Getting to Know Artist Joi Murugavell

Getting to Know Artist Joi Murugavell

Joi Murugavell's bright and joyful images have been getting a lot of attention since they were launched last summer.  Following is our interview with the charming Aussie artist, where we learn more about her and the art she creates:

MG:  What medium do you work with?  

JM:  Digital and mixed media. Last year I hardly used my computer, this year I haven’t picked up a brush since January so it’s mainly been digital art. It often changes, initially I had to work hard to let it change, as I felt I had to own a style and own my tools. I don’t feel that anymore, phew!

MG:  What inspires you? What artists inspire you?  

JM:  Conversations I have with people, non classical thoughts and music are the top three. Then I’d have to say life in general, when it’s tricky and when it’s just quite simply beautiful. I connect most with artist who also share their thoughts in written or spoken word, top on my list are Grayson Perry, Mary Van Gils, Bharti Kher, Tracey Emin, Louise Bourgeios, William Kentridge, Ellen Gallagher, Do Ho Suh, Keith Haring, Romero Britto, Paul Frank, Andy Warhol (I made myself stop as there are so many more, depending on the day).

MG:  What are your hobbies (besides art)?  

JM:  Napping, reading, walking and spying.

MG:  Describe your workspace: 

JM:  Small, very practical and semi tidy.

MG:  How many years have you been an artist? 

JM:  The numbers of years I’ve admitted to being an artist is 4. In denial for 15 years.  

MG:  Do you work in silence or with music? If music, what do you listen to?  

JM:  Rarely in silence, I alternate between listening to talks/docos on youtube and music. Music, there’s a huge list and I also tend to put songs on repeat. This month I’ve been listening to Squirrel Nut Zippers, Vivaldi, Steriogram, Strauss, Radiohead, Nat King Cole, MIKA, Feist, Tim Minchin, The Beatles, Chopin, Boney M, Trentemoller, John Cage, Charlie Parker, Rosa Golan, Itzhak Perlman, Die Antwoord (I was looking at my recently played songs on Spotify).

MG:  If you were not an artist what would you do?

JM:  Spy, read, walk and nap more.

MG:  What jobs have you done besides being an artist?  

JM:  I was a graphic designer for 12 years, it stopped feeding my head. It’s a lot quicker now (to stop things that no longer feed my head).

MG:  What is your dream project?

JM:  At the moment I would love to see my art on clothes. I spend a lot of time designing clothes. The main thing I find fascinating is the contrast of say a classic skirt with loud doodles or a shirt with a repeat pattern of a dog with an udder etc. I know I’m not using my words well here, but it’s so exciting I can’t really stop to think about it, I just do it nearly every day. Designing clothes I mean.


MG:  Is there a painting or project that you are especially proud of?  

JM:  7 years ago I stalked an interesting girl on twitter. We became online friends, one day she got a really large tattoo of a drawing I made her, this was before we even met. There was something about that I still can’t get out of my mind.

MG:  What is your favorite color?  

JM:  hahahahhahaha I don’t have one. My art is colourful but what I wear is often white, grey and black. I like my surroundings to be simple and with little colour as my head is the opposite.