As a traveling art teacher, I get asked to paint a lot of murals. Usually, people want me to paint murals of cute cartoon characters or book illustrations. While I am not opposed to painting these things (and I’m always happy to promote reading), there is a distinct problem with these murals — Copyright laws!
I know these murals are very popular. You can’t visit a pediatrician, school, library, or daycare without seeing them. But these images are protected by copyright law, and it is technically illegal to use these images without permission. Disney has been known to seek legal action over Disney-themed murals.
You can always write to the copyright owner to get permission to use the images, but why not consider original artwork? An artist can create a one-of-a-kind mural for your space that will be beautiful, relevant to your community, and most of all, legal! The best part is that you will be supporting a local artist and helping them to build their own creative portfolio. Maybe they have their own signature shapes or characters that would work equally well (or even better) in your space.
My husband, Isaac, working on our original piece for the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Pier-to-Pier project.