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What it’s Like to Work with a Custom Muralist

I’ve been working as a muralist for many years in NYC, and I’ve often been asked by prospective clients and colleagues what the process of creating a custom mural is like. So here’s the deal. In brief, every project and client is unique and different. Some clients come to me with a clear idea, and some need help with ideas. In this case, my client came to me with butterfly prints by Damien Hirst as her inspiration. My job was to figure out how to translate them into a monochromatic children’s space and create something that was not a copy but rather filtered through my own lens as an artist.

It is always important to start with a design discussion to define important topics like scale, style, colors and, of course, budget. With custom artwork, the sky is the limit when it comes to both design and price point. A clear understanding between client and artist of the expectations and specifics of what is going to be done is a great roadmap to a fantastic project and a happy client.

Sam Simon talking with a client

Once the project is defined, I like to use blue painter’s tape to mark out the basic shapes, creating a rough outline. This helps immensely with composition and scale. It’s valuable to be able to see how big something is prior to putting paint on the wall. After my “blue tape sketch” is completed, I start my favorite part—the painting. I always test colors and make sure everything is going to visually jive together, all the time checking in with the client to be sure we are still on the same page. Some clients like to be very involved and some just like to see the piece at the completion.

In progress Sam Simon painting

When complete, the artwork on the wall should support all of the design elements in the space. In this case, the piece hovered above a daybed from DucDuc and gorgeous bedding by Eskayel.

Sam Simon Blush Pink Butterfly Project

The super chic “inflatable” mirror from Zieta reminds me of Jeff Koons’ balloon sculptures, another wink and nod to the pop art reference and inspiration within the space. Interior designer Ashley Darryl did a great job of choosing elements that mix patterns and interesting shapes to keep the look elegant, child-friendly and chic.

NYC Residence Blush Pink Hirst inspired Butterflies

Talk about bubble pop electric! The chandelier looks like a cluster of soap bubbles glowing from within, super cute and chic.

Sam Simon Blush Pink Butterfly Project

Mural artists are available in pretty much every city. Custom murals are usually more expensive than wall decals as the work is done one at a time and tailored to your specific space and design plan. However, the result is something truly special and one-of-a-kind. Have you ever thought of hand-painted work in your home? It really is possible to paint your world beautiful.