Idea Overview:
Custom Murals by Design transforms plain surfaces into unique works of art. Dionne Bonner is a muralist and visual storyteller. Murals have a profound ability to enhance any place. We specialize in offering the following murals: Commercial Murals, Children’s Murals, Home Decor Murals, and Public Art Murals. Do you want your space to come alive, be exciting and beautiful displaying a unique expression of your business, personal style, community or cause? Let us help you with bold colors or subtle mid tones, vibrant shapes and imagery that catches the viewers’ attention.
Who might use it/where it might be used?:
Murals create conversations, expand thought and are a mode of expression for artists. They can celebrate the heritage of their space and create vibrant neighborhoods. Murals give owners a space for creative expression whether that be in the home, business, or public space. We customize each work of art to meet clients’ specifications. Dionne begins every project by listening to the client’s ideas, evaluating their needs, and creating a unique design that fits their time frame and budget. From her backgrounds in graphic design and public art, she brings professionalism and a keen eye to the mural painting process.
The Market (B2B, B2C or Both):
Sector the idea belongs to:
Business and Professional Services
Is there a similar idea to be found?:
There are many artists that offer custom murals with graphic design experience. Artists work alone as freelancers or with a group, Muralists have unique stylistic touches and for a client looking for a specific type of design they may search for a specific artists that creates work in that style. Or a client may just want to be educated about the look and style through proposal designs from the artist. Artist join freelance job boards and publicize their skill sets with portfolio images to show their style or have fully designed websites that advertise their work and mural painting process.
Why you think there is a demand for your idea?:
Unique Modern Designs, Collaboration, Communication, and Quick Turnaround are critical pieces to complete a successful mural project outcome. We respect your ideas and seek to build on your vision so that each mural comes to life in ways that exceed your expectations. We keep clients informed of our progress throughout the project, and immediately convey any unforeseen issues that may result in an adjustment or delay. Your time is valuable. The entire custom mural experience–from initial contact to completed mural–should be positive and rewarding.
Who would be the ideal customers?:
My ideal customer is a home or business owner. These customers own their property and can authorize a custom mural painting. These owners have a budgeted amount that they want to invest in their personal space or business to improve quality of life or enhance the environment their customers are presented with. They are usually mid to experience in business or in owning their homes.
What ideas do you have to reach these customers?:
I'm interested in doing a social media campaign where I boost posts about mural painting and show examples of my murals. Also I plan to research placing advertising on local Chamber of Commerce websites, real estate agents and agencies, business and community associations newsletters. Through my art practice I have connections to different groups and associations familiar with my work.
How far have you developed this idea?:
I've shared this idea with my sister who is concerned about me spreading myself too thin and not being able to commit enough time on a part time basis to make the work profitable for me. I've thought about how many murals I can physically do myself and with hiring one other artist to assist me on a monthly basis and believe it's possible while I still work a full time job to complete 3-4, normal wall size murals a month with good planning. Focusing on completing one mural a week.
What – if any – feedback have you had for this idea so far?:
Consider your time wisely and the design and approval time involved while also working a full time job.
What supporting material – if any - would you like to add to your proposal?:
I will be attaching images and videos of murals I've completed alone and with community and other artists working with me.

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7 comments to “Custom Murals by Design”

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  1. Bill Murray - February 25, 2023 at 2:14 am

    Hello, Dionne– beautiful work, full of life! You definitely have a potentially successful business idea here, as others have made a good living doing this. As you get started, remember that you must be recognized as doing one thing very well, before you can try to be many things to many people. This is a common misstep, as people try to generalize to bring in more business early on. In fact, if you don’t have a clear identity to your target customer, they won’t hire you for anything. So, your first steps are to immerse yourself in the community you are most familiar with and do some free work for that community, to get the momentum you need to be able to start asking for money. Commissioning a painting is a highly emotional act, so understanding your customer will be essential. You mentioned that this would be both B2B and B2C– that’s too general. Who will be commissioning these works, why will they do it, and how will they be paid for? What provokes someone to commission a work? What happened to them? What outcomes do they expect the mural to deliver– for themselves, for other people? Understanding this emotional why will allow you to dive into that community and touch the people that will become your customers. Your art will become a solution to specific problems they have. So, specific advice: interview people in your chosen community that have commissioned murals. Unpack all the “whys” and “what fors”. Understand who writes the checks in that community and talk with them as well. Seek out opportunities to do some freebies in the right places. Be ready to position your work as more than just art, but as a specific set of outcomes based on the conversations you have with your customers!

  2. Elijah Mason - February 25, 2023 at 5:18 am

    Hey hey Dionne,

    I love the idea and your reasoning for doing it. I too am working on a startup in the art space and after reading through your scope of work to be accomplished and how, there were a few things that have come up in my work that I feel like you could think through as well.

    1. You mentioned the design and approval time could possibly vary if planning on both ends were not together, have you thought through potentially making a database or working with someone who can create a straightforward way for clients to realistically capture their visions for your reviewal to save you time and ensure that clients don’t try and change their vision halfway through your work?

    2. You mentioned having a b2b and b2c model; as far as your business model goes, I wonder if potentially partnering with RE agents through a referral system and giving them a commission of the sale could be beneficial in your marketing efforts?

    3. Your ideal customer is a home or business owner… what about a work from home business owner? Live/work units are blowing up in the Seattle metropolitan area and maybe you could market your efforts to the owners of these units?

    Again, love the idea and I hope some of the things I have had to think through could help you!

    God Bless,

  3. Chris Fox - February 25, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    To what others have said I would add that I would encourage you to think about what kind of a business you imagine this becoming. Do you hope to operate as a freelance muralist. That is the simplest approach. If so, your main challenges will be pricing and promotion. But if you want to build a more substantial business, then you need to think about what they will entail. You could try completing one or more Business Model Canvases to explore your different options.

  4. Tim Strege - February 25, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    Dionne, I like your illustrative murals! They are pleasant to the eye and provide mindful messages as well. I have often wondered why there are not more murals – they display images of inspiration and remind the community of what holds us together. Maybe this can be part of a campaign to send historic, motivational and/or place-oriented themes. For instance, various churches can team up to display interconnected murals (so people might go from place to place to see the entire message or theme). Local parks, schools, community centers as well as local business establishments are potential customers. Bill Murray provides insight on how to get this started. Looking forward to your progress!

    • Dionne Bonner - February 25, 2023 at 11:02 pm

      Thank you Tim these are great ideas! And I’m very thankful for all of the input I’ve received. This gives me a lot to consider and research further in developing this area of my business. ~ Dionne

  5. Mario L Castellanos - February 27, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    This is a beautiful idea, both figuratively and literally speaking. My personal opinion is don’t waste your time with Chambers of Commerce. They will want you to become a member first and will provide little if any support once you do. Your best bet is to display your artwork where as many people as possible will enjoy it and as a platform to simultaneously market yourself. The key here is – distinguish yourself from every other muralist. You do this through a diverse designs and paying very special attention to your target audience. As an example. There used to be a mural on on a beachside road in Miami Beach (Collins Avenue) that as you drove to it, the effect was a view of the beach. In reality, it was a mural of the view had the building it was painted on, not been there. This was perfect for the audience!

    I suggest you contact mall owners and other commercial building owners who perhaps, could use more business, by first drawing up a sketch of what you have in mind for their property that could bring others to it. Their number one incentive is not to have a pretty painting on the side of their building, but to receive reactions that draw people in. What you want to convey is, “Wow! This is cool! Let’s see what’s inside”.

    Now, go show them all what’s inside your head.

  6. Janet Malcolm - March 1, 2023 at 9:24 pm

    Hello Dionne! I went away and had a look at some of your work which is fantastic. I do love seeing murals as they can bring colour, culture and interest to stark places.

    You want to continue working full-time for now, so that means you have a rough idea of the total number of hours you have available each week to produce your murals. There are several niche areas you could choose to concentrate on to maximise the impact of your art pieces to build your reputation and gain exposure. I would suggest concentrating on an area and medium that inspires you the most and show cases your unique talents and skillset. That could be producing murals for children’s play areas or artwork for artisan business such as bakers, crafters and restaurants.

    You may also want to consider concentrating on the customer segment with the shortest lead time and payment cycle whilst growing Custom Murals by Design. This way you will not be struggling to finance other projects whilst waiting months for payment for previous contracts.

    Additionally, vlog and blog about your pieces, so that people can see your work. This may also give you exposure to journalists that may want to write an article about this genre of art and ask to feature you in their article or interview.