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How to Commission a Mural: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Commission a Mural: A Step-by-Step Guide


How to Commission a Mural: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Artling's Mural Project for JustCo, Collyer Quay, Singapore

Murals are an excellent way to transform your walls, especially if you want to create a bold statement and add character to a space or site. Instantly striking upon the view, it is no wonder that murals are becoming increasingly popular additions to corporate offices, hotels, cafes, residences, and co-working spaces. Whilst visually arresting and vibrant, mural designs can also importantly represent a company’s ethos and values, boost creativity as well as improve company culture.

From large-scale murals featuring your company’s branding elements to multi-storey artistic designs, The Artling’s mural consulting service will guide and help you throughout the entire mural commissioning process. If you’re interested to learn more about commissioning a mural, below is a step-by-step guide, outlining the six key stages and processes from start to finish.

The Artling's Mural Project for JustCo, Minsheng Jianguo, Taipei, Taiwan

Why Commission a Mural over an Artwork?

Murals are unique works of art that can create a dramatic impact in any space. They are customisable and are created so that the mural is specific to the business and architecture of the building. Since the wall essentially becomes the ‘canvas’ of the work, murals are visually commanding and spatially more assertive in comparison to other forms of art. They are excellent additions for both the outdoors and indoors, and unlike paintings and sculptures, they don’t take up any space at all.

The benefits of murals are plentiful, they can bring a sense of cohesion in an office or corporate space through vibrant colour and design, spread a specific message, and really highlight ideas directly related to a business, community or enterprise. Whilst other forms of artworks can be great additions, what makes a mural different is how it is able to interact with the urban landscape or environment – the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the final picture.

The Process of Commissioning a Custom Mural

The Artling's Mural Project for JustCo, Marina Square, Singapore

Step 1 | Discovery Stage

After the client gets in touch with us with an initial enquiry, The Artling’s mural consulting team will begin the process by arranging a meeting with the client to discuss their vision, budget, and site for the mural. This initial conversation allows us to gauge a better understanding of our client’s likes and dislikes, and the kind of design, style, or aesthetic they are looking for. These factors are all taken into consideration when we source for artists and designers for the project.

The Artling's Mural Project for 8MRE, Amoy Street, Singapore

Step 2 | Sourcing Artists

Following this meeting with the client, The Artling’s consulting team will carry out further research and begin the process of sourcing for artists based on the client’s design preferences and locality of the project. We will then reach out to a selection of mural artists, informing them about the project outline and our client’s brief. This is also an opportunity for us to liaise with the artists and find out their costs and lead time.

The Artling's Mural Project for JustCo. Hung Tai, Taipei, Taiwan

Step 3 | Proposal of Artists

We then propose and recommend the selected mural artists to the client, showcasing their past projects and reference images of their works. Along with this, we will propose marked floor plans, highlighted renders, and an outline of cost estimates and timeline so that the client can gain clarity of what is envisioned for the mural site. After this, the client will let us know the shortlisted artist(s) they would like to commission, along with any other feedback on the project.

The Artling's Mural Project for Genting, Red Tail Bar, Singapore

Step 4 | Mural Sketches & Design

Once the artist has been appointed, the selected artist’s draft sketches of the intended mural design are sent over to the client. Upon reviewing these, the client will send back their comments and indicate the revisions (if any) of design elements, content, or color scheme that they would like modified by the artist.

The Artling's Mural Project for Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) Headquarters, Singapore

Step 5 | Final Design Approval & Execution

After making the appropriate changes, the artist’s final design is sent over to the client. Once it is approved, the artist will commence work on site. The duration of the mural execution depends on its size, and the number of walls the client has commissioned work for.

The Artling's Mural Project for JustCo, Seoul Tower, Korea

Step 6 | Completion & Handover

Once the mural is completed by the artist, a final walk through with the client is carried out for any necessary touch-ups or changes that may be required. Once content with the final outcome, a sign-off form is completed, marking an official handover to the client.

Preparation & Deciding on a Site or Surface

Before getting in touch with The Artling’s mural consulting team, we advise clients to prepare wall images and location plans so that we can best assist during the mural consultation. Having an idea of specific theme or style that you have in mind is also helpful for us when we look for suitable mural artists.

Deciding on the location and wall for the mural is important. If you want an outdoor mural, the condition of the chosen wall should be thoroughly evaluated and assessed by a professional. Certain surfaces can also be more durable depending on the wall, while brick, plaster and concrete tend to be the best surfaces, unsealed wood and aluminium are not ideal planes to directly paint a mural on.

The Artling's Mural Project for JustCo, William Street, Melbourne, Australia

Establishing a Budget

Determining your budget is imperative. A large proportion of this will depend on your choice of artist, size of mural, and location. The main things that you will need to consider for your budget are: artist fees, material and equipment costs, liability insurance, and ongoing maintenance costs. If the mural is outdoors, bear in mind that the artwork will be exposed to different weather conditions and temperatures, which may require frequent upkeep.

When deciding your budget, it is important to note that artists will typically charge per square metre, meaning the larger the wall, the bigger your budget will need to be. Also, the experience of the selected artist will influence the fee they charge. Whilst emerging artists will usually charge a lower per square metre, more experienced and established artists in this field will have a higher rate.

Having a rough idea of how much you want to spend will allow The Artling consulting team to make the appropriate choices when sourcing for potential artists for the project.

The Artling's Mural Project for JustCo, 18 Cross Street, Singapore

Selecting an Artist

When it comes to selecting an artist to execute your mural, carrying out some initial research will help you gauge the kind of style and themes you envisage for your mural. Looking at artist portfolios and past mural projects are all very helpful. For example, if you’re looking to incorporate text into your mural, an artist experienced in typographical work would be preferred.

Think about the message you want the mural to convey, if you commission a well-established artist, this may also boost your branding and draw people to your business. Additionally, if you decide to select a local artist, you would be showcasing great support to the local arts community and marketing home-grown talent, whilst giving them more exposure and potential for future projects.

The Artling's Mural Project for Genting, Phuture, Zouk, Singapore

Site Preparation

There are a number of things to consider including prep work that will need to be carried out before the mural painting process begins. Health and safety are of utmost importance, and in order to ensure that the site is safe and ready, we provide our clients with a checklist outlining the steps they need to take before the mural installation begins.

Things to take into account for site preparation include: allocating an individual to oversee the installation on-site, ensuring the site is safe for artwork installation, appropriate areas are cordoned off, storage space is available for artist tools and materials, all employees and individuals are informed about installation period, and finally, that permits or work passes for artists art handlers and installers are organised.

The Artling's Mural Project for JustCo, Manulife, Singapore

Post-Handover Care & Maintenance

When the mural is completed by the artist, a walk through with the client is necessary so that they are aware of any care or maintenance that would be required. If there are any needed changes following this, we will organise for the artist to complete these touch-ups.  

To prevent fading or flaking of the mural, especially if it is outdoors or exposed to humid temperatures or rain, scheduled inspections should be carried out in order to avoid further damage.

Maintenance may include regularly cleaning walls, trimming vegetation, doing regular checks, and repainting or reapplying coating. Such care taken ensures the longevity of the mural. This is why we advise clients to build these costs into their budget.

If you are interested in commissioning a mural from us - be it for corporate, hotels, commercial spaces, or residential purposes, please get in touch with one of our expert consultants. With our global network of inspirational creative artists and rich experience of working on projects of various sizes, we have the creative and execution prowess to turn your corporate design vision into a reality. Meanwhile, take a closer look at our diverse portfolio of commissioned mural projects here!

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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