Oh walls. I think I’ve proven myself to be good at snapping cool walls (find proof on my Instagram btw), BUT here’s a question: am I any good at painting them?
A few months back I mentioned that I’ve been helping Morag Myerscough paint some of her projects on and off for the past 12 months. It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve learnt so much from it, BUT was I ready to go it alone and paint a wall of my own? Well, only one way to find out… and it just so happened that there was a blank wall with my name on it at my co-working space!
Nothing quite like a big blank canvas to get me scared… eek! Welcome to my challenge. When brainstorming ideas my main 3 concerns were:
As part of the co-working rules, every member donates 2 hours to helping around the space. From previous experience, I knew that it was basically impossible to paint a whole mural in 2 hours. With this in mind, I designed some options which would have a great impact but not too time consuming.
It was pretty much a case of use what we already have available, and although I didn’t see this as a bad thing, it definitely limited the colour palette! ha I’ll be honest, when I looked inside the paint cupboard I was a little bit worried about the colour combination available: a bit of green, orange and blue with some pink thrown in. BUT you just make it work, eh?
Because what’s a wall without the urge to take a photo in front of it!? I wanted to paint a wall that I would want to photograph… and I’m quite particular about these things! I knew I wanted to paint something bold and probably patterned, but I wasn’t sure what that actually looked like.
I drew up 4 different design options digitally before deciding on my first option… and later changing my mind. I’m a pretty indecisive person if given time to over think, so on the morning of painting I said it out loud and then I just did it: a burst of colour.
And then there was no going back! Luckily I had megababe Ella Masters on hand to help me out. As an artist she’s bloody good with a paintbrush and she’s great company too.
I was also glad to have her on board because Ella’s preferred weapon is a paintbrush whereas I feel more comfortable with a roller in hand (thanks to Triangle Therapy), so we had the best of both worlds. Although, it turns out that our confidence didn’t stop us from painting the wrong colour by accident a couple of times, oops!
5 hours in and we were just about 50% complete – that’s a cause to celebrate, right? Not sure if it was the paint fumes (or if that’s just an excuse ha) but we decided to do a little photo shoot to celebrate anyway…
Ok, that’s enough cheese for one day…
Armed with new, better masking tape and we were back at it. Overnight, someone from the co-working space had ‘grammed our work in progress so that was some much needed encouragement that I’d settled on the right design – Thanks Emily! Although after my Instagram post went wild, I did actually start to question whether I should leave it as it was…
… and then I remembered that more is MORE and so we just got on with it!
Of course, it couldn’t go totally to plan. Even with the new masking tape (which stated that it’s delicate for walls and specifically for painters and decorators) we still had a bit of a nightmare with a peeling wall. I think this was probably down to the plastering and in parts it did feel quite cold and a bit damp. It just goes to show though, that even if you think you’ve learnt and prepared for all eventualities you can’t predict what a wall is gonna do…
Still, the comments from our passing co-workers were so encouraging. ‘Wow, did you guys paint that?’ and ‘It looks so amazing’ – I was so pleased!
10 hours down and we had finished! EEEK – Ella & I were so excited to peel the tape off. Maybe a little too excited actually… but nothing a bit of TLC with a small paintbrush couldn’t fix.
We could probably have gone on for hours just fixing even the slightest wobbly line but even though Ella was keen, I had to draw the line (oh, the irony) and say it was FINI! It’s funny that your eyes are drawn to the tiniest of details when the bigger picture looks so impressive, but that’s a curse of being a creative.
Ok, so not quite FINI – we couldn’t resist tagging the wall with our Instagram handles, just so that everyone knows who painted it… and that we’re available for hire! Hint hint! If you’d like to watch us in action then you can because I filmed the whole process, of course:
(Head shots with thanks to Rosh Thanki)
Usually I’d probably be modest and pretend it was ‘just OK’ but I’m learning to get over that mindset because actually, I think it looks SO GOOD that it doesn’t look real; it looks Photoshopped, no?
Ok so firstly a MASSIVE thank you to Ella for being my right hand woman on this painting job – I definitely couldn’t have done it without her! I’d also like to thank my co-working space for the amazing opportunity (and for trusting me with your wall) and Team Morag (Morag, Hannah, Rachel and Ruth) for prepping me with the knowledge and experience to make it a reality! And last but not least, thank you to everyone who encouraged and supported me – Jack, Emma, Rosh & all of my lovely Instagram supporters. I’ve wanted to paint my own wall for so long and I knew 2018 was going to be the year that I made it happen!
Hopefully this is just the first of many…
Let me know what you think to my wall. Hands up who’s keen to have their photo taken in front of it?