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Will Murai Interview


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When was the first moment you decided you wanted to be an artist?

I guess I have always been an artist. As a kid, I’d spend a lot of time drawing and sketching, inspired by animes, mangas and comic books. Because of that, I decided to pursue improvement in my skills to represent the characters and situations I had in my mind. I usually doodled robots, tokusatsu heroes fighting monsters and other animation characters. I started having drawing lessons and got really into that, always trying to learn a little bit more. The more I learned the more I got hooked in drawing. It was around 17 that I truly engaged in doing that as a career and I found in Illustration the balance between artistic expression and product design.
Where do you find your inspiration?

To me, the source of inspiration is not that important. It is all about the connections you can make as a creative person. Like when the texture from a picture of an ordinary wall could help me figure out the skin of a creature for a character design commission. Knowing that it’s all about the connections, anything can be a potential source of inspiration.

If you could work with another artist, who would it be? / who is your favorite artist?

I don’t think I have a single favorite artist. I have dozens of favorite artists in different fields and artistic periods. But I’ll list the three that most influenced my career path and they are all Illustrators as well: Norman Rockwell, Gil Elvgren and J.C. Leyendecker.
What has been the best moment in your career?

I have amazing memories from my latest trip to Japan. I was invited to attend a Magic:The Gathering event in Shizuoka to meet the fans and sign cards. I got to know more about the country my family comes from and It was amazing to see that my work in the project was appreciated by the players. They lined up to get signatures and received me really well. Definitely that was an amazing experience!

What is your ideal day?

The day that I can sleep at least 8 hours.

Agreed. Or 12 hours if possible.

Who is your role model?

Definitely my father. He was very disciplined and a hard worker when it came to accomplish his goals. He always gave me the sense of responsability and thought how to appreciate a good reading! I’ll always admire that and it shaped the way I face life.

If you could do anything, what would it be?

Teleport. I love to know different places and cultures but planes are really a pain in the b.

Why do you create art?

Because that defines me as a person. Art changed my life and influenced it in many aspects and as a consequence, everything that happened in my life inspires me to keep doing it. Its a cycle. I am in constant process of learning and every little improvement feels very exciting! I feel very fortunate that I can also do this for a living!

How has your art changed throughout your life?

Quite a bit. I started because I wanted to be a comic book artist, back in the 90’s. So I used to draw a lot with lineart and usually inside the themes that were popular in comics back then. After that, I started to pay attention to classic painters and illustrators from the mid century. I was fascinated by Rockwell’s storytelling and how he applied that in a painting to convey information. So I decided that illustration is what I wanted to do and that naturally moved my “style” to what you can see in my work today.

What is your dream project?

One of the things that I find thrilling is to make products that people can use and enjoy. To make images that will help tell stories and create emotional connections ,like in Card games, video games, comic books, watches, clothing, etc. I’ve been really fortunate to have worked on most of those medias except films. I would love to work on a fantasy/sci-fi animation film someday!

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

“Buy an ergonomic chair”

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