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Robert Tapley Bustamante

Phone:(816) 726-6786
Email:[email protected]


The primary approach to my murals and public art process is collaboration, either by gathering insights from leaders of organizations such as CEOs, COOs, Directors, etc; or along with communicating with other artistic peers and/or public creative contributions by the larger community. Everything starts with a conversation, a two-way communication process of sharing, caring, and collecting detailed notes to later on inform my sketches and eventually more refined mockups.

My process is one developed and documented into many flow charts, a technique learned from my 20+ years of being a highly sought-after UX Design Consultant working in the Kansas City Metro Area for several Advertising Agencies, Fortune 500 corporations, and mid-sized companies. Once a creative direction is agreed upon by all vested members, I then combine my on-site photography of walls/surfaces with my detailed design mockups created in the Adobe Creative Suite of software products to overlay said designs with photos to provide context of the creative solutions being proposed. This enables all contributors to gain deeper clarification in order to affect the outcome before any painting has begun.

Along the way, there are several checkpoints to ensure client satisfaction and to clearly define what colors are okay to use and which colors are not desired. Oftentimes times I am required to accurately color match paints according to established Branding Identity Guidelines while also incorporating specific logos and typographic elements. I utilize modern technology such as laser cutters to accurately scale and recreate logos and branding elements to ensure corporate communication branding standards. For example, I was able to recreate several sponsor logos accurately to incorporate them into the larger vision of the client’s business property.

Community Activity Information

Complementary activities are the glue that effectively gets the community to accept artists such as myself being there in the first place. Otherwise, artists could be viewed as elitist outsiders coming into a community knowing what is best, creating something “cool” and then disappearing onto another mural or public art project when done. Community input is critically important and can take many forms, such as town halls, creative brainstorming meetings, member surveys, vision mood boards with materials gathered by the public, and historical research with the local visitor centers. These are but a few of the options I have deep experience in leading, as well as direct public contributions via community paint days on specific portions of murals and/or public art projects.

Educational Activity Information

Educational activities I provide to students often take the form of directly involving them in the creation of a mural, painting, and/or the overall creative process with individual contributions leading towards the greater whole. All of this is done with my hands-on guidance, coaching, encouragement, inspiration, and collaboration. If possible I will even have a “Workshop Day” to bring students along for the process of creating custom stencils. This goes over very well as many students’ exposure to stencils is superficial by only being able to purchase off-the-shelf generic designs from various large stores. On previous mural projects, I have created an illustration for a custom coloring book page for the younger kiddos to engage with the larger topic at hand.

In this case, the topic was Voting Rights for Women which was the subject matter of that specific mural project. Another example, during my two days at K-State I did not have stencils on hand for an impromptu request to engage the students, so I gathered found objects from nature and recycling bins to utilize in the creative process demonstration. The students jumped in and loved it as I encouraged them to be resourceful and look at found objects in a new way. This directly fulfills KCAIC’s greater appreciation of art forms while promoting learning through engagement.

Program Fee

My fee structure is as follows. My hourly rate is $100/hr, that being said often times I will do whatever is required to maintain a high level of creative quality in the final outcome. I find that a Flat Fee Cost plus Materials Fixed Fee is a good approach to projects where a client’s budget is firmly established. I also utilize a Square Footage range of between $10 to $18 per sq/ft depending upon the project complexity and/or rush orders due to time limitations.

My design process is within a range of 20% to 25% of the overall project budget. If custom stencils are utilized then this percentage could increase to 40% of the project’s total budget. My community engagement process is usually wrapped up in the overall budget considerations and could comprise 10% of the overall project’s total budget. Creating the actual mural and/or public art comprises 50% to 60% of the project’s total budget. Followup is just part of what I do as a professional creator and is good practice to do overall.

I don’t have to be paid to do so. Installation is an area I am just entering into and usually comes into consideration for public art sculptures which is not currently within my list of services. Supplies such as paints, clear UV sealer, lifts, etc, can comprise 10% to as high as 40% of the budget depending on the size and scope requested.