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The Life of a Muralist

A muralist is a fine artist and often a creative director. This type of artist needs a sharp sense of dimension and scale to create large works of art, often found on the side of a building. Read on to learn more about the life and career of a muralist, and what makes this art form so special.

  • A muralist paints or applies artwork directly onto ceilings, walls, and large surfaces to incorporate the art into the architectural elements of a specific space.

  • Murals have been an art form for centuries and can be traced all the way back to cave paintings discovered in France.

  • Most murals are much larger than life-size paintings and the word mural actually comes from the Latin word “murus,” which means wall.

  • As a creative director, a muralist can design branding for businesses, advertisements for companies, or promotions for special events.

  • Modern murals are often considered politically relevant, or they may make a statement about social issues, laws, and politics.

  • A muralist typically uses a range of mediums and techniques to complete their work. Some common mediums include oil or acrylic paint and mixed media. For a fresco painting, the mural is created by applying paint directly to plaster on walls or ceilings. This method was used by the famous painter Michelangelo.

  • Some muralists are considered street artists, while others are not. The term can be interchangeable, however, especially if the mural was applied to an exterior part of a building or other structure.

  • In order to be a muralist, you must have a good sense of scale in order to create a cohesive piece of work. You must also understand what the final work of art will look like from various perspectives from the street or from above. Unlike traditional art that tends to hang at eye level, murals are much larger and must be created to view from a variety of angles.

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