Interview With Joi Murugavell

Joi Murugavell's creations scream fun! Her whimsical paintings are as vibrant and fun as the artist herself. We chatted with Joi about her inspirations, process and her foray into apparel.

Before you start creating, do you have any habits that get your mind in the right space?
I use these plastic containers that mushrooms used to be in (you know, from Coles Supermarket) These containers act as my water containers when I paint, the moment I fill them with water, I’m in the right space. Sometimes I just don’t get to filling them at all, they only have the microwave as company for weeks. Nothing can be done when this happens, only time.

Can you recall a key conversation that left you feeling extremely inspired? What stuck out most?
I read this somewhere. When you first experience a big change in your life, initially you keep swimming back to the old shore (where memories and chaos reside). But every day you swim further away from the old shore. Eventually you swim so far away you can’t go back and might as well settle on a new island.

Your work can be described as whimsical and very visually interesting. Does your work usually appeal to children? How do they normally engage with it?
Yeah you’re right! many kids love it, often they start drawing, laughing or they’ll say things like “is that a penis?” And I reply "no of course not it’s a dog with an udder” (That thing many people think is a penis is an udder, I’ve been drawing it for years and it represents kindness. I call him Generosity Doggie). I draw other things with udders too, for the same reason.

It's so exciting to see the relationship between your art and clothes! Describe the type of woman that would be seen wearing your clothes?
She’s the sort of woman who doesn’t go around trying to fart in public. But if it happens, she knows how to handle it, with respect, without apology.

After a bad day, what would you typically do to change your energy?
If it’s a bad day that’s just about that day, a walk usually fixes it, by the time I get home I feel totally different. If it's a bad day that’s the result of a few bad weeks, then it’s time for a PLOT CHANGE!

To change the plot, I do something else that’s exciting or new, that always regenerates me. Something else to look forward to, where I have no idea what the end will be. I think it’s what I enjoy most about doodling too, one thing leads to another and another and ta-da there’s still no real conclusion or meaning but you know, it’s fun. And fun is no laughing matter.

You can see all of Joi's works for sale here.