The Gorilla Blog

Bible Story Murals that Work

Moses and David Cartoon Bible Mural

Bible story murals continue to be one of our most popular themes for murals and themed environments. Our style for creating the Bible story themes is to make characters and scenarios fun and “cartoony” so they will appeal to kids and can be integrated into their world. As adults, we realize that personalities in the Bible were complicated people and didn’t always behave in ways that would be appropriate for kids, so it becomes necessary to focus on certain aspects of the stories when communicating them to kids.

We’re often asked to do an entire hallway or worship room design in a Bible story theme and while those stories work in the Bible, they don’t always work well as murals. One such topic that comes to mind is “Young Jesus Teaching in the Temple.” While we have created this mural before it is one that, out of context, is sometimes hard to decipher what is going on in the mural. Additionally, it isn’t always a mural subject that is of interest to children.

Some of the better Bible story themes come from the Old Testament. This may be because the Jewish people passed these down for generations as stand-alone stories. They often involve strong characters, dramatic conflict and a powerful story. Stories like The Creation, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, Jacob’s Coat of Many Colors, Samson, Queen Esther, Moses, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Jonah and the Whale (or “Big Fish) and so many more.

Jonah Cartoon Church MuralThe New Testament tends to be more often a record of historical happenings rather than stories but there are some gold mines there as well. Especially in the stories that Jesus told in the form of parables. The Lost Sheep, The Prodigal Son, The Good Samaritan, etc. Events in the life of Jesus also make great murals such as the Nativity, his baptism, Zacchaeus, healing the sick, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and more. Also in the New Testament are stories about Paul’s journeys, some which can be adapted successfully to murals. For the adventurous, images from Revelation can also potentially be used in kids’ environments.

Stories which involve animals are always popular with kids so church murals of the Garden of Eden and Noah’s Ark will always be very popular. Subjects that center around kids are also ideal for children’s ministry design. Sometimes just adding more animals or kids to a mural can make the story more successful as a children’s design.

It’s important to keep in mind that good murals should tell the entire story on the wall. If the viewer has to go somewhere else for more information about what is happening in the story, it can make the mural confusing to many people. Plan ahead with the topics you choose for your murals and make sure you are designing for kids who are just learning the Bible stories and not adults who already have a familiarity with the events that happen in the stories. Keep the murals simple and even if it’s a complicated story, focus on just one aspect of that story.

Bible story murals make a great theme for you children’s church space if you take care to let them speak the language of kids. Make the murals fun, simple and easy to understand. Keep them centered around one character and a single storyline and you’ll have a very successful theme in your church kids’ space.


Theme Ideas for Pediatric Facilities

Pediatric Exam Mural

Many pediatric offices today don’t look like the facilities of old. Pediatric medical and pediatric dental offices are designing their waiting rooms, exam rooms and even their buildings to appeal to their main clientele, the kids. Pediatricians are striving to create an environment that not only attracts kids to them but also helps put them at ease when they visit.

There are many themes that can help a pediatric office accomplish those missions. If you are planing a pediatric design and are having some difficulties coming up with theme ideas, here are a few we suggest might work for your office:

Cartoon Village
Medieval Castles, Princesses, Knights and Dragons
Aquatic / Aquarium
Main Street
Old West
Tree House
World Cities
Cartoon Animals
Rainforest Adventure
Mountain Cabin
Outdoor / Camping / Fishing
Fairy Tales

Of course, it’s possible to even combine themes from this list in whatever way you wish. A Rainforest Adventure and Jungle theme would make a good combination as would Beach and Underwater Aquatic themes. Another idea is to create a theme that reflects something your city is known for. Maybe a gold or jewel mine, or particular type of livestock or profession or sport. If your pediatric practice has a known character or mascot, you can even create an entire theme or murals around that character.

Keep in mind that your theme or murals need to be original. To use Disney or other popular cartoon characters, superheroes or movie characters like Harry Potter, would require a license by the owners to use the characters. No one wants to spend money and time for a facility design, followed by a Cease and Desist order from the attorneys of the characters you used without permission.

Deciding on a design theme for your pediatric office can be challenging but it will provide the structure for an exciting kids’ design that will brand your practice for years to come. If you have questions or concerns about a theme topic for your pediatric facility, give us a call at 800-621-0236 or contact us by email and we’ll be happy to work with you to come up with the perfect theme subject.

Putting Off Procrastination?


Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

Last month I purchased the first gift for someone on my Christmas list. This is unprecedented for me. I rarely think about presents until a week or two before Christmas. In my years working as an editorial cartoonist, I would frequently wait until hours before deadline to even start working on a cartoon. I would often try to convince myself it was due to hesitating until the last minute so my choice of a current events topic would be fresh but, more often than not, it was due to an ugly secret of life as a creative: habitual procrastination.

I find procrastination in so many areas of my life, not just creative. “I’ll take care of the leaves in the yard next weekend.” “I’ll put the stack of laundry into the washing machine tomorrow.” “I’ll put the dishes away in the morning.” I’ve gotten to a place in my life where the forgetfulness has almost surpassed the procrastination (thanks, middle-aged brain…) but there are still many opportunities for me to improve my scheduling.

I’m not sure that I’ll ever be great at completely eliminating procrastination. If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit there is a strange thrill in creating during moments of pressure. When I have a week to develop an idea, I have time to entertain an infinite amount of possibilities and never have to settle on any of them. When I have a week or a day or just hours before a deadline, options become limited and focus becomes mandatory. Some creatives thrive in that type of high pressure atmosphere, others need a much less restrictive scenario. There are even some studies that say procrastination can make you more creative.

While I hope to continue on working on not procrastinating in things like laundry and oil changes, I’ve learned to become comfortable with a certain amount of creative procrastination. Sometimes it becomes the very kick in the pants I need to create some really good work.

How about you? What are your ways of handling procrastination in your own life?

What the Heck is “Theming”?

Sometimes it’s easy for companies to toss out industry terms, even when customers may be unclear as to what those terms actually mean. “Theming” is one of those terms and since we use it frequently on our website, this seems like a good place to explain its meaning as we use it.

theme-definitionWhen we use the word “theming” it’s connected to the word “theme” (as in “theme park”) or “themed” (as in “themed environments”). While Imagination Atmospheres is basically an environmental design company, our work differs from other designers, (such as interior designers) in that our designs usually portray a particular theme intending on creating a specific environment. We might fabricate a jungle theme for a pediatric dental office which would involve all aspects of the design being themed to portray a jungle. Whether we are designing murals, props or 3-D sculptures, all of those individual pieces will work together to build the jungle theme. Of course it would be the same situation if we are designing a Noah’s Ark theme for a children’s area of a church. Each design element will work together to for an overall theme of Noah’s Ark.

From there, it’s pretty easy to understand the meaning of “themed environments.” All of the designs we create at Imagination Atmospheres are for environments that are themed. It sounds overly simple but it isn’t always so upon first hearing these words.

One of the ultimate themed environments, of course, is a theme park. All of the areas in Disney’s parks are themed, whether the theme be “future” or “space” or “cartoon” or “continents.” It’s what sets those types of parks apart from regular amusement parks which often are just fun areas with rides, games, shows or other forms of amusement. They often don’t have an overall theme the way parks like Dollywood do.

So when you are planning a themed design in your environment, it helps to be able to research terms that can point you to more helpful sources of information. Knowing terms like “theming” and “themed environments” give you an advantage in your project planning.

Painting The Base Coat for Murals

Painting wall base coat

Photo by David Pisnoy on Unsplash

Before we paint or install murals, we request that you prep your walls. This often requires painting a new base coat of paint on to your walls. It is important at this stage to make sure the walls contain no tape, nails, staples, holes, adhesive, oils, etc. Neglecting to remove these things can cause delays in the process and may end up creating a less than ideal end product.

This video shows how to paint a good base coat as well as demonstrating some other helpful painting hints. You may want to consider hiring a professional house painter to paint your base coat If you can add that to your budget. The main goal is to end up with a smooth surface, free of obstacles and debris. That will help ensure the mural applied to the top of it will be as perfect as possible!

Kid’s Church Room Spotlight: Moses Parting Sea

Moses Parting The Sea Mural

Making a serious Bible story come to life in a way that communicates to children is not always easy. It’s the ongoing task of every Children’s Pastor and Kid’s Ministry. One tool to help accomplish this task is incorporating effective kid’s church room design and theming. We’re all aware that kid’s learn more when they are stimulated to do so by their environment and one of the more effective ways to stimulate them to learn is by telling a story using wall murals. It’s a way for children to not only see the important elements of a story, but to feel as if they are actually experiencing that story. Through experience, a child makes emotional connections and it is because of those connections, they will remember the stories for the rest of their lives.

Moses Parting The Sea Mural

Making stories come to life through murals and themed environments is what we do best at Imagination Atmospheres. We’ve been painting murals and building themed environments since 2004. Within that time, we’ve designed several Bible story murals for kids’ church rooms and children’s ministry areas that have proven to be very popular with the kids themselves. Ranking way up there in the list of top favorite Bible stories is the tale in Exodus of Moses parting the Red Sea. Now, you might question how this story can be a kid friendly one. Most of us have seen The Ten Commandments movie with Charlton Heston parting the waters so the Israelites can go through, only to turn around and close it, causing hundreds in the Egyptian army to perish. While I loved that movie as a kid, that particular scene terrified me (as it would most kids) and it isn’t a part of the story a kids muralist would want to highlight on a church wall.

Our Moses Parting The Sea mural features Moses himself at the center of the mural. His arms are outstretched and several sea creatures happily peer out from the waves of the parted Red Sea. This mural is one of our largest wall murals at 10′ x 25′ and can be scaled down proportionally to 8′ x 20. Even as a fun, humorous, cartoon mural, the story is dramatic and one that children will not soon forget as they stand in the middle of the parted ocean. The scene will inspire questions from the kids and give teachers the perfect opportunity to do what they do best: Teach.

Our Bible story murals are professionally printed on durable vinyl wallpaper for an easy to install, easy to clean, easy to maintain experience. The “Moses Parting The Sea” mural comes in 6 panels and is printed for invisible seams at the overlapping areas. The mural can be installed with some difficulties by one person but easily installed by two or more installers. Standard vinyl “wallpaper paste” is required for adhesion. Please allow 14 – 21 days for production and shipping of the mural. If you have special sizing requests, installation challenges or any questions regarding the product, email us or give us a call at 800-621-0236.