ANIMAL’s feature Artist’s Notebook asks artists to show us their original “idea sketch” next to a finished piece. This week, Los Angeles-born, Brooklyn-based street artist Buff Monster talks about creating his new mural in Williamsburg. Read about his process and check out our video interview below.

I rarely ever draw, and when I do, it’s always very very loose. I always start by printing out a photo of the wall (usually several on a page) and I just start sketching.

I like drawing on photos because it’s really good to see exactly where doors, windows and other architectural elements are. Also, since this wall is HUGE, I wanted to use the windows as reference when I was getting the sketch on the wall.

There are two sketches because the wall changed. I placed a scan of the drawing over a photo of the second wall, and then sketched in the clouds with more detail.

Getting the sketch on the wall is actually the most important part of the whole process. If the sketch is wrong at the beginning, it’ll never be right in the end. So instead of constantly stepping back to make sure it’s going on right.

I had my assistant stand across the street and tell me what needed to be changed.

Once we got the whole sketch on the wall, it was just a matter of filling it all in, putting a little shading in, and outlining most things with black.

With the help of Baldo, Hoacs and Shotgun Sean, the wall came together quickly and smoothly. At the end of the first day, the sketch was up and we got a lot of stuff filled in. By the end of the second day, we had most stuff filled in and some of the shading done. By the end of the third day, a lot of it was all shaded and outlined.

And on the fourth day, I was pretty much on my own just to fix certain things, finish outlining the characters and put in last minute details. I couldn’t have done this without Dana Dynamite, Juxtapoz and Converse.

(Images: Yossera Bouchtia/ANIMALNewYork, Buff Monster. Video picture: Yossera Bouchtia/ANIMALNewYork, Video Edit: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)

Previous Artist’s Notebook selects:

Artist’s Notebook: CLAW
Artist’s Notebook: The Yok and Sheryo
Artist’s Notebook: COPE2
Artist’s Notebook: Evan Roth
Artist’s Notebook: CYCLE
Artist’s Notebook: Ron English