Scribble Artist Interview with Marianne Murphy!
Scribble Town (ST): Just like this picture of an alien astronomer, Marianne Murphy is an artist who is a seeker of all sorts and finds a way to communicate with you…even with creatures from outer space. Creative to the bone, Marianne let’s us know what she’s done and where she wants to go. 3 2 1 blast off!
Marianne Murphy (MM): My name is Marianne Murphy, I’m 21 years old, I was born in Maryland and attend the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where I’m studying animation. I also have a lot of experience with filmmaking, puppetry, and graphic design. I hope to work in children’s media when I graduate and to someday design and write children’s books, television shows, and games to promote education, literacy, creativity, and self esteem.
ST: You are off to an amazing start! Your goals and your vision are so clear. I’m excited to see what paths will unfold before you, but for now where are you and what are you up to these days? That is, besides you making these great folded paper animations such as your “Penguin Journey” 2013.
MM: I’m currently in Philadelphia, sequestering myself in my apartment to finish a film I’m working on for a puppetry festival in my hometown, Bethesda MD (Puppets Take Strathmore). It’s about the ideas of nostalgia and memory, and it combines a lot of cool puppetry and digital animation techniques. I’m also working on putting together some curriculums for Creative Writing and Cartooning camps for children ages 8-12, and will be leading them as a counselor in early August, which should be really fun. I love inspiring children to be creative and I can’t wait to see what they come up with during those weeks!
ST: Puppets Take Strathmore looks like such a fun event! I can’t wait to see your film. When did this creative bug start buzzing around in your body?
MM: I’ve been drawing for my entire life and my parents and teachers have always encouraged me. I started making films when I was in elementary school with my mom’s video camera, and I taught myself how to use editing software. At that point I was just making short videos with my friends, but in middle school I started making puppet films and having my puppets lip sync to popular songs. This interest in puppetry went on all the way up to high school, and I briefly attended the University of Connecticut to study puppetry. I realized there, however, that my interests had expanded to include illustration, writing, drawing and graphic design and I transferred to my current school to combine all of these interests into a new major: animation!
ST: New interests always come about in interested people and I think you definitely fit the bill . I wonder, where do you find yourself feeling inspired to create?
MM: I’m very inspired to create by children’s books and television. I love seeing how shows and books are creatively using new technologies and art forms to inspire children. I also notice a lot of shows these days are focusing less on education/creativity and more on marketing products, and these kinds of shows inspire me to create art that can help children learn real, important lessons about life. Artists who believe in teaching children these lessons, such as Jim Henson, Fred Rogers, Judy Blume, and Lemony Snicket, are very inspiring for me.
ST: You mention artists from a range of mediums and genres. I take it that you are a fan of everything art. What other forms of art do you practice and what are your favorite tools you use to create?
MM: I practice a lot of filmmaking, editing, puppetry, and figure drawing. I also play piano and drums and love to create soundtracks for film projects. I love working digitally with a Wacom tablet and pen, and I love working in my sketchbook with mechanical pencils.
ST: Get ready for a hard question- who is your favorite artist? Sometimes this gravitation towards a piece of art comes out of nowhere, but why do you think you connect with their artwork?
MM: My favorite artist is children’s book illustrator Lane Smith. He worked on books such as “The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales” and “Math Curse” with Jon Scieszka, which were my favorites growing up, and he most recently wrote and illustrated “Abe Lincoln’s Dream”. I love his drawing style and his use of collage and different mediums to create wonderful, haunting works of art. Each of his books feel like an awesome, magical world to me. I also love the work of children’s book illustrator Jon Klassen (This Is Not My Hat) and children’s book writers Mac Barnett (Chloe and the Lion) and Joanna Cole (Magic School Bus) for their extremely innovative designs and ideas.
ST: From an artist who has already explored and created so much and is on a mission to encourage young artists, do you have any tips, advice, or ways of encouraging our scribblers?
MM: In my experience, all children are creative, and drawing is an amazing activity. I recently taught a camp with 6-8 year olds, and whenever a child had a problem or a troubling anxiety, I asked them to draw their feelings or what they wish would happen. The creativity helped them express themselves and deal with their emotions! Also, I’ve noticed that children are really interested in a lot of popular television shows and characters and love to talk about them. The excitement for these shows can easily be transferred into creativity. Inviting children to create their own stories, comics, drawings, props, costumes, or games about their interests is always a good idea!
ST: Marianne has shared a great Quick Scribble Activity with us on the Scribble Shop. Try it out for yourself! http://www.scribbleshop.com/content/quick-scribbling-marianne-murphy Thanks Marianne for sharing so much with us!
We will say, “see you later!” with Marianne’s winning Best Sophomore Object Animation at UARTS 2013 titled “Numbers”.