Montclair Designer Turned to Mural Making Amid Pandemic

When Mido Emad's advertising business was sidelined, he hit the wall—with massive art installations.

Mido Emad's custom mural at Samba restaurant in Montclair went from concept to completion in 30 days. Courtesy of Mido Emad

Oversized, custom murals are typically the domain of public art projects, but when entrepreneur/artist Mido Emad’s advertising business got sidelined by the pandemic, his creative spirit couldn’t rest. This was the perfect opportunity to focus on designing an addition to his Montclair home. “I wanted a mural of [Gustav] Klimt’s work in my living room,” Emad says. He scaled up an image of Klimt’s Judith on his computer, had it printed on premium wall-paper, and went about mounting it on his wall. “It completely changed the dynamic of the living room,” he says. “It brought it to life.”

Artist Mido Emad’s murals combine existing images, hand drawings and digital designs. Courtesy of Mido Emad

Emad’s advertising company, Mido Group, creates marketing campaigns and branding strategies for local and international companies. The entreprenuer is used to conceptualizing for print and digital ads, but having the flexibility to move from an iPad drawing to Illustrator to a collage of photographs and graphic design “has triggered something new in my creative world,” he says. And not just his world, apparently. Emad shared pictures of his home project with his clients, many of whom are restaurant owners, and they wanted murals of their own. “I started with a Wabi Sabi [in Bloomfield],” Emad says. “I created a koi-fish pattern with Japanese-style waves.”

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Emad provides a preview of the digitized image on his iPad so clients are assured of how it will look in their space. The designs are printed on premium wallpaper with a matte finish that does not reflect sunlight. The paper is cleanable and largely scratch resistant. A 42- to 50-square-foot mural costs about $6,000, depending on the details.

Emad’s home-mural undertaking has led to a new company, Art the Wall, and so far, projects include a four-story installation in a corporate facility, U.S. National Guard recruiting offices throughout the state, four restaurants and a private residence, with more in the works. “The possibilities are endless,” he says.

Art the Wall, 160 Orange Road, Montclair.

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