Yes. I usually begin by thinking about the space as a whole: the angle/s the wall will be seen from, who uses the space, and the “feeling” you want to bring to the space. The imagery we create, the use of color, dynamic form, and subject are designed to fit your specfic space and audience.
As an example, Los Gatos Meadows had an elegant building with an awkward elevator lobby that all entering guests and residents had to pass through. There was a door on the back wall that was for the parking staff only and made the space confusing. They wanted to “dress up” the space and make a the small, windowless, and “visually choppy” lobby into an inviting place to linger while guests waited for the elevator to the main floors. The artwork was specifically designed to resolve the inherent architectural awkwardness. Here is the solution we came up with:
I recently had a school change the wall they were deignating for the mural, and as a result the project required a completely different design. The first wall being considered was a wall the students walked along, so it was an interactive, high detail design with lots of nuance and details that referenced student life. The second wall they considered was a third story wall that overlooked the quad in the center of campus. For this distance, the design needed to be bold and easy to grasp from 180 degrees of veiwing angles. The viewing distance and location of the second wall being considered called for a strong statement piece. This is what I mean by “site specific” design.
In the design phase we embark on together, we will brainstorm ideas keeping in mind where the mural will go, who the primary audience will be, and the main feeling(s) you would like the artwork to amplify, then work backwards to come up with the content. I take clues from the architecture and interior design for both residential and commercial projects.