This has got to be one of my most favorite mural projects so far. When my friend Erika contacted me on a Sunday night about meeting for a mural project, I did not know I would be working on it the very next day. A new restaurant, Providore, was opening in SM Aura in three days, and they needed stuff written on walls. I said yes, even though at that moment I might have known I had bitten off more than I can chew. I was already waist-deep in commission work with several personal projects on the side, but I dragged my sister with me to Taguig and made it happen.
Providore had three areas: a retail space, a coffee bar, and a bistro. Each one required a bit of lettering to show what sort of items they offered. Since the kitchen staff and service crew were already preparing for their soft opening, I tackled the retail area first. The tasked seemed easy on paper (black lettering on a white surface), but being perched on top of a ladder was what made it challenging. As I did the writing, my sister checked the alignment and kerning from the ground. Thank goodness we used a black chalk marker because a lot of adjustments had to be made along the way!
We finished the retail area around mall closing hours, so we went back the next day to work on the rest. We worked on the coffee bar side next, which had the same size panels as the retail area but in black. That made the process a little easier because I can draft the text in chalk before filling it in with a white marker. The most difficult part of this entire experience came when I had to work on their frozen custard menu. Aside from being on a ladder, I had to work with an additional obstacle: an ice cream machine. The blackboard was also on a diagonal so the surface was really close to my face; being farsighted, I couldn't read what I was writing.
Gladly we finished in time for their soft opening. We had to leave the premises because the kitchen needed to be fully operational then. We went back at 10PM to work on the biggest project of all: the large mural on their kitchen cabinets. Providore's management provided a concept, but I am glad they allowed me to interpret it in my style. Originally we thought we'd be done by 2AM but we finished close to 4AM. We left SM Aura that morning satisfied with our work, and the client was happy as well! (And we managed to tick an item off our bucket list: to spend the night in a mall, haha!)
Some takeaways from this project:
- Stock up on chalk markers/paint pens. I've learned that mural work is easier when using pens instead of brushes and paint. I have better control over my strokes, it is easier to cover the surface evenly, and it dries faster.
- Listen to the client's brief. Understanding what the client wants makes the execution of the project a lot smoother.
- Say yes. Life might surprise you with fun opportunities!
P.S. All images were taken with my sister's phone. I'll try to get better photos in the future!