I am so excited about today's blog post! I am still amazed at how all of this came about.
Last month my dear friend Sara Beth had a chance to visit New York City with her husband. While visiting Central Park she came across the artwork of Angelia Murray being sold by Angelia's husband Michael James Murray. My sweet friend was captivated by the art and knew that I would love Angelia's work. Sara Beth surprised me and purchased a print of Angelia's Elephant on Broadway and brought it back as a Christmas gift for me.
When I received the Christmas gift, Sara Beth included a note with the artist's website. As I browsed Angelia's website and Etsy shop I became truly enchanted with her work. I specifically connected with her Whimsical Daydreams series.
As I looked at Angelia's work I realized that I wanted to contact her to share how much joy her work was bringing to my life. In my email I invited Angelia to participate in an interview for my blog. I was so pleased when she agreed to participate and I hope that you will enjoy reading the interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.
May you be inspired by her work and her words in today's post.
|Elephant on Broadway|
|Giraffes On the Yellow Brick Road|
|Penguins Ice Skating in Central Park|
Thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview and share your work!
What first sparked your interest in painting? When did you first begin painting?
It all began in high school during my sophomore year. I was taking a lot of science and math classes while my friends were taking a lot of art classes. In order to break the monotony I decided to try an art class. I never thought it would resonate with me. My first drawing was of a squirrel and it was terrible. I then moved onto Acrylic paint, which is an impossible medium for me now. I found my love for watercolors during my last semester at St. Mary’s College. At the time I loved how I could just get lost in the pigments swirling in the water.
You mentioned in our correspondence that you just recently began selling your work. Can you share a little more about your journey to begin selling your work and sharing it with the world?
My journey to getting my artwork out there is kind of like my yoga practice: sporadic. It comes and goes depending on my confidence level. Graduate school was the first real start of committing to myself as a professional artist. However, my husband and artist, Michael James Murray, is my biggest cheerleader. He truly is the one who inspired me to chase after my dream continually reminding me art is subjective and you will be rejected. You just have to get it out there. So that is what I am doing. I started my website, my etsy and sell my work at small events in NYC. I am working up the courage this year to apply to group gallery shows. I am no longer just letting my artwork sit in my studio. Baby steps.
What advice would you give to other artists that are nervous to “get their work out” in the world?
My biggest advice is to keep making art, lots and lots of art. Some of it will be good, but most of it will probably be bad. That is okay as long as you keep making art. Do not fear rejection. Easier said than done. Remember art is subjective and foremost a business. Be organized and prepared. Create a website and a business card. Someone once told me you should have an elevator pitch ready; meaning a short interesting statement of what it is you do. You just never know who you will meet.
I have become truly enchanted with your Whimsical Daydreams series. What was the first Whimsical Daydreams painting that you created?
On my website I have a lot of paintings within the Whimsical Daydream series, but to be honest the one I considered to be the very first is Strawberry Cosmos. This painting combined city and nature together fairly successfully. It felt a bit more grounded than my earlier work. The butterflies and cocoons were really important to me at the time because I was seeking transformation.
What has been your inspiration for your Whimsical Daydreams paintings?
Whimsical Daydreams started at an artist residency in September 2009. My studio was tucked within trees and flowers with lots of wildlife, which I had not experienced in quite sometime due to living in NYC and traveling about 3 weeks out of the month for a corporate job. The residency brought a clarity to my mind, a break from my real life. This is when I decided to explore symbolism within insects, animals, and plants. So in essence I was trying to create little messages within my painting. I have found the people who connect with this series tend to find these meanings as well.
One of the aspects that I really enjoy in your pieces are the elements of New York City that you incorporate in whimsical ways. You create such a joyful juxtaposition of the natural world with the concrete and noise of city life.
Could you share a little bit about how the city inspires you and the art you create?
I have been in NYC for about 10 years. I am originally from a rural town in Southern Maryland. I really could not tell you how I ended up in the city other than the fact I wanted to be an artist. I was following my dream at 21 years old. I knew no one. I just did it. It was the best decision I ever made. The city is now my home, but my love for nature remains. The animals and plants that appear within my work all have some symbolic meaning. I incorporate humor and lightness in order to wipe away my own cynicism.
Thank you once again for taking the time to participate in this interview. I have one final question for you.
What does living a creative life mean to you?
Freedom. I can at least say I tried to succeed at something I love.
Angelia Murray is an emerging artist recently graduated with her MFA from SUNY New Paltz, NY. In addition to her artistic endeavors, Angelia spent 5 years working as a Marketing Representative for photo industry giant, B&H Photo. Her career in marketing provided multiple opportunities for international and domestic travel, from which Angelia draws her artistic inspiration in regards to constructed space.
Her repertoire not only includes drawing but photography as well. Angelia has participated in an artist residency at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Vermont Studio Center as well as studied technical proficiencies through classes at the Maine Media Workshops, under respected photographer Christopher James and others.
Angelia is highly involved in the photo community, but drawing remains her primary passion. Angelia has shown paintings at the Samuel Dorsky Museum, New York State Museum and galleries in NYC, Maryland and Brooklyn.
She lives and works with her husband, Michael Murray and daughter in Peekskill, NY.
If you would like to see more of Angelia Murray's work you can visit her website and Etsy shop.
Her work and words have been truly inspiring to me and I am glad that I have had the opportunity to share this interview with others that might never have heard of her before.
May life be filled with creative joy!