Melbourne, Australia

How to choose a mural artist: a step-by-step guide


How to choose a mural artist: a step-by-step guide

Mural art has taken the world by storm, adorning urban landscapes with vibrant colours and creativity. Whether you're interested in a street art masterpiece, graffiti-style expression, or a mural that adds life to your space, choosing the right artist is crucial. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps so you can book a mural artist for your project.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Setting goals, exploring styles and defining your brief
  • Selecting your top choice artists
  • Meeting the artist and discussing your project
  • Collaborating to get the best result

Step 1: set goals, explore styles, create a brief


You might have no idea what kind of mural you want. You might have too many ideas on your street art Pinterest mood board! The first step to booking a mural artist for your project is to narrow down what you want and then explore what’s out there. 

Define your goals

Here are some questions you could ask yourself:

  • Are there styles I’ve seen that I like?
  • Is there anything I don’t like or want included in my mural?
  • What do I want to achieve with my mural?
  • What’s my budget?
  • Do I want to book an artist in my community or can I widen my scope?
  • When do I want the mural completed by?

Look for inspiration

Now’s the time to seek inspiration from different street artists. Look at different forms of murals and street art. Search for local mural artists on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Check out which artists rank well on google (not the sponsored listings).

If you've noticed street art in your neighbourhood, take a closer look. You might discover artists local to you. Most mural artists sign their work, check for the artist's name if you like what you see. You could also contact the building owner for the artist's details.

As you search, keep a record of each artist's name, website, email, and a few samples of their work.


Step 2: select your top choice artists


After your search, narrow down your list to your top three artists.

Identify the artist’s skillset

It's important to check out each artist’s portfolio or website. Look for a variety of styles, themes, and techniques in their work.

Consider whether the artist has experience with the type of mural you want. This might be a large-scale outdoor mural or a more intricate indoor mural.

Are you commissioning an artist to create something you want, or do you want them to do their thing? Consider the artist’s versatility and their ability to work to a brief.

See the artist’s work in real life

If you haven’t already and if it’s possible, try to see their work in person or visit previous mural sites to get a sense of the artist's style and quality of work.

These artists hopefully have experience with the type of mural you want with a style and portfolio that match your preferences.

Contacting artists

You can reach out to preferred artists via email, social media, or through their website.

Let them know:

  • The type of project - is it for a school, business or house? Or is it for a one-off event?
  • The size of your wall(s)
  • What you are after - any information or ideas you have. You can share examples of work you like.

Developing a brief

If you need help creating a brief for your mural project, we've created a simple Brief Development tool you can use.

Access our Brief Development Tool

Community mural projects

Consider these factors if you're booking a mural artist for your school or community project.

Will the artist paint the mural with your group?

If you need an artist to guide a group to paint a collaborative mural, this requires a different skill set. Make sure the artist you choose has this experience. They may also need Working With Children Checks or Cultural Competency training.

What’s the scale of the project?

If you have a very big project that the community will assist in painting, you may want to book an experienced community muralist.

Does the artist need to be a community member?

Prioritise booking an artist who has experience working with young people. Ask them if they can work with and up-skill assistant artists from within your community.

Step 3: Meet with the artist

Consultation meeting

Usually, artists and clients organise an initial consultation to discuss the project in more detail. This may take place in person, by email, via video call or over the phone.

In this first meeting, you can discuss your vision for the mural, the timeline, and the budget. The artist can provide feedback and suggestions and answer any questions. This is also an opportunity to get a sense of the artist's personality and communication style.

Visiting the mural site

If you feel like the artist needs to visit your mural site to discuss the project in detail and take measurements, they will likely charge a fee for their time.

Clarify the mural project

Once you and the artist agree to work together, you can go into more detail outlining the project plan. These are the steps to check off:

  • Discuss project scope, budget, timeline and expectations.
  • Consider details like access to the wall, if there are any height issues (e.g. over three metres).
  • Verify the artist’s credentials: ensure the artist holds relevant licenses, training, and insurance if necessary.
  • Create a hiring agreement: a project contract or agreement will outline project details, payment milestones, and change management processes.

Getting a concept design

When you book an artist they can create a concept with some optional variations for your review. You will most likely pay a deposit to the artist before they provide a concept design. 

Final note: be open to collaboration

Experienced mural artists have a lot of expertise in translating ideas into the medium of paint on walls. They will consider factors like:

  • composition
  • what size things need to be
  • how much detail can be included
  • contrasting colours for maximum impact
  • a whole bunch of other stuff!

Be clear about what you want, and be open to the artist’s recommendations and ideas too.

When you book a mural artist the process involves research, communication, and careful consideration of your project's needs.

Take your time, ask questions, and ensure all agreements are well-documented for a successful partnership.

Follow these steps, and you'll be well on your way to collaborating with the perfect artist to bring your mural vision to life.