Friday, September 19, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Leslie Murray

The creator of Murry's Law is hanging with us! :-) I have been of fan of her greeting cards for quite some time! (be sure to click the link below to her artist page on Leanin' Tree). Click images to view larger.

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I was an art major in high school, and I started out in college as a Fine Art major (I had won an art scholarship). I soon realized that artist starve in garrets, so I changed my major to French. Upon graduating with a BA in French, I realized that French majors also starve in garrets. Life is hard when you're a Blonde Person. At one point, I used my French by working at Air France, but I never stopped making art. The point is that you don't need a degree in art or design to do this for a living, because talent matters more. It's not like engineering or medicine. Nobody in our industry is going to look at the diploma on your wall. They're going to look at your work.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?

Inspiration is all around us. For drawing, I can be inspired by the color combination of a chair in the background of a TV commercial. For humor, it can be something comical that my dog does, or childhood experiences of growing up with three sisters (now THERE's a humor source if ever I saw one). Mostly, though, I just think of all the stupid little things that can go wrong every day. I figure if something dumb or embarrassing happens to me, it's probably happened to other people too. I just write down my life and they give me money.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
Before going digital, my favorite medium was always pen and ink. As a kid, I couldn't get enough of Aubrey Beardsley and Harry Clarke. My dad was an illustrator, and he had all kinds of great art books for me to look at. I also love just drawing with a pencil. When I first started doing cards for a living, I worked with watercolor and rapidograph or Staedtler pens, gouache, colored pencil, and/or Pantone markers. Now I work only in Photoshop and draw on a tablet. These days you have to be able to send digital files to your clients and publishers. I love digital. No more running after the FedEx truck at 5:06 pm the day before a deadline with your oversized art all packed up with tape and waving in the wind. Yes, I have done that (WAIT! WAIT! COME BACK!). Also, I save a fortune in art supplies.

What are you working on now?
Of course I'm always doing greeting cards for Leanin' Tree. I'm excited about a new line of cowgirl images they asked me to do. Leanin' Tree has a very large base of Western customers, so I hope they do well. I also have art licensed to MagnetWorks for their art coasters called DrinkBlots , some stone coasters and wall plaques for CounterArt (Conimar), and I might still have some kitchen towels with Peking Handicrafts. I also have some boxed Christmas cards with Paper Magic and a 2014 calendar featuring my character Trixie. Two Town Studios was the agent who put me with all the companies I just mentioned. In addition, I'm also a stock illustrator and photographer, a sideline I started when I was between publishers after leaving Design Design. I'm on Shutterstock, Veer (Corbis), Dreamstime, and Canstock Photo (Fotosearch) among others. The new thing I want to do is framed wall prints. I picture them in little black frames hung by a satin or gros-grain ribbon. I've done some, and I'm looking into getting them produced. Some are humor and some are not. I'm flying kind of solo now, but doing some licensing deals on a case-by-case basis, right now through Two Town, and in the future, who knows.

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I hate long walks on the beach. Blah blah thunderstorms, blah blah glass of wine by the fire, blabity blabity what? This isn't Oh, er, ahem. never mind.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I'm a night owl who loses track of time when I'm drawing, and when I finally look up, it's 2:00 a.m. I get up whenever my eyes open, which can be anywhere from 8am to 10:30. I then proceed to the coffee maker and begin drawing funny pictures in front of my 52" plasma TV while still in my robe and pjs. If the doorbell rings during this time of my day, I do not answer because, well, blonde eyebrows. Dueling Banjos guy. Enough said.

What is your favorite food?
How can I pick just one! Chocolate covered cherries. Cherry Garcia ice cream because it tastes exactly like chocolate covered cherries. And Reese's peanut butter cups. I believe in putting my dentist's children through college.

You can find Leslie:
Artist - Leslie Murray | Leanin' Tree

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  1. Love your work and I love Audrey Beardsley. Have one or two myself. Shoes are my passion other than art and I have a ton of sketches of shoes and people wearing them. I relate to your shoe art. Love the concepts. I also have western stuff that is with SinCity Stamps. Good luck and thanks for sharing the fabulosity that is YOU.....

  2. Thanks, Madeline, I appreciate it. I'm a fan of your work! And thanks to Annie for inviting me to this fun blog!

    1. YOU BET! Thank you for taking the time to share a bit of your story - GREAT advice about not needing a diploma on you wall :-D

  3. Leslie it was so fun to read your post. I love your work and your attitude. Made me smile on this beautiful day. So thrilled to see more of your art. your sense of humor perfect for your cards.

    1. Thank you very much, Susan!

    2. Hey Susan! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog! <3

  4. Love your characters. Your cards are so funny... and great color choices!

    1. Hi Ms. Moffatt! Thanks for stopping by and commenting on Leslie's spotlight - did you see Leslie's comment below?

  5. Why thank you, Ms Moffatt. I appreciate it!


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