Say hello to Toronto based illustrator and artist Caitlyn Murphy! We originally came across her work on a recent feature on Booooooom (we thank the wonderful Jeff Hamada for discovering yet another talented young artist) and have since become obsessed with her simple yet colourful style. Passionate about her sports, film & music, these influences spill over into her work with a strong sense of humor and comical characterisation. Take a look at her "I Don't Like This" series for example, and you'll see what we mean. It's blunt, to the point, and full of charm. We love it!
Her story is an interesting one - having originally studied Philosophy it wasn't until after graduating that she came to realise her true passion lay in the creative fields of illustration;
"In university, I started to become more interested in the pictures accompanying my school readings than the readings themselves."
Since completing her degree, she is now pursuing those passions and is beginning her third year of Illustration at OCADU. We for one are very happy to hear this, as it would be a shame for her undeniable talent to be lost elsewhere.
We noticed you have background in Philosophy. What led you down the more creative path of illustration?
I was always interested in doing a lot of different things as a kid. I knew that I really liked drawing, and I liked reading and I liked playing basketball. I chose to do a Philosophy degree because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with art, and I never grew tall enough for the WNBA. As I moved further into my degree, I started to draw more and eventually when I graduated I knew that I wanted to go into Illustration. And now I’m heading into my third year at OCADU in Toronto.
So what was it that made you realize that this is what you wanted to be doing?
It was kind of a gradual thing. I did a lot of drawing and crafting when I was a kid, and it spilled over into my teenage years. I used to have this closet under the basement stairs, and I would just sit in there and draw all the time. That sounds crazy, but I promise it wasn’t as weird as it sounds. In university, I started to become more interested in the pictures accompanying my school readings than the readings themselves.
What inspires or influences your work? Are there any particular artists that you really draw from?
Everything! I watch a lot of movies, I like to read, I like to hang out with my pals, I take notice of little details and it all finds its way into my drawing.
Do you think those influences have changed over time?
Different artists, but I think I gravitate towards similar things as I did 5 years ago.
How do you find living and working in Toronto as a creative?
It’s good but it’s hard. It’s good because of my circle of friends and collaborators, and the city is great. But it’s an expensive city, and there are a lot of creative people trying to make a living here. You have to work hard, and always be hustling; this is what Toronto has taught me.
What's one of the most exciting projects you've worked on or are currently working on?
My personal work right now is exciting me as I have a lot of plans and ideas for new paintings and comics.
What was it like to be the 2012 designer for City of Craft?
It was a good learning curve. I developed an entire identity for a great project, and picked up a lot of new ideas and techniques on the way.
What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
My plans are to keep pushing myself and working hard. I want to have an art show, I would like to make more zines and I would like to get published. To keep drawing things that make me happy. In 10 years, I can only hope that I am happy in my career, living in a cool city surrounded by people I love and that I have a dog.
Who is an artist (dead or alive) you would love to collaborate with and why?
David Milne, so that he could teach me how to paint.
Who are some of your favourite artists right now? Is there anyone we should keep an eye on?
Jonas Wood, Aisha Franz, Miroslav Sisek, Eleni Kalorkoti, Martin Parr, Andy Rementer, Lille Carre… the list goes on. My friend Meaghan Way is very talented and putting out a website soon.
Who is a dream client you would love to work with?
The Walrus magazine.
"I Don't Like This" Series
"I take notice of little details and it all finds its way into my drawing."
The most exciting place right now is... Hmm… I guess Montreal, Quebec because I am going there next week.
Right now I'm istening to... Mac DeMarco.
The last good movie I watched was... Neighbouring Sounds.
The last book I read was... The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis.
I wish I could travel to... Buenos Aires, Argentina.
After a long hard days work I like to unwind by... Eating chips and watching TV with my dude.
Audrey Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor? LiLo as Elizabeth Taylor.