I currently work as a waitress at woodside animal farm and leisure park in luton:
Over summer they have asked me to re design a tired looking mural on a very large wall in the park, this mural i would be paid to create and paint (my normal hourly wage) and would be varnished so that it stays a permanent feature at woodside for the next 10-15 years. I was very pleased to be asked to do this as i had been looking frustratedly at the wall for months!
The brief was set by the woodside bosses, Diane and Maria, which was to create a simple child friendly mural in bright colours featuring things we have on the farm. The existing mural featured deer and a train, which we do not have, so i created this design:
The office staff approved this design because it features Ollie the Owl, our mascot and the playbarn cafe. Upon giving this design in Andy (another member of staff) went out and brought the necessary paint (matte emulsion) and brushes for me.
I decided when looking at the scale of this wall it would be appropriate for me to have some help, so i asked Karen and Annabel my coursemates to assist me with the painting of the design. Below is the wall before:
i decided to extend the design right to the bottom of the wall because it looks disjointed in its original mural. Andy kindly sanded down the wall and painted it white all over to give me a base so that this mural would be completed within 3 days before the weekend arrived and the park was busy, this was a strict deadline and it was a challenge to complete. We did however complete it on time and i think this was an excellent lesson in working to tough deadlines like we would in the artistic industry with commissions.
the progress of the mural is shown below, Myself and Karen did 3 days and Annabel joined us for one of the days, this was a long process but very much work it by the end!
We had to think about health and safety during this work placement because we had to climb on scaffolding to reach the wall, therefore we had it checked thoroughly by Andy the handyman, and then we asked him to move it for us and re secure it each time we changed which bit we were painting, we also put up cones and tape around the area to stop people coming in whilst we were painting and using the scaffolding, this was to protect the customers and our work. We also ensured this was all supervised at all times either by us or by farm staff whilst we had a lunch break, we worked for 3 days for 8 hours a day to finish this piece and the office staff were very pleased with our creation. This was successful first placement and has encouraged me to think more about art in a public space and how to work to a brief. i think my design looks quite nice large scale and it has had a good reaction from the staff and from the public who said it makes the place look much brighter and less run down than it had before. Since this we have been asked to create more paintings for woodside which i will take up a later date when the weather permits and design signs for all of the animals, so this is an ongoing work placement which is proving an excellent experience to be paid for doing what i enjoy.
The brief set forth by my managers was to create a child friendly, farm themed mural featuring Woodside Mascots and symbols, I designed an image featuring Ollie the Owl, the Playbarn Café, the Tractor and Trailer and farmyard animals such as Pigs and Sheep. We spent 3 Days creating the mural, I learnt having to work to a deadline is sometimes challenging but with myself and Karen’s hard work it was achieved. I also learnt that when choosing who to embark upon group tasks with, you should be selective because whilst Annabel joined us for one of the days, she did spend most of it on her phone and I found this irritating, as the co-ordinator of the task I would’ve liked a bit more enthusiasm. Karen on the other hand was fantastic and very helpful and I would gladly work with her again on tasks. I enjoyed painting this mural, it made a change to create something so large scale, and from my own design and I am very pleased to have my design in a public space. I have found from this task that I create work that is often well received by children, which I think could help me in finding future work experience because I could cater my work to younger clientele, perhaps looking into illustrating children’s books. I am pleased that since this mural, the tractor and trailer ride has been painted to match the mural and it has received a good reaction from staff and visitors to the farm.