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School Mural Case Study // Redcliffe State High School

I was contacted by one of the Art Teachers at Redcliffe State High School in mid-2021. They were interested in having their students paint a mural at the entrance to the school campus. They sent through a photo of the wall (so I could have a sneaky look at the texture and condition of the wall), the dimension of the wall and an idea of when they would like to paint the mural. I sent through a quote for the project (based on the 1 x concept development workshop and the size of the wall - I charge per square metre) and once that was approved I took a brief from the school leadership team over the phone. We booked a double lesson to run a Concept Development Workshop with the students.

During the two-hour workshop I introduced myself and my work. We talked about the project and I gave the students the same brief I was given. We looked at unsuccessful and successful murals and critiqued them. Together we developed a mind map and then the students spent some time developing colour palettes, sketching out their ideas and exploring campus for inspiration. I supplied all the drawing materials and paper. I just needed to borrow the teachers laptop to project some slides that are hosted on the backend of my website (and keep me on track!).

I chatted with all the students and took photos of their work to collect their ideas and inspiration. I put together a project timeline and sent it through to the school so everyone knew when to expect concepts from me, and when I needed changes/suggestions back to keep us on track to meet their 'paint day'. Over the following weeks I developed three mural concepts. The schools leadership team suggest a few changes to the chosen concept and approved the next mural design. We confirmed a day to paint the mural and kept our fingers crossed the weather would work in our favour. We did a have a 'plan B' day picked incase the painting day was rained out.

On paint day, I arrived early and set up drop sheets, pre-drawn stencils and paint. I provide all the materials, paint and anti graffiti product for the project. This cost is included in the initial quote. Half the students painted the background while the other half cut the stencils. After morning tea the students swapped roles. In the afternoon all the students came together to spray the stencils and clear coat the wall with anti graffiti coating.

The students were initially hesitant to put paint on the wall (very normal), but once I gave them a pep talk and encouraged them, their hesitance was replaced with pride and excitement.

That same afternoon, I was sitting in front of a very large, blank wall with one of the Creative Industries teachers. We were imaging how amazing this wall would look as a giant mural. The following week I get a quote request and subsequent approval to paint the giant wall (without the help of students due to safety issues with lift access equipment).

I worked closely with the school again to develop a mural design to represent the Creative Industries within the school. The wall was on the outside of their theatre. The design was to have the Creative Industries logo to act as a wayfinding signage element. They also asked for some chalk boards for students to write down upcoming events. More signage was added to the stage doors.

The design was approved and the painting days booked. Day one on site was spent painting the background blue and the splashes of colour in the background. Day two I was joined by my assistant to spray the stencils in the windiest conditions I’ve ever painted in. Then day three was used to paint the anti graffiti clear coat and take all the photos.

I love this mural as it represents all the arts. Cutting and spraying these ‘smaller’ sized stencils was very manageable. I enjoyed working undercover out of the rain and sun. And I always enjoy a flat concrete surface to work on as the scissor lifts are a joy to paint with.

EXAMPLE PROJECT PROGRAM // School mural projects usually run on a similar timeline. I have put together an example below:

Week 1 // A teacher/aide/principal/student gets in contact with me to chat about a possible mural project within the school. They send through a photo of the wall, the wall dimensions and an idea of when they were able to fit the project into their curriculum.

I send through a quote for the project. Once the quote has been approved, we lock in a time to chat on the phone about the project and a day for the Concept Development Workshop and pencil in a week to paint the mural.

Week 2 // Phone call to chat about the project and pass on a brief for the design

Week 4 // I send through a link to the slides to the teacher that will be in the classroom when I run the workshop. I run the two hour Concept Development Workshop at the school.

Week 5 // I put together a project production timeline (similar to this one) so we meet our deadlines for design and feedback. I start working on three concepts for the school mural design based on the students work and the initial brief.

Week 6 // I send through initial rough concepts for the mural. At the end of the week the school send back feedback and generally chooses one design to refine.

Week 7 // There may be a bit of back and forth with design concepts until the school is 100% happy with the design. I mock up the design on the wall so everyone can see what the finished mural will look like in the space. Once the school approves the design I order paint, pack the trailer, book scissor lift (if needed) and cut stencils (if needed - most of the time we have the time to have the students help cut the stencils).

Week 8 // The students, teachers and I paint the wall. This usually takes 1-2 days and often includes cutting some large stencils and painting both acrylic and spray paint on the wall. Once the mural is finished we paint on a clear anti graffiti coat, give ourselves some high fives, take a load of photos and sleep for 12 hours straight!

These times can easily be adjusted to suit the schools timeframe. I generally need at least two weeks between the Concept Development Workshop and the mural painting day to design, make changes, cut stencils and order paint. All other timeframes are changeable.

If you would like a mural painted at your school, please feel free to get in touch. Or you can check out some previous school mural projects over here. Or learn more about the Concept Development workshop and murals and pricing over here.


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