We wanted to share with you a recent conversation with Dave Murray to give you a little insight into the person behind the art.
i2i Art: Why illustration?
Dave Murray: Well, I've been drawing for as long as I can remember, and it's something I've always enjoyed. I started with drawing my favorite characters from comic books, and went from there. My illustration career formally began at Sheridan College, I guess - I always thought it was kind of a funny thing, to go to school for art, but it's what I loved to do - so giving myself the chance to make my living from it was really the only decision.
i2i Art: What makes you tick?
Dave Murray: Maybe it's a boring answer, but it's keeping my life pretty simple and finding pleasure in the small things. Making interesting work, walking my dog, spending time with my wife, and friends...that's pretty much it.
i2i Art: How do you come up with new ideas when presented with a brief? Tell us a bit about your process?
Dave Murray: I find a lot of success when I break down ideas and concepts into words and definitions - I'm a bit of a crossword fanatic. At that level, I feel like there's a lot of freedom to play with meanings and definitions - and then translate that wordplay into visual metaphors. From there, small thumbnails and sketches in my sketchbook, larger sketches on the computer, and then a mishmash of stuff to create the final piece.
i2i Art: What other creative projects keep you going aside from illustration?
Dave Murray: I like to keep myself busy. Aside from illustration, I have an ongoing text-based mapping project. It's mostly focused on Toronto, but I've been brought out to cities such as Stratford and Halifax to apply my work there. I'm also a co-founder of the Garrison Creek Bat Co., which is an artisanal baseball bat company based in Toronto. At GCBC, we focus on making each bat a piece of work in itself, and occasionally curate events where we invite other illustrators, artists, and craftspeople to customize our bats however they like.
i2i Art: How do these projects influence your illustration?
Dave Murray: My other creative projects allow me to take a step back from illustration, and put other creative aspects of my brain to work. It's like a breath of fresh air, which allows me to come back invigorated and often with new perspectives in regards to my illustration work.
i2i Art: What are the best parts of being a freelance illustrator?
Dave Murray: Probably the whole thing. The fact that I'm doing something I love to make my living is incredible in itself, but it's the opportunities and experiences that I've had solely because of illustration that make it truly special.
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Commission Dave Murray to contribute to your next campaign or feature! Check out Dave Murray's entire portfolio here.