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Art

DIY DOC’S: MURRAY McCUSKER

December, and our final illustrator of 2015. This month Murray McCusker makes his mark on a pair of Dr. Martens 1460 boots. We spoke to Murray to find out more about his work and the inspiration behind his designs.  
Murray’s exhibition ‘DRAWN FROM THE RED’ is in Peckham, London from the 4th-11th December. Click here for more information.
 

1460s customised by Murray McCusker
1460s customised by Murray McCusker
 

Introduce yourself – who are you, and what do you do? 
My name is Murray McCusker, I’m a 24-year-old artist, born in Yorkshire based in London. I like to combine practices in my work to create a visual collage of colour, line and texture on any surface I can get my hands on. I usually work in a fast paced and spontaneous way to create a sense of energy and movement in the things that I produce.  
 
Who or what do you take inspiration from?  
In my day-to-day life I take inspiration from spontaneity and bold self-expression on any platform. Exploring the human mind and soul is a constant source of inspiration for me. I particularly like drawing people, and trying to capture an essence of their character or mood in my work. London constantly keeps me guessing and is always a massive source of motivation for me to record and display what I experience.
 
Do you have an illustration or project you’re most proud of?  
The work I am most proud of is usually that which I make when I’m not worrying about the end result. I think I am at my best when I work without hesitation, making marks that feel good and adapting to the way a piece evolves. The more fun I have whilst working, the more successful the final piece usually turns out.  
 

1460s customised by Murray McCusker
1460s customised by Murray McCusker
 

Talk us through your customised Dr. Martens, was it a challenge working on a pair of shoes?  
For this project I took inspiration from my research into the brand when I first received the brief. I liked the idea that Dr. Martens shoes acted as a kind of social glue between different styles and subcultures, and so wanted to create something that reflected a coming together of the vibrant and the classic. The drawings and the colour schemes were inspired by dance culture, particularly the rave scenes and acid house movement of the late 80s and early 90s. I have always enjoyed painting on 3D objects, and I had a lot of fun with this project.  
 
Do you listen to music whilst you work? Name three tracks you can’t hear enough of:  
No but I do whistle pretty loud. The last three I whistled were:
Jan Hammer Group – “Don’t You Know”
Bill Withers – “Use Me”
Cocolores – “Vox”  
 
If you could have any super-power for a day, what would it be?  
If I could have any super-power for a day I’d go for super-learn-everything-really-quick power where I could super learn everything really quick. I’d download all the languages, how to play all the instruments and spend the rest of my days touring the globe as a one-man band.  
 
If you could draw anyone dead or alive, who would it be?  
Drawing Ol’ Dirty Bastard would’ve been a good day out.  
 

Murray McCusker creating a mural
Murray McCusker creating a mural
 

What is your favourite thing about the city you live in:  
For me the best thing about London is the DIY attitude of a lot of the people who live here. Without that, the things that I love, the parties, exhibitions, the fashion and the music scenes, would not exist in such a diverse way. Anything is possible in London if you put yourself about and you are passionate about what you do. I think that makes it an exciting place to live.  
 
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens:  
My first Dr. Martens were a pair of black, leather 1461s handed down to me from a mate of my mums. They’re still going strong today.  
 
And finally, what do you stand for?  
Doing it yourself.  
 
Head to Holdrons Arcade, Peckham to visit ‘DRAWN FROM THE RED’ an Exhibition of Artwork by Murray McCusker. 
 

1460s customised by Murray McCusker
1460s customised by Murray McCusker