How long have I been doing murals? Since 2002, the start of my last year at Sheridan Art College. Tuition kept climbing while my pay stayed the same. By the last year I was $500 short, so I put my money where my mouth is and placed an ad in the local paper: "Artist for hire!"
The result of this experience was amazing!
First off, I learned to paint - for real! On the first day after the drawing was done and I began to paint I realized that all my worries about the look of each and every brush stoke was a waste of time. After about 3 hours and 3 square feet of painting I realized that at this rate it would take a month to do both rooms - and I was NOT going to donate a month of my life for the insanely low flat rate I had quoted. I had a lot of ground to cover and a short time to do it in. "Just put the paint on the wall" became my motto.
Even my art teacher was surprised at my new painting skill. I'm not sure that I got better per se, but the confidence I gained to just get it done was golden.
Secondly, it turns out that I'm good at mural painting AND I really like doing it. You know the old adage: "If you can make a living doing something you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life."
Yep, I totally under-charged on that particular project, but that's OK. Learning to put value onto what I do was a lesson in itself. Plus I made tuition and that was my goal.