Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com

Tips For Finding Work Mural Painting

Its not always easy. Artists provide a service that not everyone can afford. You will spend as much time (if not more) marketing yourself as you do on your painting. This isn't meant to be doom and gloom, its so you know that if you're not good at that?......find someone who is (even if its just a pushy, but not obnoxious friend) and hire them to promote your work for you. Know what your strengths are, you don't have to be good at everything, but you do need to work. So if you suck at it?.....get help. That said....
*Take as many classes as you can. Can't afford classes? Let your fingers do the walking and look for free online art instruction, there's lots out there.
*Don't forget about YouTube (check out one of mine). There are tons of instructional videos on there about painting.
*Do an online search for press release sites....some are free.
*Spend some time visiting artist/muralist/faux finish forums.
They're a great resource for getting/giving advice, showing your work etc. This is a competitive field and you need to be the best at what you do. Never stop learning....nobodies that good. Two good ones: http://www.fauxforum.com and http://www.muralsplus.com
*Keep a good portfolio of your work in an album or online. No jobs yet you say?.......get some canvas, tack it on the wall and paint. Do one, photograph it, paint another. Can't afford canvas?........then sacrifice a wall somewhere in you home and start painting, photograph it, prime it out and start another, and another, and another. Create a collection of photos of your work. You need to be able to show people what you can do.
*Websites are good for two reasons. One, it acts as an online portfolio and can weed out people who may not be interested in perhaps your style of painting (you can't appeal to everyone), therefore saving you time wasted traveling to a location for a consult. Two, if your diligent in keeping your site high profile (search engine friendly), I have been contacted for prospective work via the website.
*Websites can be pricey if you don't have the skills to create one yourself, so take advantage of places like this to showcase your work. I've recently switch from a website to using this format.
*Use sites like Blogrush to help bring traffic to your site. Its free and it works. See the widget in the right column to learn more about it. There's also a very helpful video that explains how it works here.
*Always, always, carry business cards. As soon as someone asks what do you do....hand them a card. Tack them up on every available public bulletin board you can find. OK......maybe high end clients won't find you that way, but smaller jobs help pay the bills, and it helps get your name out there.
*Charge appropriately for your geographic area, and your skill level. Be confident when pricing a job, but realistic. You can ask ten different artists what or how they charge for a job and get ten different answers. There is no set formula, you need to be honest with yourself about where you are skill wise, and you need to know what people are willing to pay where you work. I myself, prefer to know what a client wants to spend...I ask for their budget. I don't want to waste time designing something that maybe they can't afford, or designing several sketches to give them options to choose from (thats a lot of work for a maybe). I like to use my time efficiently. I like to get to the point and get to work......whats your budget for this project.
*Use your vehicle for advertising. I have my business name and info on the back of my truck along with a business card holder... http://www.vehiclecardpockets.com ....they work! Park in very public places whenever you can. There's a playground down the street from where I live, on Saturday/Sunday mornings its a great place to park my truck for the day. I like to do children's rooms and folks walking by can easily take a business card.
*Try to land a job doing a mural in a big and busy restaurant. Its by far how I got most of my referrals, and years later still do. Send out that pushy friend you've hired to market your work (to find a restaurant in need). Make sure its high traffic, but with locals, not tourists (if you want local jobs), and that they are customers in a higher income bracket who can afford to hire a muralist.
*Donate a mural in a public place, day care centers, restaurants, churches, community centers etc. There are mixed feelings about doing this, but its entirely up to you and whether you're willing to do it knowing you may not get any work from it (but of course hoping you will). My feeling?.....if you're not doing anything anyway and you've got some down time, paint's not all that expensive, and you could be doing something really nice for someone, you'll keep your skills up and you won't be sitting around getting fat and depressed :-)
*Contact design firms and contractors in your area. Send them a CD of your portfolio if you can, or at least a brochure/postcard or business card. The following are free :-) http://www.mybrochuremaker.com and http://www.mypostcardmaker.com
*Do an online search for 'call to artists' and 'call to muralists'. Check those artist forums for possible opportunity listings, several do. http://www.muralsplus.com and http://www.fauxforum.com are two.

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