Well world, I did it.
10 years after getting my degree in painting, I have finally decided to really put myself out there and get painting... FOR MONEY!
After years of providing artistic services for friends and family, I decided to take the plunge and signed up for Thumbtack. Amazingly, there I have found people who want to pay me to do my favorite thing.
So here I am on the other side of my first big weekend of muralry for hire, and it feels amazing. I have two happy clients, one of whom wants me back for more, another that has resulted in a mention in a local paper. How cool is that?!
Mural #1 of this weekend was for a 12 year old boy who has always wanted a shark on his wall. What a damn cool kid. Any kid who requests a mural for their birthday is A-OK in my book. What's more, any kid who chooses me personally to be his muralist because he looked at my portfolio and loved my style is officially my personal hero. At my suggestion, he and his mother decided to do a few more images on his wall, including an octopus, some clown fish, and a yellow submarine (the HMS Pikachu). He named the shark Herbert and the octopus Tina. With his creative juices flowing, they have asked me to come back and add a manta ray, some jellyfish, and some more coral. I'm really excited to add the additional features, because I intend to use the opportunity to bring the whole mural together into a more cohesive visual unit. Also.... There's another 9 year old boy in that house... maybe he'll want something on his own wall soon!
Mural #2 was silhouettes on the walls of a very cool food co-op in Logan Square, called the Dill Pickle Food Co-op. Although these were not my original designs, I had a great time getting to know the folks at the co-op and exploring Logan Square a little bit. I had to do some impressive balancing and stretching to get some parts of these murals painted, including painting a handful of things left-handed while dangling off an extension ladder. NBD, I'm a professional muralist, after all, this is totally my jam....
Anyway, The co-op is a local favorite, and is being featured in a news article for the Logansquarist... so I'm getting a little shout-out and bump for my business. Neat! Hopefully the mention will get some attention and result in some more business. I think in a few weeks I might pass a little note to the GM offering my services as a window painter for the upcoming holiday season. Time to get enterprising!!!
The dorky marketing MS degree-holder in me has had more fun getting my brand together than is probably healthy for anyone. After I decided to put myself out there on Thumbtack, I decided to throw together a beta-logo and a little webpage, because why not? I published it but didn't shout about it. Then someone wanted to hire me, and I thought "oh snap, I should get some business cards." THEN I got excited about designing my logo to throw on my cards and hoo-boy did I get carried away after that. Before I knew it I was making Bri's Brushes branded tote bags, shirts, pens, and stickers. I cannot tell you how badass I felt walking onto the job with my Bri's Brushes tote and hand-painted shirt. "Oh this old thing? I bring it with me to all my mural painting jobs." Damn straight.
So here I am, folks. I want to believe that I am entering a new phase of my life in which I'm more than just a hobbyist with my art. I'm excited and scared and there's a little part of me that thinks I might be completely out of my mind for taking on another layer of responsibility.
But you know what?
Bring. It. On.