+ What kind of Paints do you use?
For my initial round of murals, I used a hefty mix of products from a variety of sources. However, I’m going to focus solely on using pigment from Glomania from here on out. Their products are first rate, and this company holds many of the same values I personally hold (charity work and paying it forward). If you purchase paint from Glomania, please let them know I sent you! The owners of Glomania also travel and do amazing murals. I invite you to check them out here!
+ what do you need to know for a commission?
How big is the room? How many windows does the room have, and how large are they? Do you want the top of the surrounding walls painted in order to add depth? What type of ceiling surface do you have - Smooth, matte, textured? How tall are your ceilings?*
*I am currently unable to paint ceilings taller than 15 ft' unless you can provide me with a safe ladder or scaffolding
+ Do you travel for commissions?
Right now I am Oregon-bound, tending to some elderly, often-sick pets, not to mention juggling a full time and a part time job. As much as I would LOVE to visit London and Paris (I’ve never travelled over the Atlantic), I’m sticking close to home to take care of my sick furbabies. I travel to the Portland and Eugene areas often, depending if the weather is good (the winter ice storms we get in the gorge are no joke).
There are some opportunities in 2017 to paint in Seattle, Sacramento, and Vancouver, B.C. (late 2017, depending if I get my passport stuff squared away). Maybe even Finland in August 2017 if I can scrounge up the resources to make it to worldcon! I will likely post on my blog and tweet about any other random opportunities.
Again, you may reach out to the starmakerfx team and see if they are willing to travel. They are great people and I recommend them, too!
+ How much would a mural cost me?
That is a very simple question, but I do not have a simple answer. It really depends on what you want, the size of the room, the amount of paint you want (Do you just want stars? Or lots of nebulae?)
Keep in mind I use high quality paints that will last for a very long time. They get expensive fast. For instance, I used a lot of paint and supplies for Ben’s room (that was showcased in the buzzfeed article). His room was small, and the ceilings were easy to reach. I also spent about an hour cutting out stencils, an hour traveling, and roughly another hour of prepping the room before I began painting. Something on par with Ben’s room will cost roughly $15 per sq ft, but it is truly dependent upon what kind of room you have, ease of access, prep work, drive time, etc. If I am travelling outside of Portland, Eugene, Bend, or the gorge, I may have to tack on a hotel room fee.
If you are inquiring about a mural price for a child with special needs, let’s talk. It is my goal to work with charities and be able to provide a mural for free to a family in special circumstances.
+ How long does it take to paint a cosmic mural?
That all depends! If I arrive on site and nothing is ready for me, and I have to move furniture and hang up black out curtains, that burns a lot of time I could use for painting. And I hate to say it, but I’ll have to charge an hourly prep rate. Ben’s mural took 8 hours (it was a small room), excluding a break to eat and set up time for the stencils. The more the room is prepped, the faster I can start painting!
+ What do I need to do to prep a room for a mural?
The ideal situation is that the room has been cleared of all electronics and furniture. I need to easily move a ladder all over the place as I work. I need to be able to throw down drop cloths and move quickly. The room must be pitch dark because I will need to check my work as I go. I can bring my own black out curtains, but I’ll be poking thumbtack holes in your walls to get them up.
I’ll need access to a sink with running water, so that I may rinse my brushes and sponges from time to time.
I also need access to power outlets. I will bring black lights to help me see where the paint is going and how it is blending. Also, it’s nice to plug in a speaker and jam out to music as I work.
+ Do I need a black light for my stars to glow?
Nope! But they can help charge the paint much faster. I paint using blacklights to see how the painting is taking shape and how the paint is blending. It’s much easier to use black lights vs. turning the lights off and on for 7 hours.
+ Is the paint really invisible?
It’s barely detectable. When light hits your walls just right, you may see tiny slick spots where the stars are. Some of my paint has a grainy pigment, and on a textured ceiling you won’t notice it at all. On a smooth surface, there will be a slight bumpiness like smatterings of clear sand. If your walls are painted dark, despite being invisible, the slick spots may appear more pronounced when applied to dark hues.
+ How long will the stars glow?
This depends on the color, and your light sources! Do you have just a small table lamp in the room, or five can lights?
Reds and orange pigments fade quickly, so you may see them for an hour. Blues and greens will last three or four hours. Some white will remain visible slightly longer. Again, it depends on how bright the charging lights are, and how long they were on before the lights turned off.
+ How long will the paint last?
My very first mural lasted 10 years, and the last time I checked, was still going strong.
+ I rent my place, will you still paint my room?
I will be extremely hesitant about picking up commissions for rentals, so I will have you sign a waiver that says you will take full responsibility for the mural and any damages that the landlord might try to charge when you move out.
Yes, I told Buzzfeed I got away with painting murals and hiding them from my landlords, but I was ready to take full responsibility if a landlord had a problem with it. I’ve had all sorts of landlords over the years, and some were more understanding and chill than others.
+ Will you post a tutorial video?
Ha, I can barely talk in multiplayer games, let alone put my face out there on youtube! I’m not crossing a video tutorial off the list forever, but I’m a tad shy when it comes to recordings. Instead, I invite you to check out the videos already in existence on youtube.
Yes, I’ve taken art classes since I was little, but I am by no means an expert on anything (Does anyone really know everything?). Life and art are an ever changing, always learning process. I still spend a lot of time on youtube watching other painters. There is such a great variety of styles out there, and even watching videos of street artists and oil painters can give immense knowledge and ideas to all of you out there! Everyone has their own unique style!
+ How do I get rid of the paint?
Well, if you honestly need to get rid of the mural, it will take several coats of high quality paint to cover the glow.
+ I want something other than stars, will you still paint it?
I won’t say no outright. I will hear out your idea, but I may politely decline. I will likely pass on extremely large planets, people/faces, or daytime-friendly murals. I specialize in the hidden cosmos, and would like to focus on that. That said, I have a commission coming up that will focus on tree silhouettes and fairies, sort of like an enchanted forest.
+ Do you only paint bedrooms?
I’m open to painting any sort of room! Do you have a business? A hospital room? Let’s talk!