www.themuralist.net – All artwork mentioned in this post can be found at McAvoy’s official website.
To get in touch Jeff, email him at email@example.com
My first interview with an artist and my favorite coffee place is full. With absolutely nowhere to sit, I stand in a corner like a fool and text the artist about a change in plans. I redirect him and already my nerves start to get the best of me. It all works out though. Muralist, Jeff McAvoy, walks in with a big grin and doesn’t seem to mind the quick change of direction. I take a deep breath and look at the prepared list of questions. I’m prepared and I have my latte hand – what could go wrong at this point? Holding his black portfolio, he sits down with his coffee and shows great enthusiasm. I thank him for meeting with me and we jump into a conversation right away.
Jeff McAvoy is a muralist from Chicago who now resides in St Charles, Illinois. His well-rounded portfolio displays everything from comedy show backdrops to children’s rooms. When you look through all the things he has done, you realize he is man with no boundaries to his artistic capabilities. McAvoy has been doing murals ever since he spontaneously decided to paint the stairwell of his fraternity in 1991. He started his career painting murals and bartending while attending Illinois State. By 1998, he started doing them professionally for both commercial and residential. Doing projects such as painting a Michelangelo “David” in a neighbor’s home in Chicago, he started to gain popularity through word of mouth. Being from the Chicago area had some advantages too. Some of his first big projects included the restaurant show at McCormick Place and the Chicago Comedy Festival at Vic Theatre.
JA: One of my friends was the director from Jam Productions and they were working on the Comedy Festival at the Vic Theatre. You can hear the El train right behind the Vic Theatre, so I decided to paint an El train. I did it 3-dimensionally and on an angle, so that the comedians would come out through the door like they were coming out of the train.
McAvoy continued to work on big commercial projects such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Trader Joe’s. Even though the commercial projects are great experience and enjoys working on them, he favors doing residential.
JA: It’s more social than doing commercial projects. You get a chance to talk to people and learn about them, it’s more personal.
I was interested in the whole process. Painting a mural seems like a lot of work and I thought he couldn’t possibly just start painting on someone’s wall without a plan. But the more I got to know McAvoy, the more I realize that he’s extremely confident with what he does. He makes sure he knows exactly what the person wants, but then gets straight to work.
JA: Usually, people have an idea of what they want. They want the [sports logo] for the man cave. If they don’t have an idea in mind, I help them develop one.
I asked if he’s willing to do other projects outside of painting murals. McAvoy mentioned he likes to focus on murals, since that’s what he markets himself as – The Muralist. However, he’s done other projects such as big canvases, glass, and even chairs.
SC: How about projects outside?
JA: I knew a guy who was in France and he found this painting. And he asked me if I could copy the painting on the wall over his pool. I painted the trees on the side, did the accents of the blocks, and repainted the doorway.
McAvoy married his wife, Lisa in 2001 and now resides in St Charles, IL. He has big plans for his future. Despite the fact that his career is skyrocketing, he’s now preparing for a baby and hopes to travel with Lisa down the road.