Marie Hartig creates the most wonderful painted murals as diverse in themes as the rooms and settings in which they are placed. Whether working through ideas for a baby’s new bedroom, a teenager’s den or an elegant dining room, her cool vibe and sensibility when working with her clients on their requests means she is commissioned to paint in houses all over the world. Truly allowing the imagination to run wild!
HOW DO YOU APPROACH NEW COMMISSIONS WITH CLIENTS?
It’s a personal and very creative process. I like to come into the space in question, get a feel for it, while I try to collect as much information as possible. I explore the general identity of the area, the style of the people who are living there, what inspires them and what their history is. It is always a collaborative process, where I bring lots of ideas to the table and lead the way in terms of design, but love being influenced by the people there and their vision - so each job stays unique and personal to them. After a few initial conversations and an agreement on the direction we wish to take, I then go off to do my research, returning with a mood (ideas) board, sketches and visuals so my clients get a very clear view of what will go on the walls. Once we are all happy, I start painting.
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN CONSIDERATIONS WHEN WORKING ON NEW PROJECTS?
A wall painting can be very expressive and stand out, but most of the time I feel it should be something that remains in the background, enhancing and complementing the space without appearing too dominant. Colours and composition are always important, which is a balance that is up to me and my artistic skills to figure out.
I also like to ensure the artwork is tailor made, if someone takes the trouble to commission an artist to come into their home, why not go the distance and get something on the wall that relates to them. So, personalisation is extremely important to my approach and the painting should mean something to my clients, after all, it’s not wallpaper.
ANY GUIDANCE ON DECORATING OR CHOOSING A THEME FOR CHILDREN’S ROOMS?
Everyone is slightly different, but overall I think that character, humour and story telling should be elements that are considered when selecting themes. I love to think that kids get inspired by the designs that I place in their rooms, which in truth is always my aim!
I also feel it's important that the chosen work isn't too childish, as kids grow up quickly and a wall painting should accommodate that.
I often interview the children and get them involved creatively. You'd be surprised how opinionated they can be, while very honest at the same time, and that makes them the best critics. Their delighted faces are always the most rewarding for me once it’s all done.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE SETTING OF THE HOME WITH REGARDS TO THE FINAL PAINTING?
It is certainly an element that inspires the end design, but does not necessary dictate it.
I am always flexible in my approach and there are little or no rules in general - anything goes.
DO YOU SEE ANY TRENDS EMERGING ON RECENT COMMISSIONS?
Certainly, different types of chinoiserie are currently very popular, not necessarily for children’s rooms but in many other spaces. I love painting in the chinoiserie style and I don’t believe that birds, plants and trees can ever go out of fashion - depending on how you paint them and what colours you use of course. Painting elements of nature is beautiful and incredibly satisfying every time!
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