The Cultural Project talks to renowned artist Sirron Norris

How did you discover that you wanted to become an artist?

I went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where I studied art but I mostly focused on graphic and computer generated design. I didn’t do fine art because it didn’t feel right to me. But I have drawn my entire life, since I was a kid I knew what I wanted to do. There was no particular moment when I thought I’m now an artist, it has been a progressive kind of thing.

Can you tell me about your first professional work?

My first professional work was a mural in a hair salon and I drew Disney characters coming out of a filmstrip with a castle. It was awesome. I then got a bunch of other jobs after that but that was my first official job.
I’ve seen your work pretty much everywhere in San Francisco; around the street and in restaurants… do you work mostly on mural?

I work mostly on commission, I don’t really have time to do my own drawing so I have my work everywhere in San Francisco because that’s commissioned work. But I am not only creating murals, I also work on canvas, it depends what the client wants.

What are you currently working on and do you have any interesting projects in the pipeline?

My current project is a private commission by a couple living in Washington. I am working on it in my gallery in San Francisco. The commission is quite big and I am working on a wooden canvas. After that I will be working in downtown SF on a mural within a spiral staircase – it’s going to be quite a challenge. Once that is finished a hotel wants me do design a fancy map for their guests.

Some of your murals are huge, can you explain how you go about working on such large projects?

I first design the mural using a computer programme so that I can show the client how it will look. I always work with a few people so organising them and choosing which colours to use is important. After we agree on a specific design I will draw the mural myself and then the painting can begin – this is where my interns come in. however, I like to stay in control when in comes to mixing the colours.

Which artists have inspired you?

Eyvind Earle I really connect with his work.

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