For this week’s artist interview, I got the chance go and speak to illustration major, Elia Murray in the Werby Gallery. Along with Murray, there were various illustrations of all kinds in the gallery– that being the theme for the “Drawn Out” exhibit.


Murray grew up with artistic parents– her father being an illustrator (also watercolor) and her mother being anther artist of some sort. For her, art was always in her blood and she grew up with it all around her. Murray tends to find it funny that her mother was the reason she was an art major. Her mother had actually forced her out of her English major ad told her she was going to be an artist.


What I really liked about Murray’s illustrations in comparison to the other’s on display would be that of the Disney-like style her watercolors inhabited (which happens to be her dream job, that being of Disney). I also liked the childish imaginative aspect that each had; this idea backpacking something Murray already does and that’s being a children’s book illustrator.


Murray rather likes being an illustrator as she does write her own children’s stories with it (she’s currently working on a story that goes along with a recent poem of hers, a contemporary parody of the three little pigs and has written ones about the origin of polar bears). However, Murray warns to never trust someone who wants you to illustrate their children’s book unless they pay you up front. Most children’s books never go through with the full publishing process and henceforth it’s a waste for the artist who, in the end, doesn’t get paid.


Recently, Murray has been working on pet portraits, along with making small little sculpture/ plush dolls (she does personal commissions!).Murray also told her that she’s doing “the crazy” and this summer is focusing on art rather than having another job– which is extremely risky for her. With this, she’s also submitted various internships (i.e. Disney) and is hoping for the best with such. She has so many ideas for storyboards and movies, she just wants the chance to get them out there for people to hear.


Overall, I really enjoyed speaking to Murray and looking at her artwork. My personal favorite would have been the fish/ sunset watercolor. Murray told us that it was actually a class assignment, they read a poem in one of her classes and had to use visualization to make their assignment. She does note that not everything comes out exactly as she imagines, but she’s still moderately pleased with her results. I also liked how her work reminded me of my childhood in some way. I also had an urge to paint after seeing it.


In conclusion, I would highly recommend anyone to look at Murray’s work– it’s truly amazing.

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