My very first mural began with an ad on Craigslist. An Albuquerque non-profit, Alchemy Wellness, was in search of an artist to enhance their dull, gray wall. I reached out, not knowing at the time that this would be the beginning of a partnership as well as a great friendship! I created the design and I couldn’t wait to get started!
Preparing the wall for the mural
Looking at the wall for the first time, I knew it was big. The wall measured 54ft wide and 13ft tall.
I cleaned the wall with a pressure washer, to get any dirt and grime off.
My partner, Morgan, helped me prime the wall. He was a tremendous help! Priming was particularly difficult because of the crater texture of the wall. We used extreme force to push the white paint into the holes to act as a filler. It was at this moment that I realized just how HUGE the wall was and that this wasn’t going to be a quick project! It took us 5 days just to prime the wall!
Projecting the mural design and creating outlines
Once the priming was done, it was time to begin adding art to the wall! We had night sessions where a projector was used to project the image onto the wall. We found out the hard way we had to abide by Mother Nature during these night sessions. Any wind speed over 10mph would move the projector enough to make the image constantly shake or completely knock the projector over. Ironically, we started this process as the windy season in New Mexico was beginning. I was only able to do one section at a time, there were three sections total. I was able to start painting after I got the first section traced on the wall. Although, I still had to wait for windless nights to finish the last two sections.
I finished tracing the whole image on the wall, now all that was left to do is paint the damn thing!
After a total of 116 hours, the wall is complete!!! There were many obstacles I had to overcome while working on this project: wind, heat, rain, exhaustion, wall texture, and limited hours for working, but I wouldn't change a thing! I learned so much while taking on this massive project and I completed my FIRST mural! It is incredibly rewarding to have my art on a huge public wall for everyone to enjoy. Although I was doing most of the work by myself, I felt like I was doing something for the community and this mural is for all of Albuquerque to enjoy! The best part about working on this project was all the people that stopped to tell me how much they love the mural and how it has enhanced their drive, neighborhood, and surroundings.
I am so grateful to Alchemy Wellness for this opportunity! Thank you to everyone that has stopped by to see it in person! If you haven't yet, make a trip over there! This massive wall is across from the Coronado Center, near Menaul and San Pedro.
Alchemy Wellness: 2441 San Pedro Drive Northeast, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110