Lafayette Elementary School recently had a new mural painted in their hallway by community member Greg Steigleder. Below is a brief interview with him about his process of painting the mural and some other background questions. Please enjoy, and note the various ways to see more from Mr. Steigleder at the bottom. Edited slightly for clarity.
1. Who reached out to ask about putting the mural in, or did you offer? Essentially just let us know how the project got off the ground.
Answer: "So for this project I worked alongside Lifepoint Church in their event of 'Paint the Town Red'. This was an opportunity to bless our community, giving back in a positive way. I was all about it when I heard about the project, as I have done several school murals in the area and I enjoy these types of projects. The project leader [from Lifepoint Church] Danielle put me in contact with Courtney [Wheeler], the principal at LES and I spoke to [her] over the phone and she told me her vision for the mural."
2. Once the plans were in motion, did you get any sort of inspiration or material to draw from that Lafayette staff gave you (i.e. were the words on the word wall from staff or students)?
Answer: "[Ms. Wheeler] set the tone for encouraging words in the mural. I look for inspiration a lot from west coast street artists where I grew up, California. There is one particular artist I got the inspiration from that painted a mural for a gym. [It] had motivational quotes all over the wall, written in all sorts of fonts. I thought it was such a cool look when [it was] finished that I wanted to take the same kind of idea for this wall and make it my own. I mainly did a bubble style lettering in all different florescent colors to grab attention and 'LES' in the middle for 'Lafayette Elementary School' in the school colors. The words were chosen to uplift [students] in positive words that can encourage and inspire to excel in their life and in school."
3. How long have you been doing art like this, and do you have any advice for kids who are looking to get into art themselves?
Answer: "I always loved art and drawing as a child. As I got older, the street artists in California [were] interesting to me and I would be inspired to draw in that type of way. I started Gskillz customs 3 years ago and mainly painted murals for my friend's kid's rooms and in their garages. It began to grow from social media and word of mouth into painting walls for businesses in the area, and schools that wanted readable street style lettering and cartoon style characters. [The] advice I would give to kids to get into art would be [to] follow their passion and interests. Keep drawing any chance you get and keep a hunger for learning how to draw better. Start by drawing what interests you and watch videos on drawing for inspiration. Find a few artists and follow them for inspiration and drawing tips. I loved drawing cars and video game characters in high school and grew from there."
4. Briefly describe what your process looks like when you take on a project like this (i.e. do you start with a stencil sketch, then a digital version, essentially just what does your workflow look like).
Answer: "When I first started I only used pencil and paper. As my business grew I had to do adapt quickly and do a lot of revisions and corrections for mock up drawings for customers. I ended up buying an iPad with an Apple Pencil as it was closest to what I was used to. I downloaded Procreate® for all my drawings and sketching[s] and taught myself how to draw on it through YouTube videos. The layers and ability to hide [them] quickly for revisions was amazing. It was a learning curve at first switching to digital but being able to draw digital and make quick changes was a game [changer] and time saver. Once I draw everything up, I send to customers for review and make any changes from feedback. Once approved I draw everything with chalk on the wall to get all my proportions correctly and use spray cans and different caps for painting the art on the walls."