We’re beyond excited to share the never before-seen journey of profoundly talented, award-winning artist, Murugiah. Murugiah’s work is instantly recognisable for its surreal quality and bright, joyful colours. In this interview, Murugiah shares how he trained as an architect before finally succumbing to the pull of life as an artist; something he’d always felt, how he balances commercial work with self-expression, and his thoughts on gratitude. This feature was first published in our FREE book, CREATIVE JOURNEYS: Career Insights from 21+ Forward-Thinking Creatives, which is available to download now!
Murugiah, what’s your creative occupation?
I’m an artist based in London. I paint, illustrate… do a varied selection of things, but I’m an all round creative person. I mainly spend my time making psychedelic, transcendent work infused with the dichotomy of my Sri Lankan heritage and western upbringing, around themes of mental health, kindness in the face of chaos, the impending doom of our planet and climate change, amongst other things. I’ve made commercial projects for clients including Apple, Disney, Marvel, Vans and Wired.
Where have you been?
Where haven’t I been?! I was born and raised in the U.K with Sri Lankan heritage. Enjoying films and art as a kid, I wanted to be an artist, but I spent my early years after school training to become an architect. After finishing my architecture training, I knew the industry wasn’t for me as I kept feeling the pull of being an artist. I went on to work in graphic design and illustration for some other companies before going down the path of a full-time artist in 2012. Many years later, in 2020, I found the true meaning of my purpose as an artist.
Where are you now?
I am in a place where I am building on top of the work I did in 2020, after finding my purpose. Making sure my work is as surreal and dreamlike as possible. Pursuing themes that are important to me. I’m making sure I have a healthy balance of commercial illustration projects, like film posters and cover designs. I’m also expressing myself through my paintings and digital art.
Where are you going?
I’ll be at New York Comic Con signing prints and meeting fans. I’ve got a large scale mural project coming up in Leeds and a clothing collection with a major sportswear brand. Lots of fun and exciting projects to come.
Finally, what’s occupying your thoughts today?
Gratitude as I respond to these questions. Gratitude that I get to wake up every day and choose what I want to do, on my own terms. What else could anyone ever ask for?
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