Artist Maria Hegedus is not your typical mural artist. Discover her unique strategy for previewing ideas to clients & learn about working in a "moving" studio.

Purple Mosque is watercolor on Paper

Maria Hegedus is an American artist who has lived in Abu Dhabi since March 2013. Although she painted murals and sold art part-time in the US, she decided to take her mural business fulltime upon arriving in the Emirates, thus UAE Murals was born.

Large wall-sized murals are Maria’s specialty but she also paints a variety of subjects with acrylic onto canvas, as well as watercolor on paper. She has been inspired by the culture, architecture and art of the Arab world; this can clearly be seen in her recent work.

Carrie:  Welcome to Artist Strong Maria, when did you first realize you were an artist?

Thank you Carrie! I have always been “artistic” starting at a very early age. Both of my parents are educators and were aware of my propensity to the arts when I was quite young. Thankfully they nurtured this in me and I always had a collection of paper, markers, paints, glue, glitter, pencils, etc. in a large box in my home. Later they provided me with private art lessons from a family artist friend.

Artist Maria Hegedus is not your typical mural artist. Discover her unique strategy for previewing ideas to clients & learn about working in a "moving" studio.

Creative Spirit Maria Hegedus by Studio13 Photography

Carrie: Please describe the art you create.

I have a hard time with this question, honestly. The subjects and style in which I paint vary greatly but I hope viewers can see some consistencies. I truly love painting large murals! There’s something scary yet exciting when I set up my supplies and am staring at this huge, empty space in front of me. I also enjoy painting on canvases in my home and these have a pretty obvious Arab theme.

I have been so inspired since moving to the UAE (United Arab Emirates), and I really enjoy exploring this. I have also rekindled my “love affair” with watercolors. It was my “first love” in art as I started to pursue it as an adult. Recently I began painting almost exclusively with watercolor. I’m sure that will change soon, and I’m okay with that!

Carrie: How did you discover your interest in mural art?

I had my first house in my 20’s and I was decorating my master bedroom. I remember it feeling kind of plain and boring. I wanted to add some color so with no previous experience I just started painting a giant red poppy flower on the wall. I loved it. It was so freeing! From there, I painted a few murals in friends’ homes, a local hair salon, a model home (for Home Building company), and never stopped. I really enjoy the exaggerated size and the dramatic impact it can have on a room.

Carrie: Talk us through your process: how does your work move from idea to final artwork?

I am NOT your “traditional” mural artist. I do NOT enjoy painting realistic 3-dimensional landscapes like most people probably think of when they hear the word “mural.” I really enjoy murals that are a piece of ART on their own. I like dramatic themes, normally with bold color. I get inspiration and sketch very loosely on paper. Depending on how specific the client’s vision is, I will share my ideas with them, get feedback, make changes etc.

Once the client is happy with the general idea or layout, I create a more detailed accurate sketch and impose it onto photos I have taken of the wall. This way the client can have a 3D look at what the final product may look like. Finally I start the mural. I sketch with graphite first, roll the large blocks of color, and use varying brush sizes for detail. For faux finishes, I use a variety of tools such as clothes, sponges, brushes, pads, etc. None of my murals end up EXACTLY like the sketch because each piece has to go through the artistic process. I work intuitively to some degree; it gives the best outcome on a final mural!

Artist Maria Hegedus is not your typical mural artist. Discover her unique strategy for previewing ideas to clients & learn about working in a "moving" studio.

“Peacock Cafe” in Hilton International Offices (Dubai)

Carrie: How do you navigate having a “moving” workspace? 

That is one of the hardest parts of painting murals. I love when I can work in a space that is empty – no furniture, no people, no noise, etc., but that is rarely the case. I have to adapt. Sometimes its fun when people watch me paint, but sometimes it can be stressful, especially if they make many comments and ask many questions, but I realize they are curious and intrigued. Most of the time I put my headphones in listen to a great podcast, book on tape, or music and get in the “zone” regardless of where I am! I normally bring all of my supplies on Day 1 and leave them there at the workspace until the final day.

Carrie: How does collaboration help and/or hinder your art?

I haven’t collaborated much since moving to UAE and I would absolutely LOVE to! Any artists should feel free to send me a message through my website if you’d like to collaborate!

Artist Maria Hegedus is not your typical mural artist. Discover her unique strategy for previewing ideas to clients & learn about working in a "moving" studio.

Grand Mosque Carpet II (A3 watercolor on paper)

Carrie: How do you decide when a project is completed?

I decide once I am happy, and of course I get the client’s approval! I am normally more critical of my own work than the client, so sometimes they are happy and I still stay and fine-tune until I feel the project is complete.

Carrie: What do you hope viewers take from your art?

I hope they see passion, vibrance and are inspired!

Carrie:  What is one creative resource you can’t live without?

I LOVE Instagram. I have found so many amazing artists on IG! I also really enjoy Pinterest for mural inspiration because there are so many inspiring murals that step outside the traditional mural box.

Artist Maria Hegedus is not your typical mural artist. Discover her unique strategy for previewing ideas to clients & learn about working in a "moving" studio.

Share this quote and pin it

Carrie: Who/what inspires you?

EVERYTHING. Traveling inspires me greatly. Other artists via Pinterest and IG, other artists I meet in person, architecture, sunsets, great food dishes, a feeling, my children, the client’s ideas, etc. I feel inspiration all the time and have a hard time containing it all!

Carrie:  How do you define Creativity?

Creativity is me expressing who I am using a physical medium. Every painting has a tiny bit of me in it. Every mural should have a fingerprint of “Maria” somewhere in it.

“Every painting has a tiny bit of me in it.” (Click to Tweet)

Be Creatively Courageous: How do you overcome the fear of starting your art on a blank wall or canvas? I want to know! Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

Additional Contact Info:

Website: http://www.uaemurals.com/

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/uaemurals

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/uaemurals

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