The Mural Master

Interview by Esther Leech

Lance Flores is currently an Art Director for BALDWIN residing in Kansas City, MO. He loves branding, illustration, photography, fashion and typography. He’s an avid instagrammer who carries band-aids in his wallet and enjoys the company of nice people. His work has been recognized in Cannes Lions, Communication Arts, AIGA, Branding Served, AAF District Two, AAF KC, and others.

1. Who influenced you to begin painting large scale murals?

Honestly, I’m not sure. Murals always intrigued me. To see these large scales of artwork that completely made me feel small always had me in awe. The first mural I worked on was for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts while I was attending the Kansas City Art Institute. I remember applying to be part of the 15 artist team and thinking about what a cool opportunity it would be to help paint a mural inside of a building thousands upon millions of people would see across it’s lifetime. It was an opportunity I had to be a part of! That was probably my first glimpse into murals, not knowing at the time that there would be more in my future. 

2. What do you add to your murals that make them unique?

I think each one is a bit different. It depends on the project scenario, the client, the space, etc. Plenty of variables and levels of freedom come into play when thinking about the murals I work on. Sometimes, it’s the materials/blend of paint colors. For example, the blend of hot pink neon with glimpses of a gold sheen. Sometimes, it’s more about the artwork itself. For example, in the 1889 Pizza mural, it’s comprised of a lot of different Kansas City iconography, but also the numbers 1889. Another thing that makes them unique is that a handful of them have been collaborations. It’s cool to work on a mural with another artist/friend because they provide a different skillset/lettering style/etc. but also are able to help paint/chalk!

3. How do you work with different clients and manage to create a unique look for them?

I feel like I create a nice blend of something the client desires, but also expressing myself and blending it with things I’m currently inspired by. I approach each wall with the intention of making something cool, impactful and something someone would want to share whether it’s through social media or just word of mouth to go check it out. I’ve had varying clients that have literally said “here’s a blank wall, go paint” and some that have had an idea in their head of what they’re wanting. Either way, I do my best to provide my client with something they can be proud of.

4. Do you usually like to paint solo, or bring in people to help?

I have painted both solo and in collaboration with others. Obviously, the project gets done quicker with multiple painters, but I can also enjoy the control over painting one solo. I’d love to ideally have a team that I could depend on and call for when projects/budgets allow. Plus, it’s always fun to work with friends. There’s nothing better then hanging and creating.

5. What is the most surprising mural you've been asked to paint?

I’m not sure if I have a “most surprising” mural to date, but some fun facts about the ones I’ve painted so far are:
• Technically, the Kauffman one is the largest to date that I’ve worked on, but aside from that one, the Doughnut Lounge mural is the largest and is comprised of 3 major interior walls. 
• The Manifesto Mural exists above a stairway leading underground. I painted for 14+ hours on a ladder on stairs.
• The Cause Church “As It Is In Heaven” Mural starts with a base of wheat pasted posters with an added layer of acrylic paint on top.
• The chalk “nature” (Barker Agency) mural - it’s 2 large walls side by side. My friend Nancy and I swapped sides every hour to add new elements, color objects, etc.