While drawing inspirations from childhood nostalgia of his life in Ireland and his current residency in New York City, designer/illustrator David Murray has developed a look of his own. Whether the melancholy faces of his illustrations are drowned out by the lavish styles he adorns them with, or the overall illustration appears incomplete, the designs themselves are always the focal point. Cliché talks with David about his work as both an artist and a designer.
Cliché: Can you tell me a little about yourself?
David Murray: I’m twenty-five and from a small town called Galway on the West coast of Ireland. I moved to NYC almost a year ago, but I’ve been coming here on and off since 2009. I work as a designer at NY-based menswear brand Shipley & Halmos. I guess I consider myself an illustrator in the evenings and on my days off.
When did art become a passion of yours?
Art is something I’ve always found fun and challenging. Growing up, my parents were very encouraging. My father was always creating, building, altering, and fixing things in his spare time, and my mother was an avid art fan who dragged me along to art shows now and again. I guess they both rubbed off on me to some degree.
Did you go to school for art and design or are you self-taught?
I went to school for Fashion Design. However, during my time there I rarely created finished illustrations that I was satisfied with. There was always way too much to do and never enough time. I need to be in a very relaxed state of mind to draw and paint. It wasn’t until I left school that I could give a full effort to my illustration.
What are your favorite mediums to work with when creating an illustration?
I work mostly with pen and gouache. I plan to experiment with a wider variety, provided the medium fits in with the nature of the project.
Are the clothing in your designs your own conjured-up creations or replicated from pieces you’ve seen before?
I’ve created illustrated looks of my own graduate collection. However, most of my series are based off fashion week collections. Generally, I draw my preferred looks from my favorite designers each season. Usually, choices are made based on textures, colors, prints, and silhouettes that I find visually appealing.
What or who inspires you to create?
I’ve been blessed with many talented and creative friends in NYC; simply being surrounded by them is motivational and inspiring. Culture and diversity and what I see on the streets play a part, too. With regards to my drawing style, I’ve always been interested in scientific illustration. My father’s a marine biologist, so growing up there were always old zoology books full of beautiful pen drawings left around our house. Similar illustration techniques can be seen in my work.
What sort of environment and setting do you most like to work in?
It depends. When I was in Ireland, I had a set up at the dining room table. I’m currently working on my next series from the comfort of my couch. I generally like it to be quiet with no distractions.
Are there any other artists/designers you would like to collaborate with?
Right now, no one in particular. However, I’m open to any opportunity that might present itself down the line.
What goals and aspirations do you have for your artistic career?
To be honest, I haven’t thought about it too much. I’ll continue to draw and paint for my own satisfaction. We’ll have to see where it takes me!
To see more of David’s work, visit his blog: davidmurrayillustration.tumblr.com
David Murray’s Interview originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s April/May 2014 issue.
Images courtesy of David Murray.