Shae Petersen aka SRIL recently completed his largest mural ever, a 100 ft masterpiece in Salt Lake City, Utah. The colossal artwork can be found on the walls of the Stone Unlimited building and was created (with permission) without stencils or tape.
We recently caught up with the artist and asked him to shed some light on his most ambitious project to date. See our interview below along with process shots of the mural. For those interested, SRIL (pronounced ‘surreal’) is currently offering 100 limited edition, 13×19 high gloss prints, signed and numbered.
What was your inspiration for the 100ft mural?
The wall itself was an opportunity to push myself, being my largest solo mural to date… I wanted to create something powerful, something that was hard to go unnoticed.
Can you explain the story that is going on in your wall?
From left to right: Neptune, Zeus, Hades, and the eye containing the universe. I prefer to let the viewer decide what it all means, although it definitely has some subliminal messages if you look at it long enough.
How long did it take?
I worked on it 4 days a week for 3 weeks. Depending on weather and fatigue I probably averaged about 4-5 hours per day. I think in total it took 45-55 hours.
What were some challenges you faced?
Utah weather mostly, some of the days I was getting sun burnt and struggling to stay hydrated, while others I was forced to paint in the rain. Painting the whole wall with a ladder too… not only does it slow you down to go up and down a ladder that much, it also beats you up pretty good. I was on a daily dose of ibuprofen, and long hot showers.
Was this a commissioned piece?
Not really, The business paid for the paint, but I was allowed full creative freedom, and donated all the time and labor for the project. I felt like it was a win win.
What fascinates you about aerosol painting? How did you get into it?
The challenge of it I suppose. It takes quite a bit of time to become proficient at (I’m still learning myself) – But the end result is difficult to match in my opinion.
I started out like most would assume, doing illegal graffiti, mostly letters (which I still LOVE), I decided a few years back to really focus on improving my realism and large scale work.
Are there any current artists you’re really digging?
How different is your mindset when working on huge murals/walls versus studio work on canvas and even clothing?
Staying focused and motivated is key, I’m generally a pretty impatient person, so keeping myself disciplined, and getting the work done every day takes a little more work than the small scale stuff.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Never let your ego get in the way of improving your craft, take the criticism and the praise lightly, keep pushing yourself…the results will follow.