Advertising murals: How to find the right collaborations?
Nina Valkhoff and her way into painting advertising murals
“The way I got into street art was really more of a coincidence”,
“I was taking dance classes during my art studies and the owner of the studio asked me one day, ‘Hey, you’re good at painting, would you paint a wall for me?’ So this is how I started!”
“When I started doing graffiti, there was no street art scene as there is today. It wasn’t that big a thing. So it took a few years until I met artists who openly claimed to be street artists.”
Nina realized that that’s what she wanted for herself too. She continued developing her very personal style, and for several years now she’s been getting requested for exactly that: her own style. Which is a dream come true when it comes to advertising murals. A style which puts endangered species, animals, and plants into focus in a joyful, realistic and colorful way.
“It’s super hard to say no to a cool request”,
“Most festivals are limited to one week during which spectators are allowed – usually towards the end.”
Street art festivals allow the artists to freely express themselves, to connect with each other while showing their work to fans and potential clients. It’s the only time artists such as Nina can create their murals 100% freely, detached from advertising.
Staying true to oneself while painting murals for advertising
“There are many different forms of collaborations. Our job at Basa Studio is to find the right street artist for an assignment and to make sure everybody is on the same page.”
Some jobs simply require a technical execution, she explains, which is usually when the client has a very specific request beforehand and there are many feedback rounds.
“These are things we communicate right away so that nobody gets misunderstood.”
In Charlotte's experience, many artists build up a second identity for their commercial works and advertising murals so that they don’t get associated with this work during street art festivals, for example.
“It’s a very personal choice. But of course if you don’t want to compromise on your creative freedom as a street artist, you should simply say no to collaborations, it's as simple as that.”
Advertising murals with maximum creative freedom
Read more about the benefits of mural advertising.
The largest (fake) ecstasy pills mural advertising campaign
Another Netflix example that showed how far graffiti advertising can go was the campaign they ran in Berlin for the series “How to sell drugs online fast”.
You may also be interested in: 4 of the best street art advertising campaigns.
The big question is, of course, how to get an assignment with a giant brand such as Netflix?
The answer is probably as simply as it is annoying: patience. Patience and a good network, according to Charlotte. Being constantly in touch and reaching out to other street artists and/or agencies, discussing assignments and, most importantly, fees. In graffiti there is no standardized fee for an artist’s accomplished work, so comparison – or finding an agency partner such as Basa Studio – is key to securing the right advertising mural collaborations.
Examples on how some brands like Ikea and the UN painted graffiti advertising murals with artists who were aligned to their company's values.
To sum up, advertising murals and street art are more present on the market than ever before. This comes with more requests and more attention, but also more need to set clear boundaries as an artist – just as much as a client. Advertising murals enable the promotion of a product in a unique and very individual way, but this always comes with a need for communication: between artists and clients, or, even better, with an intermediate agency.
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