I heard Jimmy Carr on the radio last week, he was talking about how his job is actually more fun to him, than having fun. This might seem like an odd concept to a lot of people, but I get it. A couple of weeks back, I was very, very close to not going on holiday so I could work, hard to believe but true. I love what I do so much that it rarely feels like work and when you feel like that, it is hard not to analyse why.
My job is all about transformation. Turning something from looking like one thing, to looking like something else. Now usually, this is turning a blank wall into a piece of art, or a sign or map. Sometimes it is recreating a finish such as stone, marble or wood, for that particular project, it was doing something slightly different. Something that is a combination of all my skills.
When a client calls and says they want some theming and could I make a faux plane fuselage look like it crashed in the jungle 10 years ago, well, let’s just say that brought a huge smile to my face. I mean, tell me that doesn’t sound like fun….
As with all my work, it starts with talking to my client and finding out what they want to achieve. This is then always followed by lots and lots of research, finding out the details that will make the finished product perfect. Learning what are the distinctive looks that will make this authentic. Then, I have to work out how I am going to recreate them with just paint, in the most cost effective and in this case, swift way.
It is then understanding that you are part of a team, part of several teams in some cases. I believe that working together, being a team player and helping my fellow workers, even though I may never see of them again, is a huge part of my role. My job is to understand the vision of the other team members, make sure that my vision is aligned and then help that vision to be realised.
So I pitch up to a freshly painted and it has to be said, superbly constructed plane fuselage, that will serve as the front desk of the Paradise Golf at Rushden Lakes. Take out my paints and brushes, and off I go. Checking as I go that I am continuing to meet expectations. I am a perfectionist. Every single screw has rusted, every single seam has dirt and rust collected in it. The rust and scorch marks are layered with dirt and the dirt has run as it would in tropical rain, to create an authentic look.
As it is with every project, each detail is of equal importance. The crates that also needed aging carry the logo of the main contractor, details relating to the story behind the theming and so on.
The result made me almost as happy as the doing, and I it is no wonder that I was tempted to forego the skiing to carry on painting the aircraft. You will be relieved to know that I did go on holiday, and much fun was had, but I couldn’t wait to get back to my painting. So if you want to make a transformation, and make a mural artist very happy in the process, you know where I am.