"Phenomurals", aka Dale Ward and Shayla Tansey
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Mediums: Latex wall paint, acrylics, ink, pencil, unicorn dust, etc.
Style: No set style for us at this point. We burn boundaries when we see them. Both of us have a strong interest in exploring different mediums and techniques, and this also allows us to give the client freedom over what they'd like when we're flexible in this way. It has also enabled us to work on some really amazing pieces which may not have been possible had we chosen to stick to one style.
Favorite Quotes: “Ignoring your passion is slow suicide. Never ignore what your heart pumps for. Mold your career around your lifestyle, not your lifestyle around your career”- Someone on Facebook
"The earth with out 'art' is just 'eh'"-Unknown
Favorite Books: Shayla loves most Stephen King, and has been very inspired after reading 'The Secret'. Dale likes Fight Club, The Vampire Lestat, American Psycho, and anything by Allan Watts.
Furthermore, we are both overly entertained by books with pop-ups, sock puppets, big pictures, shiny/fuzzy textures and buttons that make noise.
Favorite Movies: Dale - Predator series, Forrest Gump, V for Vendetta, Halloween, Shawshank Redemption, Ace Ventura, Dumb & Dumber
Shayla - Alien series, Disney movies, The Other Guys, Grandma's Boy, Silence of the Lambs, Schindler's List
Castle © Phenomurals - We turned a bedroom into a medieval sleeping quarters!
We are two emerging artists from Calgary, AB Canada. Our goal is to bring affordable and unique artwork into people's homes, whatever their style may be. It has always been our dream to create art for a career and Phenomurals is giving us that opportunity. We love meeting new people and expanding our knowledge with new and exciting projects. We strive to be as efficient and fast as possible because most of the time we are working directly in the home of the client which is unusual for most artists.
Please tell us about your first mural.
We were surprised at how smoothly the process went with the first mural. The universe brought two nerdy artists together to create an Alien vs. Predator mural, and Phenomurals was born. It was exhilarating and extremely inspiring to begin with something we were both so passionate about.
Dragon and Knights © Phenomurals - We love to make our murals interact with the furniture in the room just like these knights fighting a dragon
What music do you like to have playing while creating art?
We listen to comedians and lots of rock music with the occasional serial killer documentary.
If you have a job besides being an artist, can you tell us about it?
Shayla has recently quit her day job to focus more on Phenomurals and couldn't be happier.
Dale is an electrician and planning on getting his Master's next year, just to make people call him "Master".
What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
We like to change the entire feeling of a room and add a personalized touch to every piece. We just want to convey beauty, excitement and fun. Also awesomeness.
Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion:
It all starts with connecting with the client over the design of the piece. We take into consideration what kind of room we are working in and the best layout for the mural. It's important to ask a lot of questions to figure out how to make a unique piece customized to their personal tastes. It's always a good idea to have photographic examples they like so there is no miscommunication. We'll then go ahead and make a sketch for the more detailed pieces or sometimes just wing it right there on the wall if the client is comfortable with letting us have that freedom. If a sketch is involved we will sometimes use a projector to display the sketch right on the wall. The client can then dictate the placement and size of the piece.
When it's time to start painting we discuss the most efficient way to divide the work so that we are both constantly working. This can be things such as each choosing a color to work with, background/foreground, taping, tracing, different textures, details, and much more. To ensure client satisfaction we keep them involved by asking their opinion at each stage. Little details generally come last and after that we photograph our work, ensure everyone is happy and leave them to their newly transformed living space!
What things inspire you?
We were inspired to prove our parents wrong when they said we weren't allowed to paint on the walls. So now we make a living at it. This just goes to show how much anything really is possible!
Have you sold any of your artworks?
Yes! It was tricky, but we've managed to convince a lot of people to let us into their homes and they've been extremely happy with the results. We understand that small businesses take a while to get going but there has been a lot of support and great opportunities for us so far!
How do you promote your art on the internet?
Our website, Facebook, YouTube, and a Tweet once a year to let people know we are still in the Twittersphere.
Tell us about influences
Banksy, for his ability to step away from the canvas and create extremely simple but very moving pieces of art for anyone to see.
Alex Grey, because he combines biology and spirituality in a breathtaking way. Plus, who doesn't love looking at dissected humans?
Tell us something interesting in your life
Shayla has her diploma as an Animal Health Technologist and has indeed had her hand up a horses' rear end before. She has previously traveled around Australia for an 8 month period and spent some time in Nepal. Australia and Jamaica have been her favorite countries so far!
Dale has his journeyman ticket as an electrician and amazingly has not been electrocuted yet. He also managed to get the Dean's award in college which is no easy feat!
Do you have an embarrassing moment in your life?
Dale was doing stomach crunches at the gym so hard he blasted out a juicy fart which promptly stopped everyone around him from working out. Awesome.
Shayla took the finish off the linoleum floor once when she missed the last step of the stairs because she was too busy talking.
If you could live your life over again, would there be anything you would do differently?
Dale would reconsider eating at that shady Vietnamese restaurant. Otherwise, nothing.
Shayla would've gotten into traveling sooner and wasted less time working in careers that didn't allow for any creative output.
What plans do you have for the future?
We're aiming for a billionaire status but we are preparing to settle with a millionaire status.
For short term plans, however, we are branching into costume design and painting as well as automotive art. We are both interested in glass blowing and any other medium where the art river flows.
Do you have any good advice for emerging artists?
Take risks and accept that successsuccess will take a lot of hard work and won't always come quickly, so don't stop.
And don't eat yellow snow.
"Phenomurals", aka Dale Ward and Shayla Tansey
Calgary, Alberta, Canada