I was so excited when I learned about the opportunity to paint a mural for my friends at Squidly Designs. We originally met at the Albuquerque Railyards Market. It seemed like fate when Jennifer of Squidly reached out to me to ask about a mural for their new shop storefront since both of our art businesses are woman-owned and directly involved in the New Mexico art scene.
Collaborating on the design concept
One of the reasons I was contacted to create this mural is because the owners of Squidly and I both share similar tastes in art style. Most of the gifts and crafts in the shop are made right here in Albuquerque, and all of them include bright and fun colors. After looking at the space and chatting with the owners, we decided on a design that featured a bold and bright robot squid. It was an awesome blend between the ocean themes of Squidly and my knack for creating some of the coolest bots in the west.
Digital art process: Creating a mural design
Starting the design process off with a sketch of my concept helped me to understand what the best placement and orientation would be for the robot squid on this specific wall. It was important to me that the design flowed well and drew customers towards the front door. Once I had completed the sketch and chosen my color palette, I refined the design with a shape layer, which is essentially turning my sketch into a vector image for perfect scalability!
Kevin of Squidly was kind enough to prime the wall for me before I got started. This crucial step helps the paint adhere to the wall, ensuring a bold and bright mural that will last for years. Once that was done, it was time to get projecting. One of the unique aspects of my process is the use of a projector to create a stenciled outline of the mural design. I work as quickly as I can at night with paint markers so I can come back later and fill out the design with paint.
Painting, precision, and outlining in black
With the outline completed, I spent the next days filling in each of the colors. I completed each section starting with light blue, followed by pink, yellow, then dark blue. After the colors were completed I was faced with one of the most challenging portions of the whole project, the black outline. Extreme precision is required when executing the outline for a mural with such a graphic, bold look. The finished result should look completely clean and perfect, as any noticeable inconsistency in the outline could throw off the look of the whole design!
Conclusion, results, and reception
Completing this design for my friends was such an awesome and fulfilling experience. Not only do they have a beautiful mural on their storefront that keeps customers buzzing, but since completing this project I have expanded my partnership with Squidly and now offer some of my own art prints at their location on Central Ave. If you’re ever nearby downtown Albuquerque and are looking for that perfect New Mexico gift, stop by Squidly Designs and take a photo with my robot squid mural while you’re at it!