Bryan Ballinger, a published illustrator and artist, has his mural painting process down to a science. Let’s hop into everything need to know about Bryan and his 912 square feet frog-filled mural located at our 317 W. North St., Kendallville location.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Prior to moving to northeast Indiana, Bryan Ballinger was a 3D Design Lead at Big Idea Productions, the producers of VeggieTales, in Chicago. Bryan moved to Huntington, Indiana, 16 years ago to be a professor at Huntington University and has enjoyed watching the arts community grow.
“One of the best things about living in northeast Indiana is the growth of the arts community here,” said Bryan. “From Art This Way in Fort Wayne to the LaFontaine Arts Council here in Huntington, to the investment in public art that Jiffy Lube is making, it’s all really exciting.”
The Jiffy Lube Mural Project was something Bryan wanted to be a part of because it offered him an opportunity for creative freedom. He also enjoyed the variety of existing Jiffy Lube Murals from previous years.
“I love character designs, so they are usually a component of the art I do in some way,” said Bryan. “Having creative freedom was one of the most fun things about this project. It really freed me up to make something that I would enjoy looking at, which hopefully translates into something that makes other people smile as well.”
You may recognize Bryan’s work from his other colorful murals located in downtown Fort Wayne.
ABOUT THE MURAL
The Froggy Forest mural spans two exterior walls covering a total of 912 square feet. Bryan used 20 different paint colors to create a scene featuring ten different frogs, all with unique personalities.
“The fact that the mural wrapped around two walls made me want to do something that was an environment that just kept going,” Bryan said.
A lot of Bryan’s illustrations feature characters, and we had no doubt he would come up with a fun, thought-provoking panorama. The question remains, however, why frogs?
“I initially considered doing a dog mural and even sketched out some ideas for it,” said Bryan. “Then I was drawing some frogs and decided to put them in some trees and it hit me that it would make a great mural design concept. Frogs are awesome because you can vary their size and shape a lot, and they are still frogs. They are a very pliable paradigm.”
ABOUT THE PROCESS
Bryan drew out the original design on his iPad using a design program called ProCreate. He calculated that a gallon of paint could cover approximately 200 square feet and used that ratio to assess how much paint he needed for each color. See all his calculations below!
- B – brown – 228 Square feet = 1 gallon
- BL – brown light – 48 square feet – 1/6th of a gallon – 1 quart – 32 ounces
- BD – brown dark – 48 square feet – 1/6th of a gallon – 1 quart – 32 ounces
- LB – leaves blue– 48 square feet – 1/6th of a gallon – 1 quart – 32 ounces
- LBD – leaves blue dark – 16 ounces
- LBL – leaves blue light – 32 oz.
- LG – leaves green – 32 oz.
- LGL – leaves green light 3 oz.
- LGD – leaves green dark – 16 oz.
- F – frog – 50 oz.
- FL – frog light 7 oz.
- FD – frog dark – 6 oz.
- FS – frog spots – 3 oz.
- W – white (eyes) 4 oz.
- B – black (line work) – half gallon
- R – red (tongues) – 2 oz.
- S – sky blue – 228 square feet = 1 gallon
- CL -clouds light – 456 square feet = 1.5 gallons
- CD – clouds dark – 253 square feet = 1 gallon
- Varnish – 3 gallons
After the paint was mixed and labeled, what came next? Bryan took the original linework and made a transparency of it so he could use an overhead projector to extend the design and trace the linework onto the walls. Over the next six days, Bryan and his team worked from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. to add color and complete the mural. They chose to work in the evenings because the sun wasn’t as direct.
We asked Bryan how he felt when the mural was finished. “I’m super happy it’s done, but it was also fun to do. As we were painting it, people driving by would honk their horns or pull up and tell us how much they liked it and appreciated it. Jiffy Lube customers would come over while their cars were being serviced and chat with us. And the Jiffy Lube employees were awesome, checking in on the progress and giving us space and access to a sink, etc. A very positive experience.”
Interested in learning more about Bryan’s work? You can connect with Bryan though the following channels:
The Jiffy Lube Mural project is Jiffy Lube of Indiana’s commitment to public art that provides both internal and external benefits to our people and the communities in which we work and live. “We work hard to challenge our employees to reach their full potential and to expose them to things that may be outside their typical comfort zone,” explains Jiffy Lube owner Steve Sanner. Jiffy Lube of Indiana owns 49 of the 60 stores in Indiana. Find a Jiffy Lube of Indiana location near you.