How do I Become a Mural Painter?

Vicki Hogue-Davies

You need creativity and artistic ability to become a mural painter. You also should be able to think on a grand scale and translate the ideas seen in your mind's eye to walls in houses, the sides of buildings, ceilings and other large spaces where murals might need to be painted. Attending an art school or taking classes in painting at a local college or university will help you become a mural painter. You also can look for apprentice opportunities with established mural painters.

Changing a mural design is easier when starting to paint rather than after.
Changing a mural design is easier when starting to paint rather than after.

Some mural painters work for companies that specialize in painting murals, but many mural painters are self-employed. Courses in business, marketing and other practical arenas will help you set up and run your business and gain clients. Being a good communicator with strong follow-up skills and being able to complete work by a deadline also are important characteristics if you want to become a mural painter.

Mural painters, like other artists, work in a variety of styles and paint a variety of subjects. What you paint will often be determined by your clients. Businesses such as restaurants and others often hire mural painters to decorate their interior and exterior walls. Medical offices, especially those of pediatricians, often hire mural painters to create decorative and whimsical wall murals. Homeowners often employ artists to create nursery murals, murals for children’s rooms and murals for kitchens and other areas.

Knowing how to tap into the markets for murals will help you become a mural painter. It is important to put together a portfolio of your work to show to prospective clients. The portfolio can be online, in a book or both. When you are starting out and don't have pictures of murals to show, include pictures of any other artwork you might have created. Always include only your best work in your portfolio.

One way to contact prospective clients, especially businesses, is by creating a postcard that shows some of your best works and includes your contact information and a link to your online portfolio or website. Make a list of businesses in your area that you think might be interested in having a mural, and send your postcard to them. To find homeowners who might wish to have murals painted in their homes, tell everyone you know about your mural business. You also can advertise in local parenting and home magazines.

An important thing to keep in mind is that some clients might want you to paint pretty much exactly what they have in mind, but others will ask you for suggestions. Be prepared for either situation. Being flexible about what you paint will help you gain clients and help you achieve your goal to become a mural painter.

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