Me and my lovely wife (my muse) Nastja.
No body visits the ‘about page’. But you’re here.
Yikes. Now I have to write something. Ummm…
I guess you want to learn more about me? If so, you can check out my story on my site MikeLMurphy.com.
But if you want something a little different, let me give this a shot.
What drives me as an artist? What crazy things have influenced me to create art?
There are 3 ones that come to mind…
Entertainment, and very specifically movies, were my major inspiration. In my teens video games became a big influence, but I ditched those once I started college. Mastering an art form (filmmaking) didn’t afford me time to mash a joystick.
What movies did I like? I seemed to gravitate towards very mainstream. I was a Spielberg kid. I remember being scared shitless watching E.T., but also totally relating to it. And I had to beg my mom to take me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark for my sixth birthday.
My second inspiration is animation, mostly because in the days before the internet, kids had to watch whatever was on TV. In my case that was afternoon cartoons. Soap Operas and the nightly news weren’t that appealing to a 12 year old.
I got a tour of the Disney Animation Studios at 16, and always wanted to work there. I finally did in my early thirties. I went to CalArts, the art college founded by Walt Disney. I worked in the animation industry for over 15 years, so the love of animation has been infused inside me.
Nastja and I getting inspired by Disneyland.
My third biggest influence, and I feel like a total dork to admit this, is Disneyland.
My first job out of college was being an animation intern for Walt Disney Imagineering (they make the Disneyland rides). As a kid Disneyland was visited every Thanksgiving, so I had consistent access to it. It was the only traveling my family did (aside from visiting Grandma up north). Disneyland gave me a glimpse of the real world I had no access to. It was only later in life that I’ve explored most of the real locations that I experienced as a kid inside a theme park.
As a painter, my two biggest influences are Norman Rockwell and Gil Elvgren. Rockwell was a master storyteller. He could tell a powerfully emotional story in one image. No music, no acting. Just his painting. So cool. Elvgren painted the most appealing pin up art. Check their art out if you’re not familiar. You’ll be glad you did!
As for the writing of the ‘little poems’, my two influences are Dr. Seuss and Howard Ashman. Seuss was able to write short little poems and rhymes that put a smile on your face.
You may not know Howard Ashman by name, but you’re heard his music. He wrote lyrics for Disney classics like Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. But I became fascinated with his work after seeing the Little Shop of Horrors movie. I remember getting the soundtrack and playing it over and over so I could figure out what the lyrics were and how they were constructed. My confused father thought I was gay. Here’s a 15 year old boy who is listening to Broadway show tunes and writing them down.
My puppy and I enjoying the sun.
I’m writing this in 2016. My last painting was done in 2011! That means I have some catching up to do (I was incredibly busy during the last 5 years learning how to build my business).
But time is coming…
the brush is getting ready…
inspiration is calling.
If you want to know more about me, or keep up with whatever crazy project I’m working on, follow me on Facebook.