Mural artist offers details about his trade

Mural artist offers details about his trade

A Mexican native, Sauri splits his time between Telchac Puerto, Mexico - where he's volunteering his time and skills to revitalize the facades of the city's buildings - and the Twin Cities area, where he paints murals for homeowners.

"I love the beauty and happiness I can bring," Sauri says. "Art comes from the spirit. It's an interpretation of the client and the job through the artist's eyes."

We canvassed Rigel Sauri, a highly rated Stillwater artist, to get the fine details about murals for the home.

How did you get into painting murals?

I started doing decorative murals 22 years ago for nightclubs, restaurants and hotels in Ixtapa, Mexico. When I moved to Minneapolis, I tried to sell my paintings at fine art galleries - where I was well-received - but commissions for decorative murals were more abundant. My first commercial mural was at Boca Chica restaurant in St. Paul, and at the same time, I did a couple of decorative murals at a model home in Maple Grove. That model home brought me many more commissions and since then, residential murals have become my specialty.

Why do homeowners hire you?

I think it's because of my open attitude and ability to listen to their ideas, then interpret them into my own vision. I give them the best advice based on my experience doing this type of work with interior designers, architects and decorators. I have learned to use the color palettes and architectural features of their spaces in a harmonious way, so the artwork I do for them is very customized.

Can you explain the process of creating a mural and how long it takes?

It starts with a consultation meeting on-site. I listen to the client's ideas and preferences, then prepare and present sketches, samples, drawings and an estimate. If everything looks good to the client, I take a down payment - usually 50 percent of the estimate - and schedule the job. Most average-sized murals can be completed in one to three days, but many require some sort of decorative technique or finish that can add time. Large, complex or detailed murals can take longer, as well as murals that require ladders or scaffolding.

Photos courtesy of Rigel Sauri | Some of Sauri’s murals are so large, they require scaffolding to complete — like this one in a small fishing village in the Yucatan.

How do you charge for your services?

I charge according to size, detail, complexity and location. Most of my commissioned murals fall between $500 and $800 per day. The money I make is mostly invested in the creation of free art and murals around the world. These projects are focused on bringing art and creativity to places where it's downright unexpected to see it. It's where people simply can't afford it. I'm financing this project with the hope of contributing to a new global renaissance.

What types of materials do you use?

Acrylic paint is the best for residential murals because of its versatility, cleanliness and odorless qualities. Also, it looks very nice and comes in flat, nonreflective finishes that allow for a better appreciation of the artwork.

How long do your murals last and is there any maintenance involved?

Murals should last for a long time and can be made more resistant with protective coatings. The paints I use are 100-percent washable. I'm happy to stop by and do touch-ups for my clients when my schedule permits.


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Mural depicts European Bistro

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??Photo courtesy of Rigel Sauri
??Photo courtesy of Rigel Sauri

A couple from Prior Lake, Minn., moved into a house with beautiful murals, so they commissioned the artist to paint two rooms to resemble a floral shop and a European bistro.

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