The Making of a Blind Wall – Part 1

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How do you make those murals?!

Over the last years, we have filled Breda with meaningful murals. And that number is growing every year. But before the first paintstrokes are placed, we’ve put in months of work and preparation. Time to explain how the process works. 

In three parts we will guide you through the process of each painting. This part is about the business side of a Blind Wall. 

Every Blind Wall is based on a story. But behind this is another story: that of the creation of the mural. Our team is busy all year round organising and carrying out these projects.

Stein de Bont (project manager and videographer) and Wouter van der Giessen (project and production assistant) are involved in the process from beginning to end. Stein explains that it always starts with a location: “This can come from us, but also from local residents, a company, a property owner or the organisation of an event. We then look at the possibilities. Is it a suitable place? Who is involved? Can it be financed? There is a lot to consider. The artworks are in the public space, which belongs to everyone. That means a lot of people get to voice their opinions about it.”

Over the years we have built up a huge database of potential walls, often offered by Breda residents. About 10-15 walls can be realised each year. Will the walls will ever run out? “There are still so many neighbourhoods, so many walls where you can create something. No, I’m not afraid they’ll ever run out,” Stein says.

Stein with a local resident at the Blind Wall by Thijs Lansbergen | Photo by Rosa Meininger

Plans are made when we know funding is possible. The artist, materials and production costs all have to be paid.  Of course, these artists don’t work for free. And we wouldn’t accept that either, after all, it’s their job. “This money comes from municipal grants and partnerships, but there was also once a lady with a pen going around all the doors in the neighbourhood, asking who wanted to help pay for a mural,” Stein recalls. We owe a lot to all the involved parties that make it possible to realise so many murals every year.

Every year, It’s a puzzle to get the financing right. During a project things can change: something can be dropped but also something can suddenly be added. Therefore, it’s important to plan everything as good as possible, but also to remain flexible, because of unexpected changes. 

This May, a Blind Wall will be made in honour of the 50th edition of the Breda Jazz Festival. The organisation of Breda Jazz Festival came to us with an idea. This mural will depict the city of Breda and its rich jazz history. BJF collected the needed amount of money through a crowdfunding campaign. Donations were made by sponsors and jazz enthusiasts from all over the country. This shows how a mural can bring people together. 

After all the arrangements have been made and the financing is in place, the really fun part begins, according to Wouter. You can read about that in the next article. 

Wouter at the Wallspot | Photo by Evy van Nispen

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