Monday, July 22, 2013

The Playroom Mural

As you can see with the new header, I'm finally starting to make this blog look a little nicer. It took awhile to implement the functionalityGetting the sidenotes to work in blogger was not fun. and I have been hesitant to mess with the look for fear of messing up the formatting. The new header is a panoramic shot of our kids' playroom! When my wife and I first purchased our home I don't think we quite knew what to do with this extra room without a closet.

But once James arrived and began acquiring toys at an alarming rate it was fairly obvious that this little room would be the perfect playroom. I've always loved the cartoon murals I've seen at day care centers so I thought it would be neat to make a storybook mural for their playroom, with some of the characters from their Mine! favorite children's books.

My wife did a bunch of the legwork for finding an artist capable of bringing what was in my head to life. She contacted a company called Lettuce Paint and we had an initial meeting where I conveyed to them what I was looking for. My initial guidance was vague (Castles! Dragons! Enchanted Forest!) but things really took off once I saw Lettuce Paint's initial sketch.

After taking a look at the initial sketch I knew I liked the overall themes and ideas. However, I wanted a more detailed scene. In my head, in addition to having a castle and sea on one side leading to a forest scene on the other (like the sketch has) it would also have a bunch of "easter egg" type details within. I also decided that the castle was obviously Narnia's Cair Paravel, and the ship must be The Dawn Treader.

Then I imagined there could be a transition to the woods (similar to the book We're Going on a Bear Hunt) with a field of grass, then some mud, then a river and then the forest. Within the forest there would be details like the below sign post (with James' Room added).

Then I suggested a bunch of other ideas: a cave and a bear (Bear Hunt), a lamp post (Narnia), the big bad wolf and little red riding hood, a beanstalk reaching into the sky. Maybe a hot air balloon with the Wizard of Oz floating by? Dorothy's house? Aladdin on a flying carpet? Harry Potter on a broom chasing a golden snitch?

Lettuce Paint took these ideas and ran with them. They made some really cool mockups to show me and I was blown away! Now I could really see where touches could be added to really make the mural a mash-up of James'Mine! favorite children's books! The cave had to have a bear in it. The tree in the foreground could be used to incorporate The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The path leading into the woods? Well it had to be made of yellow bricks right? And the dragon had to be EustaceNarnia again. But you knew that right? didn't he?

After this final round of feedback, Lettuce Paint went to work:

They had some great ideas, like using chalkboard paint on the signpost so we could change the names:

and decoupaging the fruit from The Very Hungry Caterpillar into the scene:

We couldn't be happier with how it turned out, and James loved it!

Here are a few more shots so you can really see the detail:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your amazing ideas. I hope James is still enjoying them and will keep finding new treasures to read for many years to come.