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Meet Audrey Murty

Today we’d like to introduce you to Audrey Murty.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Audrey. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was lucky to grow up surrounded by a lot of creative influences! Some of my earliest memories of childhood are of my mom and I sitting in the living room, watching cartoons after she drove me home from kindergarten. My parents encouraged my love of reading and at some point, all that inspiration made me want to create my own stories so I started reading different types of comics to figure out how I could do that.

My parents were reluctant to let me fly halfway across the world for college, and after a year-long creative burnout, I thought I’d pursue physiotherapy instead. I wasn’t familiar with the illustration industry at large and didn’t think that having an art-related career was a viable option. Surprisingly enough, my parents were the ones who spent months convincing me and eventually pushed me to apply for an illustration major—here I am, almost two years later, still creating work in ArtCenter!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think things were simpler as a kid. I wanted so badly to become an ‘artist’ and I didn’t think much about how I would get there until I was a high school junior. I had so much anxiety about the future and I thought I had to earn a degree that would lead me to a financially stable job. I didn’t seriously consider applying to art schools until my senior year when my parents sat me down and told me that I should stop being stubborn and work hard at art if that was what made me happy.

I’m thankful to have supportive parents. I remember crying in my pyjamas when my mom’s early morning taxi took off to the airport for her flight back home. I spent most of my first year in school trying to learn new skills and knowledge about the industry, uncertain about the specific art practice I wanted to develop, constantly going back and forth between different areas of study. There have been a lot of struggles, but looking back, I’m glad I got the chance to come to LA—there are still so many people to meet, places to see, and things to learn!

Please tell us more about your art.
I’m always looking for ways to tell stories, whether they are my own or others’. That’s probably why I’m so drawn to comics, journalism and storyboarding. I want to create spaces where my voice can relate to the viewer in some way, and I’ve always been interested in history and sociocultural identity and how they interact within a multifaceted world, so I draw as a way to express my thoughts. I’m also very curious about how I can create art that leaves a meaningful impact in this highly visual culture we live in, so I try to look for opportunities where I can take part in social change.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I wish I’d been kinder to myself when I needed breaks. I was concerned with getting a lot of credits out of the way to graduate early so my parents wouldn’t have to worry about my sibling’s tuition when he starts going to university as well. I couldn’t avoid pulling all-nighters and would sometimes skip meals to finish work instead. It was an unhealthy work ethic to keep up and I still find myself lapsing into these bad habits sometimes, but I try my best to remember that it’s OK to go at my own pace.

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Audrey Murty

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