require the kid's wall mural.
Be accurate. Get the sizes right!
It could be an expensive mistake if you don't.

Ask for a designs and a quote
It is a good idea to see some sketches of your mural before hiring and artist. You will probably have to pay for these, but it will be money well spent. This fee may be a set amount or up to 10% of the final invoice depending on the artist and the job. Check if this charge will be deducted from the final cost of the mural or will it included in the overall quote.

Usually these sketches will be in colour, either in pencil with colour samples or a full painting to illustrate how the final child's mural will look. You should find out at the start what expect to receive as far as these sketches go and so you can decide what you need to be able to make an informed decision.

At your first meeting the artist may make some very rough pencil sketches for initial discussion and for him/her to take away to produce further renderings. Most artists don't charge for the first very rough sketches produced at the first meeting but do check.

Approve the ideas and sign the quote to go ahead
You love the drawings. Great. Does the quote come within your budget? If so, you can hire this artist to do the job if you wish.

If you decide not to go with a mural artist before receiving their renderings, contact them as soon as possible to stop any work from being done and time wasted. They will be grateful for this courtesy as the fee charged to do the initial drawings rarely covers the work involved.

Make any changes and ammendments at this stage.
When you see the final sketches, make any changes then.
Expect to be charged if you make major changes later during the painting of the project. Most artists will make small changes without charge, but if you make changes that require repainting and redesigning it is only reasonable to expect to be charged for this.
If you have to make changes ask what it will cost to make them, the artist may ask you to sign a second ammended quote

Sign the final drawings agreeing the design.
Make sure your child is happy with the ideas and make them understand that it will be difficult to make changes later.

Set a start date and ask for an expected finishing date, but be flexible to allow for unforseen circumstances.
If the artist is to be painting in the room for a few days, try and find alternative sleeping arrangements for your child. This will save the artist from having to clear the room and set up again each morning. Sometimes this is unavoidable unless you are having a mural on canvas which is far less disruptive.

Clear the child's room as much as possible.
Create as much free space as you can, to allow the artist to paint as comfortably as possible.

Ensure the artist uses adequate protective covers over the floor and furniture.
A professional kid's mural artist will ensure the room is well protected from spills.

Lastly a few tips
Don't hang over the artists shoulder all day. It is very uncomfortable for most people to be watched all day. That goes for your child too.I know it's very exciting for them, but it is very distracting to have a child asking questions while you paint, not to mention nerve wracking when they start poking around the equipment and paint.
As an artist myself I appreciate being left to 'get on with it' and be offered a cup of tea now and then. That's your chance to peek and have a bit of discussion on the progress. At those times I am also pleased to chat to the child and discuss the painting with them.
Be sensitive to your artist and how they work.

Above all enjoy the experience.


Give yourself a big pat on the back and pour yourself a glass of wine!