With Mike & Mickie Cooper

 Editor's Note: Mike & Mickie Cooper own Murals & More LLC in Franklin, Tenn., 20 minutes south of Nashville. Michael has been painting murals professionally for more than 25 years, with hundreds of exterior and interior murals under his belt. Both Mike and his wife, Mickie, have been teaching mural classes all over the country as well as in their studio in Franklin. They make a unique team in that they are right- and left-brained. (We will let you figure out which one is which.) In this column for Focus on Faux, they are providing lively commentary and also hope to dispel any myths about the illustrious world of mural painting. Mike and Mickie invite you to send questions about the industry and try your best to stump them! Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and put "Fresh Perspective" in the subject line.


Procrastinate? Who, Me?

This is Mike—I've got this one.

You know...we actually missed turning in an article for last month's publication because of putting things off until the last minute. And we almost missed it again this month for the exact same reason. And when I say "we," I mean "I." Here's an idea, I thought: Why not write something about what we're all guilty of: procrastination?

Why do something today when you can put it off until tomorrow? Or even later? Or how about this? Don't do it at all! I mean, how important was it anyway? Obviously, not important enough to get it done when it was supposed to be done! No? Well, that's how you're treating it. Sound familiar?

Guys, we're in a really creative industry. Which by default means that we're really creative people. And do you know what really creative people suck at? Organization. Things like making sure everything was packed for a project and you showed up on time; all those people you were supposed to call back got called back on time; all of those appointments were attended to on time; all of those quotes were sent in on time; all of those articles that you were supposed to write ... well ... are you sensing a pattern here?

Left to my own devices, it would probably be August before I would get to this June article, if at all. Lucky for me, I have a Mickie. My wife is my conscience. She is my organizer. She is my savior. (Just don't tell her. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? She knows!)

Seriously, I don't know what it is about us creative types, but for the most part we are simply not wired for organization. Remember all of those business courses you took in college? Nah, me either. I mean, I have a five-year BFA and never took one business course! I am SURE that's where they taught organizational skills!

In the meantime, every artist needs a Mickie. If you can't date or marry one, then by all means hire one! All of that crap that you hate to do? These people live for it. No, I can't understand it either. But thank God they are out there. Helping to set appointments, scheduling your time, keeping your books, helping with marketing, doing social media, keeping your website current, making the lists of things that you simply need to do to run a successful business. When we teach mural classes, Mickie is the one to handle the business aspects. All of the fun stuff, like filing, receipts, employees, taxes—oh, my gawd, shoot me now! But she actually hands out forms that she's created that help with things like packing for projects. And they have become indispensable!

Have you picked up how much I hate this organization stuff? But I will say this, she has saved our business. She has truly made it prosper. If I can get out of my own way and simply listen to her and follow directions, everything runs really, really well. It's almost scary.

So, here's my advice: Get yourself a Mickie. But you can't have mine—she's already taken.