Making a Matchbook Mural

What I learned from my first experience; designing and painting a wall mural

So this all started because I’d been having a couple of quiet days / weeks on the freelance illustration front, that tends to drive me crazy, so I need a project! Time for me to make some personal work and ping out some emails to potential clients! Caran d’ache had sent me a set of their Supracolor pencils in limited edition colours so I cracked them out and started illustrating some vintage matchbooks that I picked up in the US you can see them and my illo’s below:

 Flea market finds are the best finds!

Flea market finds are the best finds!

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That was cool and it all would have stopped there but one of the emails I’d sent out had been to Global Street Art about getting a wall space to paint on. (I’d love to paint murals to commission but I need to get some in my portfolio!) GSA were happy for me to take a wall space so now the panic started setting in; I didn't know what to paint or if I really could paint a wall!?

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I decided to do something completely new and took the small sketches I’d made and scaled each one up to A4 to see how they looked big! I always like practicing drawing something to figure out how I want it to look, plus knowing that I would need to paint these large scale made this a good exercise.

However the draw back is that it’s so easy to sneak in more detail (especially if you’re a maximalist like me!) and working in my usual medium of felt tips. In hindsight I know that these details will be hard to achieve when it comes to painting.

Plus mainly, really time consuming, how fine a brush do you really want to work with when people are seeing your art from across the street!?

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Once I’d got these sketches done and into a layout I had a plan for my wall mural and there was no more procrastination to do,

I went to see the space…

Wow! That is a big old intimidating wall! I felt scared…! At this point that I put a call out on Social Media for HELP! This wall was too big for me alone!

But I started hearing back from awesome creative ladies whose work I love and I thought well hang on instead of helping me painting my design on a couple of panels why don’t we just fill this corner with colour!?!?

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So I began turning these lovely offers of help into fellow mural artists! I also prepped the space, sorted the colour palette and started painting my Matchbooks, end of Day 1! On Day 2 Aleesha Nandhra joined which was perfect as she is a fellow matchbox lover and the theme was set! She smashed out her design in a day; absolute pro and it looks awesome…!!!

On day three wall mural regular Natasha Nuttall joined in the fun and took inspiration from the strike paper’s on the side of matchboxes and created a dotty design which tied the two walls together and seriously cheers up this little Shoreditch corner! To see the Wall Mural in person head to 10 Rivington St, but be quick! These walls get turned over fast!

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