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Archive for July 2014

Children Creating a Mural on Virtues

The road leading to virtues is a life journey, wrought with twists, turns, obstacles and scary choices. They guide us to living joyful, contributing lives, from a “True-North” perspective. Do these words paint images in your your mind? They do for these two youngsters who will be painting a mural on a twenty square foot canvas for their school to enjoy and be inspired by. How did all this happen?

Mural Project – Brainstorming Session

Every year, our Chicago area painting and decorating company participates in a community project as a thank you for all our blessings. These projects have included painting the sets for local theatre companies, the painting of mural scenes on public benches, among many others. This year’s event is special in that it involves working with children in creating a unique piece of art that is expressive of their views on life. The mural project was conceived by our company as a raffle item at a large gala held earlier this year as a fundraising event for Science & Arts Academy of Des Plaines, Illinois. The mom who won the raffle passed up an $8500 Rolex to get the mural project for her daughter and her best friend. That was some inspired mom, with a clear sense of her “True North”!

Hands Holding Compass

Last Saturday, the two moms brought their daughters to the school for their first session with us. The purpose of that meeting was twofold. First, we introduced them to the history of murals going back to the cavemen, with modern examples of how murals meet people’s needs today, taken from our inventory of completed mural projects. The second part was a brainstorming session with Rita, our Color and Concept Consultant (and my wife) and Fran, our Muralist. In their interactions with the girls, they were able to facilitate the articulation of the kids’ vision for their mural. As the girls were speaking about their views on virtues, our muralist was capturing their thoughts with sketches. At the end of the session, we had a rough sketch of the mural, a list of the mural elements and yes: homework!

Below are some of the elements the girls came up with for their mural: two hands holding a compass, winding path, gate, obstacles, storm clouds, rain, lightning, sun, flowers, wolf and animals. They already completed their first post-meeting assignment. They met last week to find inspiration pictures online for their various painted elements. They even found one for the two hands holding a compass! At their next meeting, they will redo the preliminary sketch developed in the first session. Part of their homework assignment also includes their keeping a journal of their discoveries and learning during the mural project. Stay tuned for more updates on their exciting mural painting project!

Seeking Painters with a Craftsman’s Attitude

As painting and decorating contractors in the Chicago area, Painting in Partnership, Inc. is built around the concept of Craftsmanship. Our Craftsmanship begins with a Commitment to “do the right thing” and couples with the Knowledge to “know what the right thing is” and the “Skill to pull it off”. These craftsmanship fundamentals enable us, to deliver to our clients: Peace of Mind, Pride in Finished Work and a Delightful Painting Experience, every time, every craftsman.

Painter Craftsman at Work

When we look to hire a painter, in addition to painting skills, there are six major qualities we look for. They are:
1- Love of One’s Work: Someone who loves to paint, because it is satisfying and adds beauty to life.
2- Thirst to Learn: Someone who displays initiative in their learning process, through research, experimentation and perfecting one’s practices and tools.
3- Focus and Intensity: Someone who focuses and engages all his/her senses in the coordination and mastery of the great many variables involved in painting. Someone who enjoys maintaining a healthy body, fit for the high daily physical demands of painting.
4- Pursuit of Excellence, Within the Constraints of Time and Purpose: Someone who understands that the ultimate challenge of a true craftsman is to achieve the desired quality in a time efficient manner, while respecting the constraints that may exist.
5- Openness and Desire to Share One’s Knowledge: Someone who willingly shares their knowledge with others and is open to learn from anyone.
6- Passion: Someone who has energy, enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Passion is the result of engaging one’s heart in the work process. This is the quality we most seek in a painter candidate. This is the quality that distinguishes a good “technician” from a true craftsman.

These are the qualities that will enable someone to develop as a true craftsman over time. As a company, we hire people at different stages in their development as craftsmen. We help fill the skill gaps through hands-on training opportunities and the use of our Craftsmanship Operating Procedures (COPs). Painting in Partnership sees itself as a training ground for craftsmen. We write our job ads to attract people who see painting as their avocation, not just a job.

Here is a commentary that Steve, our most senior craftsman, wrote on the fundamentals of craftsmanship:
“Craftsmanship only happens when all those fundamental traits come together. The challenge is unifying them on a daily basis. For me, being energized and engaged is probably the most important aspect of craftsmanship, because without the energy, nothing can come together. I believe craftsmanship is a life-long endeavor and a work in progress. There are setbacks along the way, but believing in the prospect of doing things well, in a timely manner is the key.”

If you have residential painting experience and have a craftsman’s attitude, we are very interested in talking to you.