If you follow me on social media or are lucky enough to live in Perth and have visited my studio, you will have noticed the beautiful mural on the external wall of our space. I love that mural so much, and it was a really enjoyable experience to work on it with local artist Chris Nixon. Today with Chris’ permission I’m sharing a bit about the process of creating that mural and how we got to the final artwork!
When I was on the hunt for the perfect location for the future Megan Nielsen Studio I made a wish list of features we would love to have. Good lighting, lots of space, parking, wood floors, central location the list went on. A blank external wall where we could create a beautiful sewing mural was very high on my list, so when i drove past this location and saw that it ticked alllll the boxes I knew it was the one. I made sure to include permission to create a mural in my lease agreement. I negotiated with the adjoining business to remove a tree that was blocking the wall, and made sure that when we installed airconditioning and other wiring that we made a minimal impact on the wall.
The artist of course, is actually the most crucial consideration and it was really important to me to work with the right person. I did a lot of research into local artists, drove around looking at local murals and figuring out who made them. When I discovered Chris Nixon’s work I was sold. Chris has an incredible style that is both joyful and effortless at the same time. I love his use of colour and shape, and thought his style would really lend itself to more abstract work and my personal style. He also happens to have illustrated one of my kids favourite books – Lights Out Leonard.
Working with Chris was an absolute pleasure, and right from the beginning I knew he understood what I wanted. I still remembering starting to describe my business and Chris saying, don’t worry my mum sews, i know exactly what to do!
The first thing Chris asked me to do was to gather some inspiration images that showed my personal style, sewing elements i’d like to include and also any art of his that I particularly loved. Chris then narrowed down these images to created his own mood board (shown above), to help him create the artwork.
After this stage Chris began working on his artwork, and sent me through some artwork concepts using a few different colour palettes and with the artwork mocked up on the studio wall so I could better visualize it. It’s so interesting to me that you can think you know what you like, but you don’t really know until you see it. Before this process began I would have sworn that my favourite colours were those of the 3rd/bottom concept. But as soon as I saw that first concept with the pinks and blues I knew it was perfect. The colours that Chris pulled actually ended up being really crucial when we solidified our branding a few years ago. He really knows his stuff!
After seeing these concepts i was getting incredibly excited! I chatted to Chris about how the first concept with the blues and pinks was my favourite, and asked for a few adjustments.
Chris was really accomodating and understanding, and went back to work tweaking the design a bit more until we reached this final design. Here is his final mockup before beginning the installation. He also did a sketch to show how much of the mural would show if you were taking a photo up against the wall – which is something I see people doing ALL the time, and makes me so happy!
When it came time for Installation Chris booked out two days with a scissor lift, and carefully replicated his work in larger scale. I’ve got to be honest with you, I have no idea how he does this so well. My brain would break trying to do this, but the guy is a pro. I took some short videos at the time of him painting the mural which is fun to look back at!
Overall this was an incredibly enjoyable process to be a part of and I love the studio mural so much! I really hope you enjoyed a peek into the process of creating this wonderful piece of art. A big thank you to Chris Nixon for doing an incredible job. If you are looking for an artist to work with I can’t recommend him highly enough. If you’d like to see a bit more of the Megan Nielsen Studio you can see our full studio tour here and read all about the grand opening day here.