With Mike & Mickie Cooper

Editor's Note: Focus On Faux would like to introduce (or re-introduce, as many of you already know them personally or via their reputation in the mural industry) Mike & Mickie Cooper. They own Murals & More LLC in Franklin, Tenn. (20 minutes south of Nashville).

Michael has been painting murals professionally for more than 25 years, with hundreds of exterior and interior murals under his belt. We have brought him on board at Focus on Faux to provide lively commentary and also dispel any myths about the illustrious world of mural painting. Both he and his wife, Mickie, have been teaching mural classes all over the country as well as in their studio in Franklin. They make a unique team in that they are right- and left-brained. (We will let you figure out which one is which.)

Join us in welcoming them by sending questions about the industry and try your best to stump them! Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and put "Fresh Perspective" in the subject line.


This month's topic...

8 Tips on Growing Your Decorating Painting Business

Either you are considering or you are already in business as a decorative painter or muralist. Congratulations! You are a powerful Team of One! Here are eight tips for growing that business.

1) Need some help? Ask for it. Start with volunteers. Reach out, as most people like to be involved. Just don't abuse their generosity.

2) Anything that needs to be done on a repetitive basis, set it up for technology to take care of it. Bills that need to be paid on a certain day? Auto-pay, baby!

3) Learn to say the word "No" on a daily basis. C'mon, say it with me: "No." Didn't that feel good? Can you donate a mural? "No." Can you teach our 4th graders how to paint faux marble? "No." Would you like to advertise on our high school calendar? "No." Could you give us a discount because EVERYONE will see your mural? Think of the exposure you'll get! "Oh, hell no."

4) if you absolutely need to get help, here is something to consider: Hire someone part-time! Maybe even a virtual assistant. There are websites where you can hire people to do paperwork and organization online, where they don't even have to come to your studio! And they bid to work with YOU! Such a deal!

5) Need some physical help? Contact your local high school. That's how we got our first website built. We talked to the guidance counselor, who recommended a top-tier computer geek to help us. He was thrilled! The student, not the counselor. Able-bodied students can even help sling paint, or carry tools, or hang murals!

6) Here is something else to consider: How much do you want to make an hour? $50? $200? Let's say you want to make $100 an hour doing your work. But you feel you don't want to hire someone because you don't want to pay them $20 an hour to work on your computer. If you're doing the work yourself, you're already paying someone $100 an hour—yourself! Be smart!

7) Work from a to-do list. As artists, we all know that if it is not in front of us, it doesn't exist. Write it down in order of importance, and work from top to bottom. But don't make it too long! Try limiting it to no longer than six items per day. When those get done, then reload it. You'll be amazed at how much you can get done in a short amount of time.

8) Every day before you leave your office/studio/work area, make sure you have EVERYTHING ready to go for the next day. Need paint for tomorrow? Pick it up on the way home. Need sample boards? Make sure you have plenty in stock. Just make sure that when you show up in the morning, you are fully loaded and ready to jump right in! That way you have momentum on your side.  

Now, go paint something!

—Mike & Mickie Cooper
    Murals & More LLC