Staring at a blank wall in your home? Looking for some color? How about more than color – are you looking for a standout piece of art? What if you could turn that white wall in your house into a life-sized painting?
Meet Dana Maciag. Born and raised in Scottsdale, Dana currently lives and works in the Valley, creating murals that cover hundreds of walls throughout the community. Having initially gone to Arizona State University to pursue a teaching degree, Dana ended up creating a much different path for herself.
Kid Murals by Dana, is her current occupation. It is her self-built, self-run business. Dana is an artist of large scale. Quite literally, meaning she paints life-sized murals on walls in family homes and community businesses. She also creates custom wall art when commissioned.
How did all this come from a teaching degree? Dana was always interested in painting. As a young girl, her mom had her enrolled in art classes where she studied basic art forms. In high school, she enrolled in honors art classes but then stopped when she entered college. She wanted to go to school for graphic design, but her father thought she needed a more practical path. She then changed her major to education to become an elementary school teacher.
“I was teaching at Diamond Canyon Elementary School when it first opened in Anthem,” Dana recalled. “I remember seeing all these blank walls in the student library and I was inspired to create a mural similar to one I had seen in a Mesa school library while student teaching. I offered my talents to Diamond Canyon and asked if I could paint characters on the wall in the library.”
It took a few years to complete, since she was working at the same time. But throughout the process, Dana received many inquiries from interested families about her art. Her mural gained so much attention that she realized she might have a prosperous business plan at her fingertips.
“I took a leave from teaching for a year, with the intention of pursing my art. It turned out to be so successful that I never went back to school,” she said.
Kid Murals by Dana was officially started in 2012, the same year she got married. Dana now has three kids and still runs her own business and the growth has been astounding. Dana says she has painted well over 120 murals to date and still is in high demand. Her murals are mostly child-oriented. She has been hired to paint various characters and designs for kids’ bedrooms all over the Valley. Occasionally she will paint for adults or businesses and she also offers landscapes and outdoor wall murals.
For Dana, painting is stress relieving. Painting large scale murals is a massive canvas and takes a lot of time to complete. The average wall mural can take 2-3 days to complete, however every job is different and the time will vary based on the size of the project. Interested clients can contact Dana for a free estimate of the space. She will sketch a design and then once approved, painting begins.
Dana is now looking to expand her talents and has recently started another business called A-Z Kids Rooms, a partnership with some friends, which offers full makeovers of kid bedroom interiors, including furniture, accessorizing, three dimensional murals and custom designs. This allows her to work closely with an interior designer for a full room makeover.
“I always wanted to be in charge of my own thing,” Dana speaks of her business. “Pride and ownership in my own business is something I’m passionate about. I was attracted to the idea of building a business from the ground up. It’s exciting to bring boring walls to life. My favorite part of this job is seeing the smiles on all the kids’ faces when they come into their newly painted room for the first time. That shock and excitement is truly the best.”
For more information or to get a quote for a mural, visit kidmuralsbydana.com.
Written by: Rebecca Zaner
Rebecca Zaner has written many stories throughout the valley and enjoys having the ability to share community news, journeys and achievements. Holding a Bachelor of Music, Rebecca’s favorite place to be is the stage. Having been a singer all her life, Rebecca is now in pursuit of a professional performing career, singing opera and musical theatre (rebeccazaner.com). Also an avid photographer, Rebecca owns a photography business, Rebecca Kaye Photography (rebeccakayephoto.wix.com/rebeccakaye). She enjoys the natural beauty of Arizona and can be found spending her free time exploring and traveling with her family.