Artist Proof Interview with Artist: Kelli Murry
Global Location: US
AP: How long have you been making art for and what lead you to start?
KM: I have loved to draw for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I was out of college that I really began to pursue my personal art and develop a style of my own. I had a good friend who was very much into the graffiti scene and he introduced me to artists like Fafi and Miss Van, who I instantly fell in love with. From there, I knew I wanted to further explore my own art and abilities to see what I could make of it.
AP: Where do you currently live and work? and how does this influence your work?
KM: I live in Encinitas, CA with my husband. I work as the head designer for a clothing company based out of San Diego called Jedidiah. My personal art is what I do in my spare time. Perhaps I am bias, but I think we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The sun is almost always shining and the ocean is just minutes away. I am constantly inspired by the beauty around me.
AP: Did you have formal training if so what? If your self taught can you tell us what you prefer about being a self taught artist vs having formal training?
KM: I did not have any formal training in art. I went to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise and majored in Product Development, knowing I wanted a career in the fashion industry. Art, for me, came a bit later. I don’t know the advantages of artists having had formal training…but I am sure there are many :) And while I have progressed just fine in experimenting on my own, sometimes I still wonder if taking art courses now might help expand my knowledge base and help me grow as an artist. However, looking back, I am thankful for the path that led me to where I am today. And perhaps if I would have chosen to go to school for art, I may have had a much different approach and what I call my own art today, could be very different.
AP: Can you tell us about where you make your work is it in your house, a studio etc.. and how it effects your work?
KM: Almost all of my art I create in my home. If it is an illustration or watercolor I am working on, I create in my small studio space inside. But if it is a larger wood panel I am working on (I always create paintings on wood vs canvas) I work in my garage which we have turned into more of a work space to create.
AP: What are some of you favorite design projects/exhibitions you have worked on to date?
KM: I usually am most proud of the most recent work I have done. I think that is probably true of a lot of artists. My favorite show to date was one in December hosted by SEZIO at the Habitat House in which I titled “Dreamer”. It was my first solo show and I wanted it to reflect on some part of who I am. I am a California girl through and through. But growing up, my family would often visit my grandparents in northwest Wisconsin and spend our Christmas at their little cabin deep in the forest. My memories of those winters are some of my favorite. Ice skating on the lake, making snow angels, bundling up in our sweaters and fur hats, and being surrounded by love. I wanted this show to reflect those memories…but more in a cloudy, feminine, dreamlike state. I was really happy with the outcome of the body of work and the turnout of the show. Photos can be seen here on my blog — http://www.kellimurray.com/2011/01/19/dream-art/
AP: What is your medium of choice ?
KM: I always paint on custom built wood panels. I prefer acrylic paint and India ink.
AP: In what direction would you like to see your work going over the next five years?
KM: I feel like since my beginnings, I have continued to get more and more detailed in my work. My characters began extremely simplistic, and while I would still consider my work somewhat simplistic, I have enjoyed getting more refined in the detail. I hope I continue to improve as an artist for sure. I have always been a lover of paper and stationary, and maybe in the next 5 years I will take steps in my long time dream of one day starting a stationary business using my art.
AP: What forth coming projects and or exhibitions do you have scheduled for 2011?
KM: Actually, this year I have promised myself to limit the amount of exhibitions and custom work I am used to taking on, as I am three months pregnant and striving to live a more balanced, less stressful life! (Aren’t we all!). However there are a number of custom paintings I have scheduled as well as a handful of wedding invitations and save the dates I will be designing for various clients over the next few months. I have realized I think I could make a living of of wedding invites alone if I had the time to take them all on! I never realized what a huge demand there is for custom invites! Anyway, aside from custom projects, I will be in a few local exhibitions which I will update on my blog as well as the group show hosted by Sk8ology and We Love Creativity at the August Agenda Show.
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist.
KM: 9-6pm I work as the head designer for Jedidiah. Emails, graphic design, merchandising, communication between overseas factories, sample fittings and comments….the list goes on. I get home and eat with the hubby…and then come 8:00 I usually begin (or resume) one of the many commissioned projects I have on my never-ending freelance to-do list. Sometimes I wish I had more time to focus on my personal art, but I do love my job and I am just thankful I have the opportunity to entertain my passion as a side job! With this schedule, you can see I leave little time for relaxing….that usually comes on my weekends….if I allow it.
AP: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.