A graffiti mural in a 10 year old girl's room.
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Earlier this month I had the pleasure of taking on a project that was a bit outside the norm for me. In partnership with Margeaux Interiors - who does amazing interior design work by the way - the client was completely revamping her daughter's room (along with other parts of the house). She wanted to incorporate some graffiti-inspired art on the wall that summed up all her hopes and dreams for her daughter's future, and spoke to the fact that she can go anywhere and be anything she wants. There were a lot of symbolic elements to this design that needed to be worked in so it was a really great challenge for me to think a bit more literally than I'm used to. Below is the finished piece, and I'll explain what all is in there. 
In collaborating with the client on the design, we started with the silhouette of the girl with flowing hair. Out of the hair we wanted there to be elements that represented who she is and what her future could hold. There are music notes, world travel (the Brooklyn Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Tabletop Mountain, Eiffel Tower, etc.), and zodiac signs that represent her, and both her parents. Morgan (the girl whose room it is) also got accepted into a prestegious school, so there is a light bulb morphing out of her hair representing her intellectual side of life. Also her initials in there, and her birth date. Midway through the design phase, Bill Cunningham died, who was an iconic street photographer in New York. He always wore this blue smock when taking pictures and it became his trademark. The client wanted that incorporated in there, so at the bottom you see the blue smock and a camera. 

Lots and lots of stuff going on and it was a fun challenge to make everything flow together into one seamless piece. 
In the design phase, I worked 90% in Photoshop. Since there were a lot of things going on, I needed to be able to quickly move things around and just play with everything, so it became immediately clear that this needed to be designed digitally in layers that could be manipulated individually. Everything came together great but we needed to make a major change with the girl's face. It took a while to pinpoint what we didn't like about it, but it came down to it needing be less literal.. much more simplified.. so we went with a silhouette approach at the last minute. 
Day 1 of the mural, the shelves and cubes hadn't been installed yet so a little painters tape helped mark out the areas that would be covered up by furishings. 
The Silhouette ended up being the right move. I started blocking in all the other elements.. and then we all began feeling the silhouette was a bit too dark. So day 2 I problem solved that and got everything else in there and all working together. 
In the end, I was super satisfied with how everything came together. I think there ended up being a good mix of femininity with a grungy graffiti style. All the elements work together and I think feel like one cohesive story. 

Everyone was pumped with the finish product and I was proud of myself for one other thing - I am not the cleanest painter known to man, but I didn't even get ONE speck of paint on any furniture or on the floor. Major win for me. 

Do you want to work with me on a custom painting? I'd love to hear from you. Simply reply to this email and let's chat. 

-John
Copyright © 2016 John Azoni: Detroit Artist, All rights reserved.


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