Friday, July 11, 2008

Setting Time Limits for Painting Murals

I recently was emailed this question:

Hi Dawn!
I am really inspired by your spirit and talent!

My question is, do you set time
lines for a job? I am currently working on a mural in a pet store, and the owner stands behind me and rushes me. I explain that i can't speed up the process that takes it's course in details.

I have my 5 year old son who accompanies me
on this job while daddy is in Iraq. he sits and paints paper while I paint walls.

Should there be a time line? How should I manage the time? Has a client
ever told you it must be done within "their" limits of time, or do you set the time "you" need and let that be the clock? How do I stand strong when a client is breathing down my neck?

Thank you, Iris

Hi Iris, I would be happy to answer your question for you. Time limits can definitely be difficult when doing work for a business. I do set time limits for myself when doing a job. Yes, I have had clients need me to finish within their time limits. It is only fair, because you are working for them. If they need the job done by a certain date, make sure it is feasible for you before accepting the job.

Because I have several years experience, I can pretty much guess how long a mural will take me. I give my client a general idea of how many days or weeks and try to stay within that time, unless there are things that come up that are out of my control.

If your client is "breathing down your neck" - that is a problem that needs to be addressed. As an artist, you need your space. You can kindly let the person know that it is difficult to focus when being watched all the time.

It is good to discuss these things before you start a project, especially for a running business. The owner may be rushing you because they don't want your painting to hinder their sales, etc. Also, did you ask permission to have your child join you on the job? This may be an issue as well, because it can be very unprofessional in the eyes of your client. They may think that it is cutting in on the time that they are paying you for to paint.

These are just a few thoughts and suggestions. I hope that you are able to talk with your client and get your job done in a timely manner.

I would LOVE to see pictures when your project is all done! DAWN "the painter"

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