Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sprocket’s position on spec work?
Sprocket always aims to compensate artists for their work. Since spec work (i.e. preparing concepts prior to being selected) is done before any compensation is awarded, Sprocket discourages spec work. Concepting is part of the paid project per our agreement with the artist.

What about contests?
Like spec work, contests ask an artist to prepare concepts and work for free, in hopes of being selected. Since we always aim to pay artists for their work, we do not engage in contests or refer contests to the artists we know.

Can we have live mural painting at our event?
Sprocket does not do live mural painting at events. Our mural projects are large with safety and logistical concerns that just don’t work for one-day events. Instead, there can be other painting activities your organization may consider. We’re happy to suggest ideas, but they would fall outside our scope of services.

Does Sprocket do commissions?
It depends. We aim to create community-facing murals that are accessible to the public. As long as your mural idea fits within our mission and benefits the community, we’d love to explore possibilities with you.

What kinds of murals does Sprocket paint?
Sprocket creates murals that enhance surroundings and inspire the people who see them. Our projects feature different themes and styles, but our murals are always meant to be an ever-visible asset to the community.

What kinds of murals will Sprocket not paint?
We don’t paint murals that include advertising, branding, logos, political or religious messages, individual memorials, substances, nudity, discriminatory content or any images that may cause harm.

We want to sponsor a mural. Can Sprocket follow our brand guidelines?
We do not accept branding requirements, logo placement or other advertising-like things. Sprocket is not a painting company, nor are we artists for hire. Our purpose is uplifting communities via mural art, not increasing brand awareness.

Do we get to steer the design?
We deeply appreciate our supporters and wall donors, but a mural sponsorship does not grant art-direction to the sponsor. While we consider requests for themes, the artist will execute the art under the sole guidance and direction of Sprocket.

How is mural artwork determined?
We have engaged the community with polls, canvassing and dialog to understand what mural themes people would love in their neighborhood. The selected muralist uses this insight to inform their concept and is encouraged to express their creativity in the spirit of that theme. Sprocket’s professionally-trained artists and experienced muralists provide technical guidance and art direction as necessary. This inclusive approach has proven time and again to yield the most excellent murals possible.

How much does a mural cost?
Every mural is unique. Outdoor murals can start at $5,000 to $15,000, or more, depending on the size and other factors. Why so much? First, the paint we use must withstand years of sunlight and weather, costing $150/gallon or more. Second, every budget must account for a variety of expenses, such as artist fees, wall priming, site preparation, scaffolding or lift rentals, insurance, management and more — these add up! A mural is a long-term investment, and worth the time and resources to do it the right way.

Can Sprocket help raise funds for our mural?
In most circumstances, mural requests require a full sponsorship from the requesting party. We understand it’s a big investment, but you’ve got options! Art grants, crowdsourcing and fundraising are ways our partners have funded their mural projects.

We’re running our own mural project. Can you recommend us artists?
Unfortunately, we cannot refer artists for non-Spocket projects in most circumstances. Finding and matching artists takes time, and is part of the work we do for our funded projects only. We’d suggest exploring social networks and approaching an artist who has made their professional contact info public.

How do I request a mural?
The best place to start is filling out the mural request form. If your project idea fits within our guidelines and community-focused mission, we’ll reach out to discuss and gather more info.

How soon can we get started?
We receive a lot of mural requests every month. The reality is we do not always have personnel available to serve them all, even when there’s an awesome fit. Murals take people to happen. It’s important we respect a healthy work/life balance for all our volunteers. When our capacity is full, we appreciate your patience and flexibility as we look ahead. Thank you!